Adoptions of Aboriginal Children: “The 60′s Scoop”By admin,
Submitted by Jason Kunin
The “Sixties Scoop”
The widespread adoption of aboriginal children out to non-native families in the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s.
- Commonly referred to as the Sixties Scoop, the practice of removing large numbers of aboriginal children from their families and giving them over to white middle-class parents was discontinued in the mid-’80s.
- Many native adoptees were farmed out to abusive or alienating non-native families.
- The passage of the Child and Family Services Act of 1984 ensured that native adoptees in Ontario would be placed within their extended family, with another aboriginal family, or with a non-native family that promised to respect and nurture the child’s cultural heritage.
- However, the act also dictated that old birth records remain sealed, unless both the birth parent and the child asked for them. This has helped keep the period in darkness and frustrated attempts by adoptees to learn about their roots. Those who now feel they were victimized by the adoption process have an extremely difficult time finding out who they are.
- Many of these adoptees today are not only “torn between two worlds,” but literally unsure if they are native at all.
- Today, researchers trying to determine exactly how many aboriginal children were removed from their families during the Scoop say the task is all but impossible because adoption records from the ’60s and ’70s rarely indicated aboriginal status (as they are now required to).