This is day 30 of National Adoption Awareness Month, so this is my daily post to amplify the voices of adoptees. Today I am also making a pitch for family preservation, reunification, and support for fostered youth.
This final day of National Adoption Awareness Month is also “Giving Tuesday,” a day dedicated to generosity and doing good.
So in honor of both NAAM and Giving Tuesday, I will ask that you consider looking at family preservation organizations any time you think about adoption. We can chip away at the forces that divide families, and keep more children safe and with their mothers and fathers. It is an ambitious goal, I realize. There are many worthy organizations doing this work, and I urge you to learn about and support them.
For today, here are three organizations devoted to reuniting families divided by adoption, to supporting birth parents, and to providing resources to youth in foster care.
Beteseb Felega/Ethiopian Adoption Connection BF/EAC is “a free, grassroots effort to reconnect Ethiopian family members separated by adoption, and to provide compassionate support to adoptees, birth family members, and adoptive parents.” Their unique “internet database contains Ethiopian adoption information (in Amharic and English) provided by adopted people/adoptive parents and birth families who are looking for each other…For Ethiopian families, we explain the system through which their children were adopted and provide meaningful guidance regarding reunion and ongoing contact with their adopted children. EAC is the only organization committed to giving a voice to Ethiopian families while providing services focused on their well being post adoption.”
Saving Our Sisters Saving Our Sisters (SOS) “focuses on family preservation utilizing our pool of national volunteers to support parents and their families by providing them with resources to navigate their crisis and build confidence in themselves and their abilities. These actions help show families that they are who and what their babies need, and gives them the confidence to overcome their temporary crisis. SOS, through information, advocacy and support, provides families the ability to make truly informed decisions for the best possible outcome – eliminating the trauma of separation for the infant, existing and future generations of their family.”
Treehouse for Kids Treehouse is an organization based here in Seattle that believes that “every child, youth and young adult who has experienced foster care should have access to essentials such as clothing, school supplies, extracurricular activities, job supplies and even car insurance.” Treehouse offers “tutoring and academic remediation while also eliminating financial barriers to success in school for both youth in foster care and young adults in Extended Foster Care (EFC).” NAAM’s original intent was to promote adoption of children from foster care; NAAM has changed a lot over the years to include more voices. Supporting the needs of foster care youth should remain a priority. Treehouse does that.
Final thoughts on theis final day of NAAM:
Everyone, including adopted people, has the human and civil right to know who they are (this refers to Original Birth Certificates and medical history access, as well as to eliminating fraud in adoption).
Support family preservation.
Listen to adoptees.