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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Broken Circle: What is an orphan?

Adoption was invented for orphans, children who lost their parents and needed immediate attention and help - to save their lives literally. The family circle was broken with the death of parents.
Children were orphans because there were no other relatives to care for them.
We know how "adoption" created new families for these orphans. That makes sense - it was a safety net.

Ask yourself:  how is the word orphan to be interpreted today?
In the Third World and Indian Country, those places on Earth where the most destitute live in poverty, an orphan is not necessarily without parents: some of these children are without necessities: food, water, medicine and clothing.
We know Americans will rescue the child but not their parent. Americans will call these children orphans. Is that true? Is it not selfish for an American to choose a child over the parent of that child?
Are Americans OK with separating that child from their parent via closed adoption?
The numbers of adoptees (7-10 million) today answers that question - yes.

In Indian Country kinship adoption means an orphaned child is raised with an auntie, grandparent or other relative.  Families remain intact and the child will not lose their family, language or their culture.
America's closed adoption model for Indians was purely destructive, severing a child's contact with culture, language and tribal kin, erasing their sovereign membership and their treaty rights. A few Americans involved in the Indian Adoption Projects have apologized, so we know they admit they did this heinous thing.
Can you imagine - Native children (thousands!) removed by the Indian Adoption Projects for the sole purpose of destroying families and tribal nations? It happened and yes, it was devastating.

America still places a stranglehold on Indian people with its judgement of us. This has gone on many years. Every treaty that was made was broken; all because American leaders wanted to secure more land and what was on those lands (minerals, water and food).
Plot after plot, year after year, you see the American government screwing Indians and stealing from tribes, or turning us against one another, one way or the other.
It's about control. It's about creating poverty and making us fight each other over scraps. This America goverment does not want us to be united in our struggle. They'd prefer us fighting each other over what little we're lucky enough to be granted or given by them.
A Northern Cheyenne friend said they start a fire in your front yard so you don't know what they are doing in your backyard.  They divert our attention this way, and have used it many times successfully.
That is why states historically do not deal with Indians - only the federal government. This is supposed to mean the feds are more fair or the feds have a better grasp of treaties and history - yet they control us with their beauracy, laws and delays.

Fast forward. Do you see American kids being sent to Africa or Russia for adoption? No.
Americans are the biggest adopter in all the world.  It's their savior complex. Americans believe they offered a better life for Indians, International and Third World adoptees.
As an adoptee, it was real pain for me. I cannot grasp how deep that pain went or my confusion and fear when my mother disappeared after I was born. She never returned.  Eventually I stopped crying. I blanked out the hurt yet that deep pain reached into every aspect of my life. It took many years for me to step into the circle and rejoin my relatives... My mother was not dead but I was orphaned.

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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.

60s Scoop Adoptee

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.

on Facebook

Mark Hagland on Transracial Adoption

Here is a thought that I've been feeling the need to express for a long time, both in this group and in our TRA 101 group (where I have just posted this same post). White parents: the extent to which you refuse to listen to the voices of adult transracial adoptees and other people of color, based on their lived experiences, is also the extent to which you will prove deaf to the pleas (spoken and unspoken) of your own children of color. And those of you who absolutely and steadfastly refuse to listen to our voices, will find years from now that you've missed tremendous opportunities to truly hear your own children's voices--again, unspoken as much as spoken--but it will be too late to do anything about the missed opportunities. When we adult transracial adoptees and other people of color share in this group, in TRA 101, and in other forums around transracial adoption, it is a gift that we offer freely to you. Please consider that some of what you might perceive as "harsh truths" are simply our sharing with you glimpses into our own lived experiences--which will be the lived experiences of your own children. A gift is a gift even if it doesn't come from Tiffany's and isn't diamonds wrapped in silk. Thank you for reading and considering this!

Three Books on Lost Birds


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