My son is mostly Mayan and probably part latino decent, in other words, a mostly Mayan ladido from Guatemala. So, when I start filling out school registrations, etc., whick boxes do I check. I think there's a similar thread somewhere. Please forgive me if I've repeated.
I'm wondering, since the Maya are indiginous to the Americas, if they fit the definition to check off Native American.
Are there guidelines for this anywhere?
There was a big discussion about this on the biglist awhile back. I remember someone saying for government programs, etc., they only consider Native North Americans to be "Native American". I guess that would make sense that they wouldn't qualify for any of the reparations available to North Americans.
Would be interested to hear what others think. I think I would be more inclined to check the box as hispanic even though our son-to-be's birthmother was Mayan (his birth father was Mexican).
I struggled with this for my daughter, but have decided to go with latino(a) or hispanic. I will support her identity development and if later in life she feels more comfortable being identified as Native American, we can switch then. Sometimes you have the option to leave these blank. Sometimes you have the option to choose multi-ethnic. So, these are also possiblities.
It is so interesting to look at these from a historical point of view. How were these racial categories created and what purpose do they serve? Anyway, I only have a small amount of knowledge in this area, so I won't go on. But, for us, I have consiously decided to pick a box that I plan to check throughout her childhood and stick with that and then support her when she is older and can understand the issues and make her own decisions.
I remember reading somewhere that you can do a saliva test and it will tell you all the nationalities you are. I don't know if that is true or not. Doretta
My husband works at a hospital which has many international clients, and they have nearly a full page on the regestration forms dedicated to know, the "check this box" kind. Well one day he had a patient from Africa who pointed out there was African American, but no african or black....
Needless to say, he thinks they are taking it a bit too far. I agree. I think I might check Native Americian to mess with people LOL. But I think it is more common to check hispanic. My neice and nephew are northern native american and when I was enrolling them in a local school I checked the native box. Later I saw there were "2" native americans in a heavily hispanic school, so it appears people usually consider themselfs to be hispanic, even if they really are native central american.
Doretta, you are correct, DNA tests can be done to determine race/ethnicity. I believe there is a site called or something like that. I know there are several sites, and it isn't all that costly.
Well ... genetically/racially, Mayans ARE native american ... ethnically, I would say for purposes of government statistics, Hispanic, and culturally, they will be what their adoptive parents are ... very confusing!
Our kids do look different, and will be treated differently by some people, accordingly.
The saliva test referred to is actually the same cheek-cell swab used for determining our birthmothers' maternity -- DNA testing -- they just look at different genetic markers, for race, instead of matching samples between two people.
Okay, if you want the theory that I remember from school, here it goes:
One theory is that all "native" people's in the America's are from the same "pool" and it's believed that they migrated from the northern Russian provinces across the Bering Strait into Alaska and worked their way down the North and South American land masses. If this is true, then most "native peoples" including the Mayans and the Aztec and Inca peoples.
I hope it's okay to post this link since it's historical in nature:
Another place to get racial DNA testing would be the genographic project at National ... but, I have already posted about that a couple times!
On the consent for DNA, the birthmother of our daughter put "Hispanic" as her race so I think it makes sense to go along with that for our new daughter.
I think of them (Mayans) as Native Americans for a couple of reasons:
1) Indiginous people
2) homeplace is the Americas (I was once called out by a new aquaintance from Panama when I asked her how long she had been in America).
This was actually one of the many reasons adoption from a South American country appealed to me, because I am part Native American (about 1/4, I think, but the traits are very dominant in my features). I thought, in a way, our child and I could share a sort of "link."
However, as far as checking off which box, I check of White/Cc. My bc says White. Also, once I was a young adult, I began checking Native American. However, I was informed by an employer that unless I was a member of a Tribe, I could not be considered Native American.
I am thinking for our child we will check of Hispanic, especially if that is on her birth certificate.
I think those DNA tests arent really valuable from what I have heard. They can tell you you have a % chance of having this race as part of your genetic makeup. Like 18% chance of having east asian ancestors, or an 6% chance of having of having african ancestors. This is what I learned about them. They might be more interesting if you really are wondering if your child has a significant Mayan blood like...but I wouldnt do it.
I am new to the forum but I really learn a lot from reading your posts. You all are truly wonderful people. I am from a Central American country and I am considering Guatemalan adoption. I just want to tell you how much difference you are making in these children's lives. You are blessed by them but they are also blessed to have parents that love them so much. When I go to visit my country my heart is broken to see children in the streets begging for food. It is really sad.
Regarding your question, I am a light skinned Central American and I consider myself hispanic in every sense of the way. Most people from Central America are a combination of Spaniards and Mayans or Aztecs (Mexico). Some have more Spanish blood, but I have aunts, cousins who are more latin looking. I also have uncles and cousins who are bonde and have green eyes. I am just very proud to have both and like I said before I consider myself hispanic in origin.
Good luck and I will keep you posted on my journey. Just finished the home study and going to see my family for three weeks. Luckily I can go because I am a Spanish teacher.
God bless you all.
Thanks! It's awesome to know that folks who are originally from central america are here to give us their perspective and thoughts. I wish you luck on your journey through Guatemalan adoption.
(People tell me all the time that my son is lucky to have us, but honestly, we're just so lucky to have him!!! :D)
So i am salvadoran most of central americans natives are "mestizos" meaning indigenous and european usually spaniard decent I myself am 53% indigenous and and 23% european (spain) per the 2000 sensus we are now able to identify as native americans (rightfully so) because when turtle island was "discovered" it became known as "the americas" matters not if its south north central etc anglos/ europeans came up with all these subterms to washout and confuse us of our true identity so your son can nd should rightfully identify as a native american