How to Use this Blog

Howdy! 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.

ALSO, if you buy any of the books at the links provided, 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... The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

2017: 3/4 million Visitors/Readers! This blog was ranked #49 in top 100 blogs about adoption. Let's make it #1...

Search This Blog

Lost Children Book Series

Accept nothing less

Friday, April 29, 2011

Canada's Adoption History (Oxford Companion)


archive photo
The Oxford Companion to Canadian History
ADOPTION:   Child adoption, both customary and legislative, has left few families untouched in pre- and post-contact Canada.
Although 'adoption' has been commonly used to describe the customary exchange of orphans and non-orphans among kin and non-kin, neither civil nor common law originally provided for the legal transfer of parental rights.
Massachusetts broke with Western tradition, inaugurating the first modern adoption law in 1851.
New Brunswick passed Canada's first modest legislation in 1873; Nova Scotia followed in 1896.
Customary adoption - that without formal legal recognition or protection - nevertheless remained commonplace among both Native and non-Native Canadians.
Canada's most famous orphan, Anne of Green Gables, was typical: her status in the Cuthbert family was never legally confirmed.
The unhappy experience of many British 'home children' - brought to Canada in a form of imperial 'rescue' by groups like the Barnardo and Miss Rye Homes, and supposedly 'adopted' by Canadians - gave ample proof that youngsters needed protection.
As part of efforts to protect children from economic and sexual exploitation and to shore up the heterosexual, nuclear, and middle-class family type that was believed to be optimal for child rearing, provinces in the 20th century increasingly employed adoption legislation: PEI 1916, BC 1920, Ontario 1921, Saskatchewan and Manitoba 1922, Alberta 1923, Quebec 1924, Newfoundland 1940.
Ontario soon demanded sealed records and judicial permission for access to records. This commitment to confidentiality marked an influential policy shift in the nation as a whole. Growing determination, rooted in the optimism of 20th-century behaviouralist sciences, to sever adoptees from their past has been summed up by Canadian scholar David Kirk as 'rejection of difference.'
This preference climaxed in 1957, when British Columbia eliminated the right of property inheritance from the biological family. Birth mothers were commonly stigmatized as psychologically immature or worse. Social workers and policy-makers argued that everyone in the 'adoption triangle' - which included birth mother, adoptee, and adoptive parents, but notably not the birth father - should move on with their lives as if the child had been born to the new family.
With the creation of Montreal's Open Door Society to assist Black children's adoption by white families, the 1950s also introduced Kirk's 'acknowledgement of difference' approach to adoption.
By the 1970s, with the Supreme Court's decree that Native adoptees retained Indian status and with lobbying by groups like AWARE (Awareness to World Adoption and Responsibility to Everyone) for international adoptions, Canadians became more willing to acknowledge, even retain, links to original communities.
Growing recognition of the devastating impact of the 1960s Scoop that brought thousands of Native youngsters into white homes further undermined resistance to adoptees' knowledge of birth histories, just as it raised questions about the shortcomings of cross-cultural adoption.
Silence was further shattered by the adoptee movement, heralded by American Jean Paton's influential The Adopted Break Silence (1954 ).
By 1974 Parent Finders operated in Vancouver and by 1988 BC produced a passive Adoption Reunion registry.
By the 1990s Chinese, Romanian, and Latin American adoptees, among others, made nonsense of earlier insistence on confidentiality and secrecy. In an era where domestic violence was increasingly recognized, the ideal of the nuclear family was also scrutinized more critically and various family forms were more likely to be recognized as legitimate for child rearing.
BC always officially permitted adoption by unmarried women and men.
New Brunswick's belated extension of this right to would-be single parents in 1987 reflected changed attitudes.
By the 1990s, lesbian and gay singles and couples had begun to win the right to adopt. By the 21st century, debates about adoption, of whom and by whom, were one way that Canadians confronted shifts in both family and national ideals and realities.

                      Written by Veronica Strong-Boag: "Adoption"  The Oxford Companion to Canadian History. Ed. Gerald Hallowell. Oxford University Press, 2004.  Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press


[thanks to UMASS-Amherst College Student Bridget for this important history.]

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.

Across North America

Every. Day.

Every. Day.
adoptees take back adoption narrative and reject propaganda

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.

Join!

National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCWN)

Membership Application Form

The Network is open to all Indigenous and Foster Care Survivors any time.

The procedure is simple: Just fill out the form HERE.

Source Link: NICWSN Membership

Read this SERIES

Read this SERIES
click image

ADOPTION TRUTH

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.

Our Fault? (no)

Leland at Goldwater Protest

#defendicwa

A photo posted by defendicwa (@defendicwa) on