This is day 7 of National Adoption Awareness Month, so this is my daily post to amplify the voices of adoptees.
Adoptees United Inc. is an adoptee-founded and adoptee-led nonprofit that focuses on the legal rights of adopted people. They track and monitor adoptee rights legislation in all 50 states in the U.S. They also track federal and state legislation, such as citizenship, that affects international adoptees. Their Board of Directors is made up of adoptees (both domestic and international). Identity, U.S. citizenship, and equality for all adoptees is at the heart of their work. They “provide resources, advocacy, and support to organizations committed to these equal rights issues.”
The issue of identity (a complex issue) relates to something that we non-adoptees take for granted: Who are my parents? What are their names? What is the actual time and date of my birth? Across the U.S., different states have different laws regarding original birth certificates and access to them. Adoptees United tracks the legislation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The issue of U.S. citizenship is an enormous one for perhaps thousands of international adoptees whose parents did not naturalize them and who are not American citizens, though they may think they are. Adoptees United provides information about the pending legislation, and they work with advocacy groups to support their capacity in pursuing legislative relief for all international adoptees.
The issue of equality for all adoptees is the heart to their work. They hope, as a relatively new organization, to become a “trusted national voice and a source of information and advocacy for issues impacting all adult adoptees in the United States.” The “central issue of equal rights applies to all adoptees…we will be more powerful if we come together as advocates, whether we act as colleagues, allies, friends, or supporters.”
You can support adoptee-led organizations during National Adoption Awareness Month by following them on Facebook and by attending their events. On November 29, Adoptees United will hold a panel discussion to answer the question “Who Do We Mean by ‘We?’ The Voices of Adoptees.” The panelists, all adult adoptees, will talk about the mistaken impressions of them by other adoptees, about how affinity groups have or have not been useful (when they were available), and about what changes they’d like to see in the adoption community. More information is available here.
Like all most nonprofits, especially new ones, Adoptees United would like to have a secure financial base from which to carry out their vision. You can donate to them here. Please donate to adoptee-led, adoptee-centric organizations whenever possible. That would be a great way to support adoptees during National Adoption Awareness Month.