Native American Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories


native_american123.jpgNative American Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories is the work of two researchers, Rita J. Simon and Rachel Hernandez, who sought to present the stories of American Indians who had been reared in non- Native homes. The book is a collection of interviews given by adults ages twenty-five to fifty-nine.While none those interviewed seem to embrace the tragedy of a “lost bird”, none claim to have been left wholly intact by the experience of transracial adoption. A book stands as a correction to a little known study conducted over thirty-six years ago by sociologist David Fanchell. In 1972, when Fanchell published his study of transracial adoption and American Indian children, none but adoptive parents were ever interviewed.That study points back to the Indian Adoption Project, an undertaking of the Child Welfare League of America (and aided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs)as an effort at promoting the adoption of Native children by placing them into White homes. Fanchell used the project as an opportunity to conduct a study of transracial adoption. Thousands more children would be adopted in the years that followed the project, and the impetus for transracial adoption movement would go unchallenged until the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978.The individuals whose stories are collected in this book were not adopted under the Indian Adoption Project but their stories are among some of the first stories to be published since the inception of the Project in 1957. – Review by Melissa Olson