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Support Info: If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419. Additional Health Support Information: Emotional, cultural, and professional support services are also available to Survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. Services can be accessed on an individual, family, or group basis.” These & regional support phone numbers are found at https://nctr.ca/contact/survivors/ .
THANK YOU MEGWETCH for reading
BLOG WEEK: MY TOP 5
Kevin Ost-Vollmers and Shelise Gieseke at Land of Gazillion Adoptees Blog said Feb. 26th begins BLOG WEEK to answer this question: “Why does the adoption establishment annoy the
heck out of us (adoptees)?” http://landofgazillionadoptees.com/2012/02/22/secret-message-for-other-bloggers-about-the-week-of-february-26th-aka-why-the-adoption-establishment-annoys-the-heck-out-of-us-blog-week/
MY MISSION today
is to answer that question! Ok,
so why does the adoption establishment bug the heck out of me?
Here is my Top 5.
1- (Lack of) Disclosure
- Old archaic laws are on the books in many states and it seems every state is having
some kind of major meltdown or fiscal crisis. Adoptees who are fighting to gain access to
our birth records can’t seem to grab their attention or warrant the lawmaker’s
time or serious consideration - unless maybe the lawmaker is an adoptee.
Yup, we know adoptees are low on the totem pole and status
meter and that annoys me.
What are “they” thinking? Oh, it’s obvious - the status
quo - let’s not rock the boat, just leave the law as is and let's not disclose information
every adoptee needs and deserves, and definitely let’s not disturb the Adoption
Industry who lobbies Wash. DC with fancy dinners and big campaign
contributions. (Lack of medical history is a huge problem for many adoptees, including me)
I can hear the lobbyist pounding on their tables, “adoptees
should be grateful they were adopted.”
The adoption industry is a billion dollar business and they don’t want to lose a
single dollar in profits. It’s about money. Even now, the adoption industry does
not appreciate adoptees or ask how we feel or acknowledge what we endured. We
are not invited to sit at their table or join in discussions. That really bugs me!
2- Secrecy - Over
and over and over “they” claim our natural mothers demanded secrecy yet many mothers
who lost children after closed adoptions are saying, “damn the secrecy, damn the laws, where are
Uniting all these mothers with all the adoptees on the
same stage, fighting the discrimination, shame, secrecy and old laws would be
Sadly it seems both are on their own warpath to be heard.
Uniting our voices on this issue - especially
natural mothers and adoptees who have been silenced for too long - is what is urgently
needed. Big crowds marching on Washington DC would get "their" attention.
Blogs (my favorites are listed in the right column) are enlightening
the world to our plight. Using our voices, activism and blogging for change is
3- Identity - Adoptees
are denied our basic human rights to the truth of our ancestry, our tribe(s), our birth name,
our family names, our background (which is our identity), our medical history,
our original birth certificate (OBC) and information about both our natural parents.
I noticed writing my memoir how adoptees will say they
are looking for their mothers -- but we do have a dad somewhere and possibly
siblings - and we do need to know who they are and where they are! Adoptees
need to add “dad and siblings” to their list of needs when facing adoption industry
discrimination and current adoption laws.
The bias in the adoption industry is to protect the
adoptive parents and seal our identity so no one will ever find out the truth.
That deeply annoys me.
If you are Native American, you cannot be enrolled
without documentation and proof. If you are a Split Feather/adoptee, you not
only lose your identity but your treaty rights and all that goes along with
being an enrolled tribal member. Just remember your identity is Native American
with or without tribal enrollment. We
must unite and form a national organization to teach about the government’s
use of closed adoption to hurt and destroy American Indian families and cripple
Identification Cards? Yup, as of 2005 more states will implement this new
country-wide identification card. And guess what? Adoptees who cannot produce a real
birth certificate (OBC) may (let me stress “MAY”) not be able to renew a driver’s
license, vote, or apply for or renew a passport. That scares me and bugs me
equally! Those ignorant lawmakers who wrote the Real ID Act of 2005 (and passed
it) didn’t consider adoptees or how this would affect us? We pay
them big salaries because they represent us. What were they thinking? They were not thinking of adoptees, perhaps 10 million of us in the USA.
5 - Gratitude
- Over and over I hear adoptees say - almost by script - how grateful they were
to be adopted by their parents. I call this our gratitude attitude. We get
stuck there mentally and it’s hard to move on to empowering ourselves to regain
our birth rights and identity. I know my gratitude silenced me. Gratitude
meant I could not talk to my adoptive parents about anything - how I felt, what
I planned to do, or even ask them questions about my adoption file. Laws prevented me from knowing anything about myself and my first family.
AND I found
out my new parents were not really informed when they adopted me in 1957. They had
basic information like I was illegitimate, how my mom was unmarried.
adoption file didn’t include medical history. Really. Apparently the adoption
industry didn’t think about the child at all when compiling information for the
adoption hearing. It was about convenience and expedience for adoptive parents. Really.
Looking back the adoption industry should be so embarrassed
and horrified they didn’t get our medical history when they “sold” us to our new
So, what about the Adoption Establishment annoys you? Please
leave a comment.
Canada's Residential Schools
The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret
for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.
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Did you know?
New York’s 40-year battle for OBC access ended when on January 15 2020, OBCs were opened to ALL New York adoptees upon request without restriction. In only three days, over 3,600 adoptees filed for their record of birth. The bill that unsealed records was passed 196-12.
According to the 2020 Census, 3.6% of Colorado's population is American Indian or Alaska Native, at least in part, with the descendants of at least 200 tribal nations living in the Denver metro area.
As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.
Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab
Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:
Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.
The identity issues strike deep. Catholic Charities literally whitewashed my biological father's information, changing it from "Metis" to "of English descent." I was lucky to learn the truth, but not until nearly 40 years old.ReplyDelete
Now, I know my heritage, but feel as cut off from it as ever... It's hard to recreate your identity from the truth, when you've grown up with lies.
All of your "annoyed" posts are great, Trace. It is really interesting to me to see the breadth of frustration so many people feel about the adoption establishment. But the underlying themes are really the same, and you nail them here. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Thanks Margie and I so appreciate your blog posts, too! If we continue, we might just see things happen! That is my prayer....ReplyDelete
Yes, Carrie, forced assimilation (losing your Indian identity to be American or Canadian) was "their" intent. There were times when it was not safe to be or identify as Indian, as you already know. Reducing the numbers of Indians was about land and theft. Adoption ties into this with sealed records and lost identity. Sad to think it happened to your bio-dad and then you.ReplyDelete