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.

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/AmericanIndianAdoptees

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

Standing Rock

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What was in My Adoption File (part 2)

my amended birth certificate (the fake)
What is in "My Adoption File" (Part 2 - How to Open an Adoption)

For the past weeks, I have been doing research on how to open an adoption; it hit me that there are adoptees who will face the same situation I did. When I found my "maternal source," my natural mother Helen, she refused to talk with me or meet me. I was not able to hear her side of the story. I did get an unsigned letter back that said, “Do not contact me again” and she explained her current husband did not know about me.

This took me a full year to grasp and grieve; I was in therapy in Seattle at the time which helped. Honestly, I was too shocked to even think clearly or know what to do next. Eventually I wrote to Helen again and demanded the name of my father, and she complied and sent me his name.

How does any adoptee not take this personally? It is rejection and it hurts. I tried to think about her feelings and what was going on then. I tried to imagine how Helen felt at age 22 when faced with a missing fiancé (my father) and the bulge in her body that was me.

In 2010, I decided to get a copy of my adoption file so I could read the social worker’s report on Helen and what details Helen told them. Last fall I paid $50 bucks for a court order to release a copy of my Wisconsin adoption file. Wisconsin mailed me a copy.

Let me explain what is in my adoption file:

1 - State of Wisconsin Order for Hearing and Investigation, where my adoptive parents petition in writing to adopt me: Laura Jean Thrall and the court ordered Catholic Welfare Agency of Superior, Wisconsin and the State of Wisconsin to investigate, as required by law. Odd this happened on June 5, 1958 – I was born Sept. 9, 1956. I was living in "Legal Limbo."

2 – The letter to my parent’s lawyer from the Wisconsin State Supervisor of Adoptions, Division for Child and Youth who wrote, “According to our incomplete record, it appears this child was committed permanently to the Catholic Child Welfare Bureau and that agency placed this child in this home (DeMeyer in March 1957). If that is true, no action is necessary on the State Dept. of Public Welfare. We are sure that if our assumption is incorrect, the agency will so notify us and appropriate action of the state dept. can be taken upon receipt of the investigator’s report.” Dated June 9, 1958.  ALSO in my file, the state of Wisconsin sent a letter to the Judge in Superior, Wisc. acknowledging the date of my adoption hearing: June 24, 1958. The investigator was the Catholic Welfare Agency who had complete control of me. Seven months of my early life, I was living in one of their Catholic foster homes.

3- Report: Movements of Child while Under Care: Catholic Infant Home, Foster Care in Superior (with their name and address) and Foster-Adoptive Home (DeMeyer). First Baptism: 9-18-56 (requested by my mother Helen) and a New Baptismal Certificate was issued on 2-21-1964. Wow – Catholics get this done quick and recorded. Up on the top of the form is Legal Status: Illegitimate and Mother’s Name: Helen Thrall. My Birthplace: St. Paul, MN. In my adoption file is the signed “Certificate of Baptism, Cathedral of St. Paul,” listing my adoptive parents and my new name! It is signed by Rev. Barr and dated March 10, 1959 when in fact I had been baptized in Sept. 1956. This falsified baptismal certificate and my amended birth certificate are two fake documents made to hide my adoptee status – in case my parents decide not to tell me I am adopted.

4- Hospital Discharge Report: The Physical Record of Mother. She was admitted to the Catholic Infant Home on May 23, 1956. Her home address is in Chicago, IL. She delivered on 9-9-56. She stayed in the hospital 5 days until 9-14-56. Children living: One. (This is the proof Helen had already had a child who was also given up for adoption before me!) Delivery: Normal, spontaneous (Helen had an lml episiotomy with no complications). On 5-25-56, Helen’s blood work: Her RH factor was positive. Helen was allergic to penicillin. No Sauk Vaccine given. (I am also allergic to penicillin.) ALSO: The Child (me) Physical Report: full-term, 10 lbs., 3 oz., 21 ½ in., Head Circumference 14” and Chest Circumference 14 ½ in. I was discharged from the hospital on 9-26-1956 as a normal female infant. Social Worker: Miss Underhill.

5- Catholic Infant Home Report – Their Address, Nurse: Sister Enid, Physical Exam at Birth and Physical Exam on Discharge from Hospital to Infant Home, 2 doctors signed. Feeding: Similac every 4 hours. (Obviously no breast milk for me!)

6- Medical Exam (Infant to Two Years, Wisconsin Child Center) – Laura Jean Thrall in Foster Care, General physical: Ok with Mild eczema on face. March 12, 1957.

7- Medical Exam – July 15, 1957 – now named Tracy DeMeyer, General Development: Normal and lists all the various immunizations and vaccines I had. (My adoptive mother told me I was covered in rashes and bald on the back of my head when they got me.)

8- State of Juvenile Court, Vilas Country, Wisconsin, Parental Consent to Termination of Parental Rights, dated December 5, 1956. Miss Alverna Underhill (social worker) is the witness. "Father’s consent is not necessary In case of illegitimate child." Signed by my mother Helen Thrall.

9- Leo Block, Director of Catholic Welfare Agency appears before Judge Robert Curran on May 28, 1958, in the matter of Adoption of Laura Jean Thrall and Mr. Block consents to my adoption on this legal form. Block’s reason for consent: for the best interest of the child.

10 – Form letter: Request to the State of Minnesota Dept. of Public Welfare on April 9, 1958, states that Catholic Welfare Agency needs a copy of my birth record to be used as proof of birth to protect the interest of this child at the time of placement of adoption. Required fee enclosed $1.00. Signed Jean Johnson, Supervisor Protection Unit. Certified Photostat April 16, 1958 sent to Social Worker Miss Underhill.

11- Copy of Investigation, submitted by Catholic Welfare Agency, done March 17, 1957 through May 28, 1958 to the County Court in Wisconsin. Describes The Child (me) and Mother of Child (Helen). INFORMATION NECESSARY FOR CHANGING BIRTH CERTIFICATE in bold type. This is the story I wanted – all the details and dates. Helen had moved to Chicago in 1952 and dated my dad, Earl. (Helen doesn’t say they were living together but they were.) In April 1956, she goes home to Minocqua, Wisconsin because she realized she is four months pregnant. Five months pregnant, she and her mother go back to Chicago to place charges against the alleged father. They were unable to locate him. Then Helen desires to go to a maternity home near her home and they decide her mother will drop Helen off in Milwaukee at St. Mary’s on her drive home. Instead they choose the St. Paul (Minnesota) Catholic Infant Home because it is a work home. May 25, 1956: “Helen is using her own name at the Maternity Home as she saw no necessity for further protection…. This was her first physical exam and the doctors felt that she was further along and at least six months pregnant….Helen stated that she is very anxious to get out into a work home as soon as possible and was concerned she would now have one less month to work towards her expenses. She had no money saved and said her family would help as much as possible but she did not want to ask this of them. She wondered how soon she would have to pay her expenses at the Maternity Home. (It doesn’t say how much money they charged her.) She was told that if we (Catholic Charities) could be certain that she would repay us as soon as she returned to work, we (Catholic Charities) would pay her bill at the maternity home and she could repay us in small amounts. This seemed to be a great relief to Helen. …She was uncertain about plans for her expected child and it was apparent she was very desirous of keeping the child is possible. She thought she would return home briefly after her confinement but would have to leave home very soon in order to find work. Helen was told that we could assist her with temporary plans for her baby for six weeks, during which time she could return home and make her final decision… Helen was with the alleged father for several months and has been under the impression he intended to marry her. She seemed to feel that if she could talk to him, they could work things out. He suddenly left his job in Chicago. She heard through others that he’d returned home.” (The next page of the microfilm was missing.) My first months, Helen’s life, and my adoptive parents life and their desire to adopt me, was revealed on four typed pages.

This is what to expect in an adoption file: documents, reports, letters, stories, arrangements, explanations, descriptions, maybe even a Baptismal Certificate, places and dates. Every adoptee needs this.

I know that Helen was not rejecting me but rather wanting to give me a better life. I can see her struggle. I can live well knowing the truth.

(I will be travelling and taking a break from my blog for a few weeks. Enjoy what is left of summer everyone! Please use the Google Search to look up topics and news on this blog….Trace)

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.

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.

Three Years already

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

Customer Review

Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

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