Kate Coghlan

ICAV Blogger

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Kate is a Vietnamese adoptee raised in Victoria, Australia. Kate returned to Vietnam for the first time in 1999 at the age of 25 with her adoptive parents and younger brother (not adopted). It was literally on the second day of being there that her whole body, mind and spirit felt at home. She has since been back twice more, once with her own children.

Kate has dipped in and out of wanting to know more about her heritage and thinking about searching for biological family her whole adult life. It is only recently over the last two years that she seriously committed to the idea. She engaged an organisation that helps with tracing and provides access to an investigator based in Vietnam, casework and counselling support. During this time she has learnt that she was left on doorstep of the orphanage by her birth mother with a note stating her birth mothers’ name and the name her mother gave her. Kate sees this as a clue from her birth mum who invited her all those years ago to come and find her!

It is through actively engaging in her search that Kate has also made invaluable connections and friendships with other adoptees. She has been invited to speak as a volunteer with prospective adoptive parents about her experience. By doing so, Kate hopes to provide some insight and understanding to what it is like as an adult adoptee and possible issues their prospective children may face.

Professionally, Kate is a social worker and has worked extensively across various sectors throughout her career. Kate’s professional experiences include case management with both young people and adults, working in the drug and alcohol field, mental health and homelessness sectors to working where she is today, in local government in the aged and disability sector.

It is through searching for her own biological family and connecting with other adoptees that Kate has realised her true calling. Kate’s next professional career move will hopefully be somewhere in the adoption field. She’s committed to advocating for the rights of adoptees, assisting others in their searches, as well sharing her personal story in the hope that it resonates with others and encourages adoptees to share and connect as well.