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Monday, August 4, 2014

Ensure children stay with blood relatives #ICWA

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Tribe makes changes to children’s code

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal members are celebrating a change in one of its codes to help ensure that children stay with blood relatives.
Tribal Spokesman Frank Cloutier said Friday that changes to the “Title II Children’s Code,” made by the Indian Child Welfare Committee, are more in line with the Tribe’s traditional culture and values.
Calling the changes progressive steps so Tribal families won’t have to rely on traditional Western culture, Cloutier said the Tribal Council hopes the changes will be the model that other Native American communities use as a template for causing positive change in their communities and memberships.
In general, Cloutier said, Native communities have never had opportunities for children to stay with extended families rather than foster care in circumstances where children are removed from their parent’s homes.
Changes to the children’s code include issues regarding adoption, child abuse, detention shelter care facilities, foster care and child care licensing.
Passed by Congress in 1978, the “Indian Child Welfare Act” was created to remedy the problem of a disproportionately large number of Native children being placed out of their homes.
Cloutier said that typically amounted to foster homes without regard to the child’s extended family.
Indian Child Welfare Committee Chair Faith Pego-Carmona said the law recognized “that there is no resource...more vital to the continued existence and integrity of Indian tribes than their children.”
Non-Native agencies had failed “to recognize the essential tribal relations of Indian people and the culture and social standards prevailing in Indian communities and families,” Pego-Carmona said, adding that the Indian Child Welfare Committee recognizes the importance of the federal act.
Cloutier said the changes are wonderful for Tribal members and that they solidify Native family values.

[We need more codes like this across Indian Country...Trace]

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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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