I was recently contacted by a researcher who wanted to know if we could share our experiences of how searching and reunification impacts us. I decided it was a good reason to put together a long overdue Perspective Paper.
I didn’t realise this paper would end up being a book as it includes over 40 intercountry adoptees, contributing 100 pages!
Questions asked to stimulate the kind of responses I was seeking were:
- What country of origin are you from? What country of origin were you adopted to and at what age?
- What do you think it was that made you search? Was it something you always wanted to do or did you reach a point in your life that instigated the desire? What were your expectations?
- How did you go about conducting your search? What resources did you utilise? What obstacles did you encounter?
- What outcome did you have? What impact has that had upon you? How has that impacted your relationship with your adoptive family?
- What has the experience been like of maintaining a relationship with your biological family? What obstacles have you encountered? What has been useful in navigating this part of your life?
- How have you integrated your search and/or reunion in your sense of who you are? Has it changed anything? In what ways?
- What could be done by professionals, governments and agencies to help assist in Search & Reunions for intercountry adoptees like yourself?
These questions were guidelines only and adoptees were encouraged to provide any further insight to the topic.
All types of outcomes were included, whether searches were successful or not.
This resource will provide adoptees with a wide range of perspectives to consider when contemplating the issues involved in searching for original family. The paper will also provide the wider public and those involved in intercountry adoption a deeper understanding of how an adoptee experiences the search. Governments, agencies, and professional search organisations have direct feedback on what they can do to improve the process for intercountry adoptees.