via Fightforthefuture.org

PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the net, in the name of protecting “creativity”. The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites– they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.”

The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year — that’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.


Description:LGA monthly contributor (and mild mannered) Shelise Gieseke talks about her recent, not-so-pleasant and frustrating experience with Eastern Social Welfare Society (ESWS) and Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS).

Topics Covered: Birth family search, GOA’L, Korea Central Adoption Resource (KCARE), Eastern Social Welfare Society (ESWS), Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS), responsibilities of adoption agencies.

Additional Note: A couple of weeks ago we reached out to the Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS) leadership, offering the agency the opportunity to respond to conversations like this podcast.  Believe it or not, but we here at LGA want to be fair.  The leadership declined the invitation.

It’s so frustrating and discouraging to listen this.  Since my adoptive parents didn’t go through an agency, I’ve never had to deal with them.  Long ago, I use to think it might have made my own search easier if they had.  I guess that just depends, now doesn’t it?  Maybe I’m over-simplifying it, but to me, it’s just common sense that adult adoptees (whether domestic or international) should have access to and control of their own records.  Duh?

It’s been a while, so I guess the first thing I should do is update the identity timeline.  Once again, I find myself laughing and crying  at how many times I’ve had to adjust my personal history.  This year, I took the leap and sent in a sample to FamilyTreeDNA.  I figured at best, I would find a match that might lead me to my birth family.  At the very least, my DNA might tell me whether I was of mixed race or not thus finally, irrefutably revealing which of my adoptive father’s “truths” were true.

But before I continue, let me see if I can break this down:

  • Orphan (Vietnamese) – both parents dead
  • Possibly not a true orphan (but still Vietnamese) – parents’ deaths never verified
  • Biological daughter of adoptive father (Vietnamese-Amerasian) – allegedly adopted to hide that I was his bio daughter
  • Daughter of a prostitute (possibly Vietnamese-Amerasian) – supposedly adoptive father was approached by a prostitute who claimed he was the father
  • Possible Orphan again (genetic origin unknown) – found in orphanage and purchased for approximately “$1000 dollars in bribes”

Anyone who’s even remotely familiar with my story will know the many times I’ve questioned the accuracy of my personal history and had to change major details.  Each time I pulled out the shovel and uncovered a little more, the story changed.   With each edit, I felt I had to let a part of myself  (and the attached perspective)  die so that the more recent incarnation could take its place.  During the latter half of my identity adventure, the changes happened so quickly, I felt like a T-1000 in its final death throws.   On top of everything, there were more immediate matters to attend.  Exhausted to the core, I felt I had to step away or risk a serious meltdown.

Fast forward a couple of years or so. 

I heard about Operation Reunite and the efforts of Trista Goldberg to assist Vietnamese adoptees in finding their birth families using DNA tests.   I had fought and faltered my way to a half-decent place in my life.  While still hectic, the element of chaos had lessened enough to allow me time to breath and reflect.  Why not dig a little deeper into the mystery?  A couple of cheek scrapings and a trip to the post office didn’t require a lot of effort.  All I had to do was sit back and wait for the results.

I tried to put the test out of my mind, all the while, fighting off those old fantasies of finding my birth family.  Uninvited, they would push themselves into my consciousness while I ate, in the middle of work and into my dreams as I slept.  I was determined that I would not be crushed again and so, tried to keep my expectations extremely low.  But who was I kidding?  I needed this test to be the key to my lost origins.  Time to shift into survival mode.  Using my adoptee superpowers, I turned off the psycho/emotional switch.

After a couple of weeks, I came home from work to find an email stating that my results had been posted:

Matches – 1 remote cousin match

Population finder – 83.95% Lahu; 15.56% Han; a margin of error that roughly equals plus or minus 30-something percent.

Initial response:  WTF?  Does not compute.

I’m still researching and trying to digest what those results could mean.  I sent an email to my remote cousin match in hopes discovering another clue.  I know it’s a long shot, but when it’s all you have, anything can turn into something.  As of yet, I have received no reply.  The test did verify that my adoptive father was not my biological father.  It also told me that I was not Amerasian.

Still the question remains:  Then what am I?

And the search continues…

Adoptees face a long list of questions as they grow up, not only who their parents were and why they were put up for adoption in the first place, but who they would have been had they not.

Nelson DeWitt, born in El Salvador, adopted in Honduras and raised in the United States, has gotten more answers than he bargained for. DeWitt, who is making a documentary about his experience, learned that he is one of the hundreds of now-adult children who went missing during the civil war in El Salvador, which lasted from 1980 to 1992.

Many of these children wound up adopted after they were torn away from their families by soldiers, who sometimes kept them, other times funneled them into the lucrative adoption industry. DeWitt, who was raised by his adoptive parents in the Boston area, learned that he was one of these children after receiving a phone call from a long-lost family member. He learned that his birth parents were both revolutionary operatives in El Salvador. After his mother found herself hunted for by authorities, she fled with him to Honduras. She was likely killed soon afterward; by age two, he had been adopted out of a Honduran orphanage, en route to the U.S.


I’ve been following this series over the last week and applaud NPR’s initiative to go beyond the usual fluff pieces.


Nearly 700 Native American children in South Dakota are being removed from their homes every year, sometimes under questionable circumstances. An NPR News investigation has found that the state is largely failing to place them according to the law. The vast majority of native kids in foster care in South Dakota are in nonnative homes or group homes, according to an NPR analysis of state records.

Years ago, thousands of Native American children were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to boarding schools, where the motto of the schools’ founder was “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” Children lost touch with their culture, traditions and families. Many suffered horrible abuse, leaving entire generations missing from the one place whose future depended on them — their tribes.

In 1978, Congress tried to put a stop to it. They passed the Indian Child Welfare Act, which says except in the rarest circumstances, Native American children must be placed with their relatives or tribes. It also says states must do everything it can to keep native families together.

But 32 states are failing to abide by the act in one way or another, and, an NPR investigation has found, nowhere is that more apparent than in South Dakota.

“Cousins are disappearing; family members are disappearing,” said Peter Lengkeek, a Crow Creek Tribal Council member. “It’s kidnapping. That’s how we see it.”

via The Declassified Adoptee

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. The basic history of the month is that it started as a state-based initiative to raise awareness about the issues surrounding children waiting in foster care. It was given its own official month by President Clinton and since then has become everything from an all out celebration of adoption to an opportunity for all things adoption to be advertised and promoted.

If you remember from last year, I have a problem with this. Read my blog throughout this November and you’ll hear more about why.

Not that we shouldn’t make our voices heard the other 11 months out of the year, but I feel especially motivated for the reasons our Declassified Adoptee mentions in her post.  I’ve been a terrible blogger this year, but will try to pick it up again for the month of November.


Jane speaks with Kevin via skype.

Topics covered: Language of Blood, Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea (TRACK), Adoptee Solidarity Korea (ASK), Convention On the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Hague Adoption Convention, Korea Central Adoption Resources (KCARE), Eastern Social Welfare Society (ESWS), Social Welfare Society, Inc. (SWS), Holt International, Dillon International, Korean family search, unwarranted post adoption fees charged by Korean and US adoption agencies, new adoption and single parent support legislation in Korea, First Worldwide Adoptee Online Auction.

Listen to the podcast on their website.