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Sunday, January 12, 2014

New anthology planned for Native adoptees


CALLED HOME (2014) will document new adoption journeys

Adoptee-journalist Trace A. DeMeyer has announced that she is collecting narratives and essays from Native adoptees who are not yet in reunion and those in reunion for a brand new anthology to be published in 2014 . The deadline for submissions is APRIL 15, 2014.  Her friend and fellow adoptee Patricia Busbee has signed on as co-editor.

DeMeyer was introduced to Cherokee adoptee Patricia Busbee by mutual friends, and they collaborated on their first anthology, “TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects,” which launched on Amazon and Kindle in 2012. (ISBN: 978-1479318285, Price: $16.95 (PAPERBACK), $6.99 (EBOOK). The lost children (adoptees) in this anthology share intimate details of their personal lives, their search for identity and family, and their feelings about what happened to them.

After generations of Native children were forcibly removed from their Tribes and placed in residential boarding schools in North America, thousands upon thousands of Native children were also being placed in closed adoptions with non-Indian families.  Finding these children became non-stop detective work for DeMeyer who started research in 2005 which culminated in her memoir “One Small Sacrifice” in 2010.  (An updated second edition was published in 2012.)

“Because of both books, I get emails from new adoptees almost every day. I explain about the history of the Indian Adoption Projects and its successor ARENA and how it was unofficially ethnic cleansing via adoption assimilation, condoned and paid for by the US and Canadian governments and several churches who operated programs to facilitate these adoptions,” DeMeyer said. “Many times the adoptee tells me how they felt very isolated and alone but could not share their need to search with their adoptive family. I tell them about my search and reunion, offer my help and introduce them to search angels.”

Both DeMeyer and Busbee agree that publishing “TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects” was an important contribution to American Indian history but even more of this history needs to be published.  Their book has been chosen by Brock University in Canada for its BROCK READS program in 2014. Patricia and Trace will be at Brock on March 25, 2014 to do a book talk and panel with some of the Two Worlds contributors.  They hope more universities will use it as part of their curriculum.

DeMeyer said, “Very little is known or published on our history. Many of these adoptees were children (not all were babies) and many were not orphaned but simply removed. We know states in the East were used as destinations to remove children from the midwest and west -- very far away to make it difficult or next to impossible to find tribal family. With sealed adoption files, it’s a miracle many of them succeed at all.”

Their first book covers the history of Indian child removals across the US and Canada, the adoption projects, their impact on Indian Country and how it impacts the adoptee and their families, Congressional testimony, quotes, news and several narratives from adoptees in the US and Canada in the 375-page anthology.

The second anthology will include updates from adoptees in their first book. For those still searching, adoptees can publish their photo and birth information.

“I encourage adoptees who have not found their tribal relatives to submit as much as they know, so we can help them find their families and help them have a successful reunion. That is our goal with this new book,” DeMeyer said about the new anthology CALLED HOME.  “Watching the Baby Veronica saga, we hope that more Americans will understand the impact of the Indian Adoption Projects and ARENA Programs, and how the Indian Child Welfare Act was made federal law in 1978 because of our removals.  Adoptees born prior to ICWA lived through it and need to share their astonishing stories of survival.”

Contact: Trace A. DeMeyer, 413-258-0115 (message)
Send submissions and questions to tracedemeyer@yahoo.com (email)

3 comments:

  1. This website is God sent. Its so amazing to know that your not alone in this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tanesha, thank you for finding us!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Trace for playing a key part in helping me find my biological family and for the wonderful opportunity to tell my story in your new book! God Bless you and all the work you do to help give many native adoptees have a voice!

    God Bless You!

    ReplyDelete

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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.

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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.

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