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Standing Rock

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How much I changed after #BABYVERONICA (Part One)

By Trace DeMeyer (aka Trace Lara Hentz) (I'm dropping my adoptee name)

I started this blog in 2009! How little I knew then. I tried to write a regular post about the subject of adoption, my own experience of search and reunion, my learning curve, what I hated about the billion dollar adoption industry, and the history I was finding about the Indian Adoption Projects and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), all of it. I looked at books, academic papers, everything I could find.

First I had to learn Google Blogger then I did as the marketers suggest: use social media and share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter to get new readers. (Thank you all for reading and adding me to your networks!)

I met many adoptees after my memoir One Small Sacrifice came out. These Native American adoptees needed to tell their stories which lead to the first anthology TWO WORLDS.

Then along came a little girl named Veronica. I was utterly changed. To think a mother would (and did) adopt out her infant (when the baby had a young Cherokee dad who was not notified), I really thought this was an odd phenomena. This was not something that happens now. It's not the 50s, 60s or early 70s! We have the Indian Child Welfare Act, even it was passed in 1978. This was not supposed to happen!

What would make a mother do this? Money was all I could think or possibly revenge. (Even if this was a supposedly open adoption, Veronica's Cherokee dad wasn't in the picture and she was not adoptable since that is a violation of federal law!)

Veronica is a Cherokee child. We see how Veronica was ensnared in the racketeering industry called adoption.  Veronica was sold! We really don't know how the Nightlight Adoption Agency circumvented ICWA but they did. Veronica was moved across state lines and the tribe was not notified correctly. All this smelled rotten to me.

I know about the Supreme Court case and I know that Indians don't win cases but come on! This is a child who is not with her tribe or her own family because her non-Indian mother adopted her out? How does this happen in this century when there is a federal law that was enacted to prevent this?

Well, this case was my wake up call. And there are other cases where evidently ICWA is not being adhered to, even if it is federal law. WHY? Indians can live anywhere and do. You can find a Lakota or Inuit in Los Angeles or Miami or Dallas.  We have judges and social workers in cities everywhere asking how can this be? If the mother (or father) is Lakota or Inuit, shouldn't they be in South Dakota or Alaska? NO!

These authority figures learned as little as I did about Indians in school. If they know so little, they shouldn't even be allowed to handle a case with an Indian child. If they haven't been to an Indian reservation, they should recuse themselves from any case involving an Indian family.

What they don't know is dangerous. This is how children will slip through like Veronica did. And that is not supposed to happen with ICWA.

Indians are still living here in the USA! 

(to be continued)


1 comment:

  1. You are right on to something and if you can jump right in the middle of this needle in the haystack they started so they can hide the children being of American Native indains well that sounds like beurocay right ,their is some one -you cannot be alone in this ,what about having and I don't know how they work but back in the day indains so smart they had concils I heard called Pow Wows.Forgive me dear but I care for your rights so bad I want so to help if I could but I know one thing dear Trace ,when life throws you a curve ball and somehow you could not catch it as in your friend about baseball anyway You must relax no matter ,go out of the hose away from the computer but take a note pad -breate hard until your dizzy then ,lay or lean back on a tree or bench somewhere close to home but a peaceful spot and let go of Trace ,we did this before but please this time for real as this is so vital to us all and you might have the key and just not know where it goes,not made up.be back,Bird time Not finished yet have a tiny bit of patience as this is enough to make you tense up for real and that's so normal because you are trying to find it for Veronicas Daddy and after all is free as they have done a great treaty breaker if you will way above the law so you are on the path,so let me help ,take what you need and throw away what you don't -I am on your side my dear friend <3

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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.

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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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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.

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