Help Save International Adoption by Signing this White House Petition


Conrad Weisner and Adoption (under Honorific Adoption)

Conrad Weiser Portrait


It is not unusual for adults to be adopted as honorary members of a family, clan or tribe. There are two main types.

-One is the publicity-stunt adoption of politicians, usually western leaders, or other worthies by "native" clans or tribes, done as a photo-opportunity for the politician and for publicity by the tribe. -The other type is where an individual is adopted as a mark of respect or reward for his services to or sympathy with a tribe. It recognizes a long-standing bond between the individual and the tribe and could be compared with the award of the freedom of a city. It is not the same as the adoption of captives. This directory contains three representative examples of honorific adoptions:

1. Peter John Powell,

2. Buffalo Child Long Lance and

3. Julius Meyer

all adopted by Native American tribes.

Other names which I have collected but not provided full entries for include:

-Batley, Robert Thompson, 1849-1917, New Zealand farmer (adopted by the Ngati Whiti people in recognition of his friendship and help in establishing their ownership of land confiscated by the government)

-Boone, Daniel, 1732?-1820, American soldier and explorer (adopted by Native Americans in 1778)

-Coombs, Herbert Cole ("Nugget"), 1906-97, White Australian economist, university chancellor and campaigner for Aboriginal rights and reconciliation (adopted by the Marika family of the Rirratingu clan of northeast Arnhem Land)

-Schuon, Frithjof, 1907-98, Swiss-French-American philosopher and painter (adopted by the Sioux (family of James Red Cloud) in 1959 and by the Crow (Thomas Yellowtail) about 1963)

-Weiser, Conrad, American businessman (adopted by the Mohawks in the 18th century)