Adoption Without Consent (Canada First Nations)
Natalio (Nate) Portocarrero
Feb 16, 2006
Update February 2nd, 2006
Before you read this, since I know that the law likes every word to be perfect and certain people try to twist everything I say to use against me in court, I would like to inform you that what you are about to read is my opinion to which I am entitled to. This is a personal email sent to people who support me. If you have not read my first email, I included it at the bottom.
Hello everybody. Thank you for all of your support. We fought a valiant battle. Unfortunately we have lost. The courts came back with the decision January 26th. Justice Hembroff dismissed every single application we made which means we cannot pursue this case in BC or in Alberta.
I want to begin with showing my gratitude for your support but I just don't have the words. You people are great. The amount of support I have received is phenomenal.
I want to describe the pain I feel in my heart but it hurts to describe it. Its so frustrating that we lost. Its not right. These people have stolen my daughter and have found a loophole in the legal system which allows them to get away with it. The judge found that LDS Adoption Services of AB did nothing illegal because of this loophole. This loophole in which children can be funnelled to Alberta and bought by a family without the consent of fathers or family members or First Nations, because Alberta doesn't care about fathers and takes jurisdiction the moment the child is brought there.
The judge found that there was no socio-economic similarity in the comparison of myself and this family. They have more money then me, and are more stable. So that gives them the right, according to law, to keep my daughter. My beautiful baby girl. Ali Melody Lavender.
I can barely describe how it feels. I am in an ocean of confusion. I get washed over with a wave of happiness and gratefulness that my daughter is safe and alive. Then a wave of destructive anger washes over me. Then I get hit from the side out of nowhere with pain and heartache and loss, and suddenly I am hit with this urge to be friendly to the opposition and forgiving.
I can't make progress in any direction because my mind keeps switching what it feels. Its like I walk two steps ahead, and 3 back, then 5 to the side, and 2 to the other side.
It makes no sense. It's wrong and it shouldn't be like this. I am her father, I have done absolutely nothing wrong. My daughter was not apprehended by the government, she was taken from the hospital by this private business. LDS Adoption Services. A business like any other business, in pursuit of money.
I understand that sometimes children are taken away from families for horrible reasons and adopted, but I have done nothing wrong. It would seem that the only things wrong about me are that I don't own a house, that I don't have white skin, that I am not Latter Days Saints- Mormon, that I am 20 years old, that I am native American, that I haven't made my first million by now. I know now that true courage is shown when in the face of defeat you still fight with everything you've got. I know this because I am afraid. I am afraid to keep pushing knowing that its over.
It's so hard to wake up and face this. Sleep has become so precious, a chance to escape reality. All day and night I look forward to those 3 seconds when I wake up every morning. Because for 3 seconds, I am awake and at peace.
Then I cringe as I am hit with reality. The reality that the love of my life was stolen from me. The thought that my little baby girl is smiling in some strangers' eyes. Far away from home. The haunting realization that I may never get to look into her beautiful eyes and make her giggle. All because of people's greed. Because of this loophole in legislation. Because of religious views.
I know that I will not get my daughter back. It would take an army to do so. Even then. It is the law of the land, even if it is wrong.
But I will not stop, because I may not be able to save my daughter, but I still have a shot at saving other innocent families.
LDS Adoption Services have done this before, and not just to fathers but to mothers as well. My lawyer in Lethbridge has locked horns with these people before. They need to be stopped. Gloria Robbins needs to be stopped.
I will fight on and face the fears I feel everyday. The fears of failure, the fears of loss, the fears of self corrosion. I will take this to the media and let the world hear the injustices that have happened.
And so I need your help. Send letters or emails to our First Nations Leaders. Send letters to your Chief and Council of your tribe. Send letters to anyone of importance, to the government, to the ministry.
If we are going to stop this, then we need to make as much noise as possible.
We need to gather our people and rally against this. For our children. For our future. In the name of love. In the name of peace. So that all that our ancestors fought for doesn't get pissed away.
I believe that leaders are leaders because they are exceptional. Leaders have the ability to evoke change therefore have the responsibility to make change for the better. If they do not have the desire to do so, then they are not leaders; they are just someone with a job.
If we send letters to them demanding change, then it will show us who the real leaders are and who's just playing leader. They have to deal with this. Who wouldn't?
It was discussed in a conference in 2003 that losing Native children to private adoption agencies has become ten times worse than the sixties scoop. After hearing everybody's stories sent to me, I really do believe that.
These are our children. Everyone who has kids knows just how precious they are. How important they are. How could anyone just turn a blind eye.
Please help me. Please help me help you. I may be a lost cause. But before I give up breathing I will fight for all other parents out there. There needs to be serious reform to the legislation regarding our children. These businesses, I mean private adoption agencies, need to be closely watched over.
Not every parent has the resources I have. Not every parent has the strength to fight such a tragedy. Not every parent has the support. Not every parent is First Nation and has a community backing them. So I want to use what I've got to help them.
I need your help. Make as much noise about this as possible. Walk out your door and yell ' Save Ali, Save our children' if you want to.
Email or send letters to our leaders, to your Chief and Council. Anything that you can do to make as much noise as possible.
Send letters to the scum bag that did this: Gloria Robbins of LDS Adoption Services of Alberta.
Post banners outside somewhere. Do anything. Just please make as much noise
as possible, tell the media and force them to come to me. If people don't believe my story and what's happening, then CALL ME 778-998-0891- my cellphone, I will answer.
CALL the Squamish Nation and the Chief and Council and ask them if this is true, their number is 604-980-4553. I have the FULL support of the Chief and Council and together we are fighting this, but we are losing.
Please, this is not just for me and Ali, but for all of those kids out there and parents who need our help.
If anyone could have stopped LDS Adoption Services....it was us, and even we couldn't stop them. Imagine how cocky and bold they will become now.
I will not let the loss of my daughter be in vain. I cannot. I am going to miss everything in her life. Her first step, her first words, her first day at school, when she learns to tie her shoes, her first report card, every single smile she makes. Her graduation. Her love.
My daughter has the right to her heritage and to her family. I want my daughter to meet her great great grandmother Emily Baker before she passes. How many people can say that they have met their double great grandmother.
My daughter may never know me. This family couldn't have kids of their own, and somehow thats become my problem, my pain, my heartache. Why?
Because of my status in life. Because these people think that they can walk all over me, and that I will do nothing. Because I have been stereotyped because I am First Nations and a father.
I have seen criminals get their kids back.
I have seen parents who have no family, no support, no money, and they raise their kids on their own somehow. I am not a criminal or a bad person. I have massive support. A huge family. An entire community. Tons of friends and helpful people. I am not alone. I would be an ideal choice for a parent, but not if you compare me to rich people. From what I see, Britney Spears could swoop in and steal my daughter from these people. because she has more money and higher status. Maybe I should try to get a hold of her.
Please help me. Please help other parents. Look into the next child's eyes that you see. Look hard. They are our ultimate purpose. Nature's ultimate purpose for us is to have kids and give our lives to ensure their survival. Not to have kids and send them off to some stranger.
I don't care how many people tell me how good this family is. I was adopted myself; I was in foster care myself. I know the reality. Blood is thicker than water. Why do kids need to be adopted if they have a family that wants them, and can ensure their safety, and a healthy environment full of love?
These people only care about themselves and money. The opposition tries to say that I am only thinking about myself, that I am being greedy. I played that argument over and over in my head. It wasn't until I talked to my aunt that it settled inside me.
I am her parent. No parent has to ever justify their desire to be with their children. Its hard-wired in our minds.
These people would have fallen in love with any child placed in their arms. I love only one child on this planet, my daughter. I want to be with my daughter, because she is my daughter. Not because I am being selfish.
These people are being selfish, stealing and buying children to satisfy the void in their lives at the cost of innocent people's spirit. I have talked to certain people who tell me to think about how the family feels and the pain they would go through if my daughter was removed.
WTF! They brought this on themselves. I did not. I was caught off guard with this pregnancy, and even more so with the adoption. The pain was given to me, I didn't ask for it. They knew I wanted my daughter from the beginning, and they still took her! I know that we can bring change if we all gather together and do something about this.
I will be going to the media soon. So that people will realize that what is happening is true. This is a form of genocide. These people must be stopped.
Please stand up and fight. This affects you as well. With the way things are going in the government and such, the more people think that they can trample on us, the more they will.
Please stand with me, with us and show your strength. Battlefields may change, but our warriors' strength does not.
People fight over money, over land, over feuds, but what better reason is there than to fight for the protection of our children and love? Every one of us has that duty, and has had that duty since we were born. The duty to fight to protect our children.
Do not think that you are powerless to help, because you are not. If you have a voice and you can read this and you care, then you are a warrior and you should be with us fighting this. So please, help us.
My email is Nate_dawg8007@hotmail.com My Cell Phone is 778-998-0891 My Home Phone is 604-985-8230
I live in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I am a full member of the Squamish Nation and am the grandson of Patrick and Pauline Spence I am the great grandson of Emily and Chief Simon Baker Khot-la-cha. The Squamish Nations number is 604-980-4553
People you can contact:
LDS Adoption Services (The bastards that took my daughter and placed her)
1625 Cedar Road S Lethbridge AB T1K 4W6 Telephone: 1 (403) 328-8263 Fax: 1(403) 328-0383 Toll Free: 1-800-563-9956 Program Director: Gloria Robbins, BSW MSW RSW ( The scum bag that did this) Gloria's Cell Phone: 1 (403) 308-0547
Chief Stewart Phillip
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
500 - 342 Water Street,
Vancouver, BC, V6B-1B6, CANADA
Ph: 604.684.0231, Fx: 604.684.5726 http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/
Grand Chief Ed John
First Nations Submit
Suite 1200 - 100 Park Royal South West Vancouver, BC V7T 1A2 Tel:
604.926.9903 Fax: 604.926-9923 Toll Free: 866-990-9939(unchanged)
Regional Chief Shawn Atleo
BC Assembly of First Nations
605-100 Park Royal South
West Vancouver, BC V7T 1A2
Assembly of First Nations
473 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON K1R 5B4
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
Ghislaine Boge, APTN Audience Relations Coordinator
Please if you can think of anyone else to contact that could help, then please contact them. Please make as much noise as possible. Flood the media with emails and letters saying that you support me. Anything. Pass this on, if you like, to people who you believe would support us.
I want to go the media, and I want the world to see this. If you make tons of noise to APTN and any other media groups, then they will take a greater interest and possibly give me more airtime, therefore more people will hear my story.
Thank you. Thank you so much for reading this long email. Thank you for your support and for your help. Thank you for caring. Don't hesitate to contact me. Even if it's in the middle of night because of the time zone differences. My first email has reached thousands of people thanks to your help. I have been receiving hundreds of emails of support from people who want to fight this horrible reality. My email reached people all over Canada, all over the states and even to the United Kingdom. Together we can bring change, because change is necessary.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Natalio (Nate) Portocarrero
I have included my first email, written in December 2005, in case someone has not read it.
Here it is:
PLEASE HELP ME - My daughter was adopted without my consent.
My name is Nate Portocarrero, I am a member of the Squamish Nation. I am the grandson of Patrick Spence and am the great grandson of the late Chief Simon Baker Khot-La-Cha. I am emailing you in a desperate cry for help. My situation is complex, so please take the time to carefully read.
I am 20 years old and just became a father to a baby girl, born September 1st, 2005.
The pregnancy and birth of my daughter was kept secret from me. When I found out I was staying in Grande Prairie, AB where I was working very hard everyday. I immediately came back down to North Vancouver, BC (My home) and tried to be a part of my daughters life.
When I came down, I learned that my daughters mother (Jenny Lavender) was giving her up for adoption.
I did not ever consent to the adoption and opposed it to my full extent. At the time I was not aware of my rights and did not have the finances to pay for legal counsel. Time was ticking and moves that I should have made are just now becoming apparent.
I was contacted by the agency who is overseeing the process, LDS Adoption Services, and they informed me that there was nothing I could do to stop the process. I told the adoption social worker, Gloria Robbins, that my daughter
was Squamish Nation and was entitled to full membership and should not be allowed to be adopted at all, let alone against my wishes, let alone outside of British Columbia and away from her community.
She responded by telling me that her Aboriginal Heritage was irrelevant, because they were a private adoption agency and that they did not have to follow the legislation set out to protect our children!!
Gloria Robbins of LDS Adoption Services, tried many ways to thwart my efforts including: Coercion, Exclusion, Ignorance of the Law, Ignorance of my rights, Ignorance of my daughter's rights, scare tactics, and many other things.
The adoption placement took place in Alberta, against my wishes and without my consent.
I am undisputedly the biological father. I am a good person at heart with a
strong set of morals. I do not drink, do not use drugs, or smoke, and have no criminal or juvenile record. I am well known within the community and have massive support and a large family. I am taking parenting courses, infant training.
I am a hard worker, have excellent references and lots of experience. I almost have a trade under my belt, roofing.
This adoption is a perversion of the law. This adoption agency has broken rules and laws, and this is not the first time.
My current situation is this: I have the full support of the Squamish Nation and have legal counsel in BC and AB. We attended our first hearing in Lethbridge Alberta on the 30th of November 2005.
In this hearing, the judge's very first words were "Why are we here?"
"Why is this BC-born baby, with a BC Mother and BC Father, in Lethbridge AB?".
We explained that the agency was hiding the baby in AB somewhere and would not give us any information.
We had a suspicion that the baby was in Southwest AB and had to go to the Supreme Court to force the location and information about the pending adoption hearing out of them.
The Judge was not impressed and argued with the mother/LDS/adoptive family's lawyer that adoptions are not allowed to take place from BC to AB, let alone, without the consent of both parents. We are still waiting on the Judge's written decision for which province this case will be heard in.
Although the hearing went well in terms of jurisdiction, and the case may be transferred back to BC, the problem still arises that in any situation the baby will most likely stay with the adoption family interim - during the trial.
If we go to full trial, viva voche, it could take up to a year to have our first court date.
Time is my enemy. The longer the baby stays with this adoptive family, the less chance I have, because the baby is bonding. The situation no longer becomes a battle of legal rights and more of a best interests situation. I will have little chance of getting my daughter back if she bonds with this family for a year or two.
She should never have been placed with this family in the first place. Please help me.
This is an extremely unfair situation. They have kidnapped my daughter and are going to get away with it if my daughter stays with that family. They are trying to argue that the baby would be better off if she stayed with this family.
This is unfair because this family has had 12 years to prepare to be parents. I have had 2 1/2 months. They have better grounds to stand on because they have more money, more education, are married and have a house.
I have a great parenting plan in place, If I get her back I will move in with my sister, Carla. She has a 2 year old boy and a place in Kelowna. I would be a stay at home dad for the first year or two. When my daughter becomes old enough, and I can afford it, I plan to move back to our community in North Vancouver, back to the Squamish Nation Community.
I don't know what you can do to help, I don't know if you want to help. But I need help, desperately.
How is it that someone can swoop in and steal our children and get away with it? This is an outrage.
I am on the edge of breakdown every single day. I have used every last ounce of strength I have to get to where I am now. Believe me it was a massive accomplishment in itself, just to get to that first hearing after 2 months of minds games and scare tactics used by Gloria Robbins of LDS adoption services. It takes everything I've got, just to get out of bed. I have been sick for the past month and have very little strength. With what I have left I am using to cry out and be heard by our people. By all nations and all of our people everywhere.
This is an issue that needs serious attention. These are our children that, in the year of 2005, are still being "scooped up" by people who believe they are morally superior.
Please help me, please pass this on to anyone and everyone you know: coworker, family, friend or stranger.
My name is Natalio Jeremy Portocarrero, I am a Spence of the Squamish Nation, Great Grandson of Simon Baker Khot-La-Cha.
My daughter's name is Ali Melody Lavender. She is a beautiful baby girl with light brown skin, black curly hair and blue eyes.
I have done nothing wrong. There is no reason why I should not have my daughter.
The Squamish Nation as well as contacts outside our community fully support me. As strong as we are, we are not strong enough. I need the help of First Nations everywhere, of people like you.
Please, if you have children then take a long look at them and think about what it would be like if someone took them from you for no reason other then to make money off of them, and there was nothing you could do.
Please help me, my home phone is 604-985-8230, my cell phone is 778-998-0891. My email is Nate_dawg8007@hotmail.com. My address is 320 W. 4th St. North Vancouver, BC.
If there is anything at all that you can do, or if there is anyone you know that could help, please contact me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Please pass this on to anyone and everyone.