Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Family/Parenting, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2018-10-15 02:29Z by Steven

Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption

University of Nebraska Press
October 2018
352 pages
12 photographs
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0746-3
eBook (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-4962-1088-3
eBook (EPUB) ISBN: 978-1-4962-1086-9

Susan Devan Harness, Member
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Bitterroot

In Bitterroot Susan Devan Harness traces her journey to understand the complexities and struggles of being an American Indian child adopted by a white couple and living in the rural American West. When Harness was fifteen years old, she questioned her adoptive father about her “real” parents. He replied that they had died in a car accident not long after she was born—except they hadn’t, as Harness would learn in a conversation with a social worker a few years later.

Harness’s search for answers revolved around her need to ascertain why she was the target of racist remarks and why she seemed always to be on the outside looking in. New questions followed her through college and into her twenties when she started her own family. Meeting her biological family in her early thirties generated even more questions. In her forties Harness decided to get serious about finding answers when, conducting oral histories, she talked with other transracial adoptees. In her fifties she realized that the concept of “home” she had attributed to the reservation existed only in her imagination.

Making sense of her family, the American Indian history of assimilation, and the very real—but culturally constructed—concept of race helped Harness answer the often puzzling questions of stereotypes, a sense of nonbelonging, the meaning of family, and the importance of forgiveness and self-acceptance. In the process Bitterroot also provides a deep and rich context in which to experience life.

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He searched for his Japanese birth mother. He found her — and the restaurant she had named after him.

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2018-05-10 18:45Z by Steven

He searched for his Japanese birth mother. He found her — and the restaurant she had named after him.

The Washington Post
2018-05-08

Kathryn Tolbert


Bruce Hollywood with his mother, Nobue Ouchi. (Courtesy of Bruce Hollywood)

It began with a heart attack in the Pentagon parking lot in pre-dawn darkness. Air Force Col. Bruce Hollywood was on his way to work and found himself on the ground, thinking: “This is where it ends.”

Later, as he lay in the ambulance racing to Walter Reed Army Hospital, two regrets popped into his head. One was that he wouldn’t be able to help his son with his college applications. The other was that he never thanked the Japanese woman who gave birth to him, then gave him up for adoption in 1960.

Hollywood was adopted by an American couple who were stationed in Japan with the U.S. military and who could offer him a good life in America.

It took that heart attack in 2005 for Hollywood to set out to find his birth mother, something his adoptive mother, who had passed away, had repeatedly encouraged him to do. Before that, he said, he never felt something was missing. His adoption was not something he had reflected on much.

“I always knew I was adopted because I had Asian features and [my father] was an Irishman and [my mother] was a Norwegian lady,” said Hollywood, 57. “And they always told me, ‘…We picked you out special. So you’re even more special than everyone else.’”…

Read the entire article here.

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My Transracial Testimony

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2018-03-22 02:51Z by Steven

My Transracial Testimony

Chicago Now
2017-11-05

Doriana Markovitz

Bio: I am a biracial woman, but I identify as Black. My birthmother is what Puerto Ricans call Spanish. I was adopted by two white women when I was a week old. They later divorced. My Jewish mama, who gave me my last name Markovitz, remarried and adopted 2 more baby girls, later on, giving me siblings and ending my own unique child experience at 14. During that time, I swallowed a white liberal education for 9 years, until I was forced to puke it back up in the later years of my high school experience. This is my testimony, my hymnal, my stories, my life as a transracial adoptee.

I have been raised by many mothers; many women have poured themselves into me. I am the product of the multi-dimensionality of womanhood. I have only ever known that experience, the struggle, and hardship, while also the joy and the power that women can offer to one another and their children.

Three women have raised me — the mothers who adopted me, but also the woman who took me in when those two women fell out of love.

Motherhood lives inside my skin, but I am also motherless because there is a woman out there who I do not know, but whose body was my first home. I knew this from the time I could understand that the women who chose me did not look like me.

Their skin did not look like mine, their hair did not feel like mine, and their bodies were not shaped like mine. Even though I knew this, I felt safe inside that truth. I felt loved inside that truth until I couldn’t any longer…

Read the entire article here.

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Dr. Patton to speak in Germany

Posted in Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive on 2017-11-16 21:47Z by Steven

Dr. Patton to speak in Germany

Branding Iron: The UW Student Newspaper Online
2017-11-15

Courtney Kudera


(Photo courtesy of Dr. Tracey Patton) A picture of Dr. Tracey Patton standing on the UW campus.

Designing Modern Families: International Perspectives of Intercountry and Transracial Adoptions; this is the conference UW professor, Dr. Tracey Patton, has been asked to speak at in Germany beginning Friday, Nov. 17.

Patton is the co-author, in coordination with Sally Schedlock, of the work “Gender, Whiteness & Power in Rodeo: Breaking Away from the Ties of Sexism & Racism.” Patton is also a professor of communication here at UW.

…Patton commented on her own history in relation to the conferences’ topic. She has familial experience on the topic at hand.

As a first generation American on her mother’s side, Patton described her German heritage and the involvement in interracial and international adoptions, which affected up to 5,000 German children born during or after WWII.

From here, her research has had a national and transnational focus, working on the particular topic of interracial coupling and mixed-race children after WWII…

Read the entire article here.

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Shaping a child’s race identity: Black, white, or other?

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-05-17 01:28Z by Steven

Shaping a child’s race identity: Black, white, or other?

Chinook Observer
Long Beach, Washington
2017-05-09

Ruth Elaine Jutila Chamberlin


Lindsay Chamberlin was photographed near the time of her adoption. FAMILY PHOTO

We sat in straight chairs, waiting to meet our daughter. Burt held Jordan, age two, and Jamie, 13 months, while I jittered solo, eager to hold the baby. “Eager” doesn’t come close. I was afire. Atingle!

Here’s what we knew (no photos available): Eight months old. African-American/Irish-American. Foster child, next county. We wanted her! But were we, a white couple, the right parents for this child? Adoption workers would watch us interact with the baby and decide, yes or no.

The caseworker came in, carrying Lindsey (we’d already named her, hoping to adopt her). I was stunned! My imaginary Lindsey was a shy, pint-sized, brown-skinned baby. The real one was big for her age, light-skinned, calm, and forceful.

Lindsey was in charge of the meeting. She shot us piercing looks. Dear child! First she lost her birthmom, her familiar voice and heart rhythms. Lindsey grieved. Another mom took her. Everything changed. Lindsey grieved more. But she was brave. She learned to roll over, sit and creep, eat solid food, looking to that mom for praise and safety. Now SHE’S gone? NOT FAIR! No one asked ME!…

Read the entire article here.

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Returning to Korea

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Videos on 2017-04-30 02:03Z by Steven

Returning to Korea

KBS News
2017-04-04

Decades ago, many children born to Korean mothers and foreign fathers were adopted by families overseas. Now, a growing number of half-Korean adoptees are returning to Korea to find their birth mothers. Here are some of their stories…

Watch the entire story here.

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[Interview] If only parents gave DNA samples when they put children up for adoption

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2017-04-09 21:41Z by Steven

[Interview] If only parents gave DNA samples when they put children up for adoption

The Hankyoreh
2017-04-04

Kang Sung-man, Senior Staff writer


Bella Siegel-Dalton is a mixed-race adoptee who returned to South Korea after 51 years to look for her biological mother’s family. The big Korean letters on her shirt say, “Back in South Korea, my mother’s country.” (by Kang Sung-man, senior staff writer)

More Korean adoptees are organizing to search for their birth parents through DNA testing

Bella Siegel-Dalton is back in South Korea for the first time since being adopted by a family in the Napa Valley of northern California in 1966. When Bella Siegel-Dalton, 56, met a Hankyoreh reporter in a coffee shop on the first floor of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Apr. 1, her face was pallid. Because of kidney trouble, she needs to receive a transplant within two years. She’s also receiving chemotherapy after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Seven years ago, Siegel-Dalton identified her biological father in the US through DNA testing, but he had already passed away. During this trip to South Korea she says she wants to find her biological mother. “My 17-day trip to South Korea is challenging, so I’m gritting my teeth and hanging on. But it’s not painful, because this visit is so important to me,” she said.

Siegel-Dalton is a mixed-race adoptee who was born in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi Province, in 1961, to a South Korean woman and an American soldier. Her birth name was Lee Ji-sun. “My adoptive parents were really good people. My mother was an English teacher with a Master’s degree, while my father was a researcher for Shell Oil. They would sometimes let me try kimchi and listen to ‘Arirang’ so that I wouldn’t forget my memories of Korea,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

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Residential Racial Diversity: Are Transracial Adoptive Families More Like Multiracial or White Families?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United States on 2017-03-24 14:48Z by Steven

Residential Racial Diversity: Are Transracial Adoptive Families More Like Multiracial or White Families?*

Social Science Quarterly
Volume 97, Issue 5 (November 2016)
Pages 1189–1207
DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12242

Rose M. Kreider, Chief
Fertility and Family Statistics Branch
Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division
United States Census Bureau, Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Raleigh, Associate Professor of Sociology
Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota

*The views expressed on statistical and methodological issues are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Census Bureau. Doctors Kreider and Raleigh contributed equally to this publication.

  • Objective: The purpose of this article is to examine whether and how the residential racial diversity of transracially adopted children (i.e., nonwhite children adopted by white parents) varies from those of biological children in white monoracial families and biological children in mixed-race families.
  • Method: Using the restricted access 2009 American Community Survey, we take advantage of the large number of adoptive families not only to investigate differences among these families, but also to explore whether racial socialization within transracial adoptive families varies by the race and nativity of the child.
  • Results: We show that the context of racial socialization for transracially adopted children is more similar to that of white children in monoracial families than that of children in mixed race families.
  • Conclusion: This article adds a quantitative, nationally representative picture of the context of racial socialization for specific groups of transracially adopted children, complementing existing research published in this area.

Read or purchase the article here.

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When Black is not the only colour

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-02-22 21:07Z by Steven

When Black is not the only colour

50.50: inclusive democracy
open democracy
2017-02-20

Kamila Zahno
Haringey, London, United Kingdom


Kamila and her ‘slightly coloured’ siblings in the 1960s.

Too Black for the adoption agencies but not Black enough for the political campaigners.  On growing up an adoptee of mixed heritage in Britain.

Times have changed. When I was a child in sixties’ Britain there was no Jessica Ennis, Jackie Kay, Chuka Umunna or Lewis Hamilton. Mixed heritage role models were thin on the ground: we saw film stars like Merle Oberon, or singers such as Bob Marley, but I can’t remember seeing any British role models. Now people of mixed parentage are everywhere, although it was not until the 2001 Census that we became ‘official’.  In that year there were 677,177 of us.  By 2020 it is estimated that 1.24 million people in the UK will be of mixed parentage.

In the fifties when I was born, unmarried pregnant women were encouraged to give their babies up for adoption. I, along with my three siblings, was one of them.  However, the adoption agency files revealed what a headache we posed to them.  We were not adoption material.  ‘Baby is slightly coloured and adoption is impossible’ was the phrase written in my sister Ellen’s adoption papers.

We were all different ethnicities: our fathers from Asia or Africa, our mothers white. My mother was a young Swiss au pair working in London; my father an Indian engineering student. How they met I shall never know but I liked to think about them learning to jive at the Hammersmith Palais

Read the entire article here.

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Raising My Black Son

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-22 21:56Z by Steven

Raising My Black Son

Brian, Child: the magazine for thinking mothers
2016-08-09

Suanne Schafer

Twenty years ago, I adopted an interracial child—I’ll call him M—thinking a mother’s love could overcome all barriers, even racial ones. Twenty years later, I’m not sure I did my son any favors. I’m a white mom trying to figure out how to raise a black child in a hostile—and potentially lethal—environment.

M came up for adoption during my fourth year of medical school, the unwanted love child of a sixteen-year-old white mother and a black seventeen-year-old father. Unable to take her mixed-race baby home to her blue-collar family, the young woman kept her pregnancy secret from everyone except her mother then gave the baby up for adoption.

My family was tickled to have a grandchild, whatever his color…

Read the entire article here.

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