Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: (outlook email is gone)


Monday, November 1, 2021

Still here 17 years later... #NAAM2021 #Adoptee

This post was written in 2014 - now UPDATED in 2021 for National Adoption Awareness Month (#NAAM2021)

By Trace L Hentz (formerly DeMeyer)

If you had asked me in 2004 what I had planned for myself, I would have not said “writing” about adoption and child trafficking. I had just left my editor’s job at the Pequot Times in Connecticut in August and by September I was married, my second time. I have always known adoptees. It's like some (╋) magic radar that we seem to find each other... (which has always been life-saving for me.)

When I first started writing the article GENERATION AFTER GENERATION WE ARE COMING HOME in 2004, finally written and published in 2005 by American Indian Community House in New York City then in News From Indian Country, it was like a door opened.  That door is still open and I am still learning (and blogging here and covering news). I am not in Higher Ed nor do I wish to be. 

I write for adoptees like me. I am not a leader of adoptees/Lost Birds/SplitFeathers. I am an adoptee, someone who gathers stories who happens to be trained as a journalist (aka blogger.)

Second, I do help adoptees (Native and non-Native) connect with one another. There are plenty of adoptees with leadership skills, like my friend Levi EagleFeather and Sandy WhiteHawk, both are Lakota. If adoptees need ceremony, they are the people to approach. I am a bridge and can help you reach them.

Third, I am an adoptee myself so I know what I went through. And I write about it in great detail but that doesn't make me an expert. I do feel like I have an advanced degree in adoption after 17+ years of reading and writing on this topic. (And I'm 65 so it's a lived experience too.)

To me it doesn’t seem possible that those years went so fast – I didn't have any idea my skills would be put to use in this way. I am deeply humbled and deeply grateful to Great Spirit...Wakan Tanka.

Since I started American Indian Adoptees in late 2009, I met and know many bloggers on the topic of adoption (and many are good friends to me). We had hoped we’d made a strong and lasting impact by now.  

We all knew:

The adoptee voice was missing. 

Chapters of history were blank. The changes I worked for: giving voice to adoptees and writing that chapter, and I did what I could. There are four books in the Lost Children Book Series. That was the history few had ever documented...I had saved one article from Canada when I was working as a journalist at NFIC from 1996-1999. One!

Changing adoption? I had that dream myself.  I am not sure we can actually gauge or measure how worldviews of adoption have changed. States still have adoption files sealed tight. Are they hiding something? Are they afraid of a massive uprising of adoptees? (There are an estimated 10 million of us, maybe more!) Are they afraid we'll find out adoption agencies and churches were trafficking in children? For a profit?

The governments of Canada and America have much to fear.

Other changes? If books on Amazon are an indication, adoptee memoirs are still climbing the ranks over all the propaganda books about how to adopt a baby.

If the statistics on adoption are any indication, the number of babies adopted by Americans are dropping each and every year. There is definitely a demand for infants (primarily because of rising infertility since the 1950s) but there is still a short supply of newborn flesh to adopt.  (I do believe the adoption traffickers are constantly reinventing new ways to grab a fresh supply of infants. Think of what new poor countries or communities they will invade as the demand increases!! Propaganda will change.)

Will there be more adoptees? Sadly yes.

A happy ending in the media erases the very real structural realities of the adoption industrial complex, one that orchestrates the exchange of babies for money. - Alexa Strabuk

What hasn’t changed much since 2004 are adoption laws, sealed adoption files or the old archaic views of promised secrecy and confidentiality for first mothers.

Haven’t we moved past shaming women for unwed pregnancies? Yes, but not enough, apparently.  Lawmakers are still being wined and dined by adoption agency lobbyists so I don’t expect to see much change in the laws – but I hope I am wrong.

What I’d hoped would change faster is the perception of adoption, that it’s not as great and wonderful for adoptees as the public was made to believe. (In fact, vocal adoptees have changed everything in that regard.) 

As much as I’ve read in these past 17+ years, blogs and books changed me beyond recognition!  

Many times I have emailed legislators (like in New Jersey and Illinois) and offered my memoir (as a free book) hoping they would see the light and change existing adoption laws. Maybe it helped?

The big question: Open Adoption--when adoption is necessary--is also an indication that times are changing! But we have a long way to go…This is a quote I saved about open adoption:

…ignored by the adoption agencies is the reality of “open adoption.” Only 22 of fifty states in America (in 2014) recognize open adoption agreements, but failure of the adoptive parents to comply with the agreement is not legally enforceable by the surrendering mother.  (It is failing from many accounts I have read.)
There are many excellent writers making profound statements too.
A quote by adoptee-author-blogger Elle Cuardaigh: 
And adoption certainly is “worked.” When supply of newborns decreased in the 1970s, the adoption industry had to put a new spin on relinquishment  to stay in business. Since women could not be so easily shamed by single motherhood, they changed tactics. Potential suppliers (pregnant women) are now encouraged to “make an adoption plan.” She reads the “Dear Birthmother” letters and interviews hopeful adoptive parents. She is provided with medical care and possibly even housing.  She is promised this is her choice, and that she can have ongoing contact with her child in an open adoption. It would seem she has all the power, but she is being systematically conditioned to accept her role, her place. She doesn’t want to hurt the baby’s “real parents,” feels indebted to them, emotionally invested. She is soon convinced they are better than she is. She becomes “their birthmother.” It almost guarantees relinquishment.  READ Elle’s blog and new book THE TANGLED RED THREAD.  Or visit:

Read any and all posts at THE LIFE OF VON. (Von has since passed.)  Powerful WRITING!

In Blogland,  when your topic is adoption, you can never be free of trolls, extremists, zealots, fundamentalists, missionaries, the blinkered and the closed-minded. - (adoptee) Elizabeth Von Hughes

The number of excellent powerful blogs by adoptees and first parents (and even some APs) exploded in the past 15 years but there are far fewer now.

Helping to writing and publish four books about the Indian Adoption Projects and Programs and contributing to books like ADOPTIONLAND certainly changed me. And the Vance twins are doing a new anthology on Adoptionland and I have contributed (in 2021).

Back in 2014, #FliptheScript in November was brand new and really moved people - tweets and comments were flying everywhere, some good, some not so good. Discussion is still needed and the people who need to hear adoptees out are the ones we don't reach that well: ADOPTIVE PARENTS. They have their own fog to lift.

Last but not least: I am happily shocked this blog AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES reached over 1,600,000 million hits with 1800+ posts!  If that is any indication, times really are a changin’.  Thanks to all the people who comment and read and subscribe!

There are thousands of Lost Children/Adoptees who are Native American. They are still out there. I do hope they find this blog and reach out and contact me!

There are two things I hope to see for Lost Bird Adoptees: A class action lawsuit in the USA on behalf of those children who were taken from their tribes because of the gov't programs (IAP and ARENA) and admitting PUBLICLY it happened with a declaration of this FACT. 

(Canada is now doing this for the 60s Scoop adoptees.)

I never would have guessed my life would move in the direction it did. I want to thank those hundreds of adoptees and families who have inspired me so much over past 17+ years.

So what will the next 17 years be like? I don’t have a clue.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Wilfred Buck Tells The Story Of Mista Muskwa

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


You are not alone

You are not alone

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


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.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

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.

Google Followers