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Lost Children Book Series

Monday, June 24, 2013

ARENA: what came after the Indian Adoption Projects

Source: U.S. Children's Bureau, Child-Welfare Exhibits:  Types and Preparation, Miscellaneous Series, No. 4, Bureau Publication No. 14 (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1915).
Beginning in 1916, the U.S. Children's Bureau brought its baby-week campaign to thousands of cities, towns, and rural communities across the United States. The photograph above was taken during a baby-week celebration on an Indian reservation.
 

1958

Child Welfare League of America published Standards of Adoption Service (revised in 1968, 1973, 1978, 1988, 2000); Indian Adoption Project began.
 
The Adoption Resource Exchange of North America (ARENA), founded in 1966, was the immediate successor to the Indian Adoption Project. ARENA was the first national adoption resource exchange devoted to finding homes for hard-to-place children. It continued the practice of placing Native American children with white adoptive parents for a number of years in the early 1970s. (It's estimated some 20,000 children were removed from their First Nations families and sent to non-Native parents in the US.)
 
1966The National Adoption Resource Exchange, later renamed the Adoption Resource Exchange of North America (ARENA), was established as an outgrowth of the Indian Adoption Project.
 
Quote: ARNOLD LYSLO, DIRECTOR, INDIAN ADOPTION PROJECT 12/1962
Indian children have certain rights which are theirs by birthright. That is, they have rights of tribal enrollment if they meet the requirements for enrollment set up by the tribe. As tribal members they have the right to share in all the assets of the tribe which are distributed on a per capita basis. The actual as well as anticipated benefits of an Indian child adopted through our Project are furnished by the Secretary of Interior. The Secretary of Interior, through the superintendent of the Indian agency where the child is enrolled, has the right to approve or disapprove of any plan made for the distribution of funds belonging to an Indian child.
 
[Even though Lyslo said we have rights, we are still taken from our tribes and placed in non-Indian families - which is part and parcel of a genocide program. And maybe those non-Indian parents adopted us for the money we could earn as tribal members...Poverty was often cited as the reason for removal - so who caused the poverty?? - we know the answer... Trace]
 
 
It’s estimated that 18,000-20,000 First Nation, Inuit and Metis children were adopted or fostered to non-native homes from the 1960′s to the early 1980s. This came to be known as the 60′s scoop. Coleen Rajotte reports from Winnipeg about a Cree man returning home to Manitoba after 39 years away, and a young boy who benefited from new strategies in adoption to ensure that Aboriginal kids stay within their communities.

http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/8thfire/2012/01/hidden-colonial-legacy-the-60s-scoop.html

 

1978

Indian Child Welfare Act passed by Congress...

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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.

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