Essay published in High Country News – Adoption Didn’t Solve the “Indian Problem”

During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, American Indian children were placed with white families at a phenomenal rate.  By 1974, approximately 30% American Indian children were removed from their American Indian families and placed with non-Indian families.  Neglect was cited most often, a vague term that was responsible for changing the lives of Indian children, […]

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Adoption and Suicide

No one wants to talk about suicide.  But NO one wants to talk about adoption and suicide.  Because, as Judith Modell writes in her book A Sealed and Secret Kinship: the culture of Policies and Practices in American Adoption (2002),  “Adoption is a benign, pleasurable and apparently uneventful event–except to those who are involved.”   I’ve heard […]

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Bitterroot – Interview by Deborah Kalb

Last September I spoke with author, editor and blogger, Deborah Kalb.  It was the first interview I had done regarding the writing of Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption, and it was eye-opening for me.  I’d finished writing the book, but I had not spent a lot of time reflecting on it; after three years […]

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Colonization and Adoption – A History

This first appeared in Gazillion Voices, November 2014, Issue 16 Recently, after giving a presentation on American Indian Transracial adoption, I was asked a question.   “Where do you think you’d be now if you hadn’t been adopted?” Without pausing, the man who asked the question answered for me.  “I bet you wouldn’t be giving presentations […]

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Being Indian – A Memory

THE AMERICAN WEST is stunningly beautiful.  Its images, quilted together, form a landscape that can be brought to mind with the aroma of pine that stings my nostrils, the feel of soil between my fingers, the sound of a waterfall or the taste of chokecherry jelly that Mom used to make in August.  To me, everything […]

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Adoption Researchers, Take Note…

My response to Daniel Ibn Zayd’s  (of Transracialeyes.com blog fame) query regarding recruitment advertising for transracial adoption research.     As a researcher who has studied “us”, I would like to weigh in.  I, as an American Indian transracial adoptee, wanted to study us because no one was talking about our experiences.  As transracial adoptees we […]

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The Challenges of Reunion…

A friend of mine asked if I would ever be interested in helping adoptees search for their birth-families, or assist in some way an adoptee’s return home.  Or perhaps I could work with them to understand the difficulties and challenges that lie ahead for them once they make that decision.  However, how do you tell […]

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