I am 72 years old.  I was adopted into a white family at age one-and-a-half when my mother died.  I realized I was different before I ever went to school.  When I asked, my foster parents told me I was Indian, and from that day I identified with Indians, because that was what I was.  I didn’t know who I was, and that heartache and anguish has been with me for nearly 70 years.  I hope your study can help me find out who I am before I die. I don’t want to die not knowing my true identity.  They (the government) sealed my birth certificate so I could never find my identity and never see my blood relatives.  The pain of this is never ending.

—Participant in Split Feather Study by Carol Locust (Cherokee), 1998


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