A commentary by an adoptee who lives in the Comox Valley.
Much coverage continues in the news about Buffy Sainte-Marie claiming Indigenous heritage and that her birth certificate claims she is a white child born to white American parents.
No wonder journalists are not able to find any other birth certificate for Buffy Sainte-Marie. Many Canadian provinces and U.S. states forbid providing information to the adoptee or searching family.
Anyone, including other family members, seeking the original documents or trying to find lost children face a legalized restricted wall of silence.
Only the adoptee or the birth parents are allowed to search for each other.
An adoptee’s birth certificate is not a legal document. It is an illegal document with false information. When adopted the original registration of live birth is invalidated and replaced with a new birth certificate stating the adoptive parents are the parents.
I am an adoptee.
My original birth registration has a large red stamp stating that it cannot be used for legal or identification purposes. My substituted birth registration has the name my birth mother gave me, overwritten with my new name, and the court has directed that legally “from this time onward, the child will be known by this new name.”
An adoptee is forced, by law, to perjure themselves on any official document when asked if their vital statistics information is true. Once an adoptee does find their true/original history, the perjury continues as legally the adoptee has been given and must use their new name.
Buffy Sainte-Marie has not lied about her heritage. She does not know who her birth mother or father are, as no records have been found. It is possible that her story changed as she learned new information.
Oral history from the area she was believed to have been born upholds her truth. She has not lied about being adopted. She knows who she is now but not who her parents were or where her family came from.
I feel sad that what this woman has stood for and those she has helped is being questioned. Do I know for sure which is the true story? DNA may answer that question. Does it matter?
Buffy Sainte-Marie deserves to be acknowledged for all the accomplishments and good she has done in her life. No matter how many awards she is given, nothing makes up for the loss of her original family and her heritage.