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.


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

‘Oh my God. You’re my son’: B.C. mom reunited with son 50 years after Sixties Scoop

A DNA test and Facebook groups helped an Indigenous man taken from his parents finally find his biological family.

Warning: This story deals with sensitive subject matter. If you are experiencing emotional distress and want to talk, free counselling and crisis intervention services are available at 1-855-242-3310, or at

Donald Fales had been waiting a lifetime to meet his birth parents after he was taken from them as a baby

Fales was among thousands of Indigenous children, who between the 1960s and 1980s, faced mass removal from their families into Canada’s child welfare system in what became known as the 'Sixties Scoop.'

A few years ago, a close acquaintance suggested Fales consider applying for the Sixties Scoop Settlement, which provided compensation for people who were separated by adoption from their biological parents, often done without the consent of their families or bands.

“Once I found out that I was part of that, it kind of flipped everything upside down that I knew about my adoption and just started moving forward with it all,” he says. 

Fales always knew something was missing in his life.

Since he was 16 years old, he has wondered who his biological parents were. At 50, he finally came face-to-face with his mother in a powerful reunion. 

“It was extremely emotional,” he says thinking back to the day. “I spent all my lifetime pretty much looking for these answers and waiting."

At just three months old, Fales was taken from his parents and put into foster care. 

“I never had that experience of watching your parents drive away or dropping you off and never coming back. I don’t remember any of that part of it,” he says. “So I’m lucky in that way."

Fales was adopted in Prince Rupert at about one year old and shortly after moved to Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Legally, his adoptive mother had to go through the Supreme Court of Canada when he was six years old and he says this is how he uncovered his birth name.

“I knew I was from Kitkatla (Gitxaala Nation) because my mother registered me through Indian status at the time of birth,” Fales said. 

He had a starting point with his band and began connecting the dots by speaking to people and trying to make further family connections.  Fales chatted with people through Facebook groups, trying to find leads.  Ultimately, he decided to take a DNA test through Ancestry DNA which confirmed his relatives. 

His mother was from the Kitkatla Band, a small village located 45 kilometres southwest of Prince Rupert that can only be accessed by float plane or boat.  His father was from the Haisla Band located in Kitimat. 

Fales soon learned that at birth his given name had been Donald Albert Stewart — his middle and last names handed to him from his grandfather and father, respectively.

An emotional reunion with his mother

On New Year’s Day, Fales received the phone number of a woman who was possibly his mother. 

"I called her and just explained the story and the names that I had,” he says. “It was just pretty surreal.”

Fales remembers the woman responding with “Oh my god. You’re my son” — words he had spent most of his adult life searching and waiting to hear. 

“After I got off the phone with her. I just crumbled. I broke down,” he says. 

The pair kept chatting on the phone over the following days, sharing stories and planning a day to meet in person in February 2023.

An emotional video he filmed captures their heart-wrenching reunion.  Fales shared the video on social media, which has since been viewed more than 2.2 million times. 

“It was extremely emotional and just everything seems so surreal,” he recalls. “You wait a lifetime to make these connections and when you do make them, it doesn't seem real.”

When his mother opened her arms to hug him, she broke down. 

“I always wondered what happened to you my son,” he says. “It broke my heart to hear her say those words.”

Fales has four biological brothers and one sister. The mother, who lost all of her children during the Sixties Scoop period, has now reconnected with all of them, according to Fales.

Unfortunately, Fales's father died before the two got to be reunited.  

“It's just extremely emotional, extremely powerful, and a lifetime of emotions just kind of flooding out of you,” he says. 

Healing after all these years 

Fales has spent three years on a healing journey as a way to cope with learning that he was taken from his biological parents. 

“It took a little while to find a proper way to speak about it and deal with my feelings of knowing that I was taken from my family and not giving up,” he says. 

His journey of finding his biological parents has been long, but he says it’s been worth every step. He now lives in Edmonton, Alta., and is married with two children.

"I can see all the likenesses and see where some of the looks and everything comes from, so it's been pretty amazing,” he says. 

Both of his children have encouraged him to reconnect with his biological mother and other family members.

“They’ve always been pretty receptive with pushing me into looking a little bit more and being supportive of me,” he says. 

Fales has since travelled to meet his biological father’s family in Haisla and across Northern B.C. He travelled to where his father is buried in Kitimat, B.C., and says he has spent time learning about his culture.

“It was totally amazing to be welcomed in by everybody and learn about all the different cultures, different songs, dances. It was a huge part that just kind of filled my heart with everything that I was looking for,” Fales says.

He hopes that other people will hear his story and consider reaching out to find out about their own cultures.

“Don’t give up,” he says. “If it’s not finding biological parents, just connect with your culture.” 

He added that finding his parent's First Nation cultures have answered many questions.

“It's been a blessing to just have the reception that I've had to both my mother's side on my father's side of their communities, and as well as the support that I've got from my adoptive parents as well,” he says. 

If you were adopted and want to learn about your biological origins and cultural heritage, there is a way to obtain adoption records. For more information about eligibility and how to access adoption records in B.C., visit this website.

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.

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