입양인 전문가의 해외입양 검색

On April 23, ICAV will be providing a webinar on some of the complex issues involved in searching in various birth countries, but with specific knowledge of Colombia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Greece, Korea, and Sri Lanka.

Our webinar will be unique in that we are not only bringing our lived experience as individuals, but also presenting as a global resource, highlighting the adoptee led organisations who provide a formal search and support services. Our panelists hold the dual role of knowing intuitively how complex searching is as individuals having done their own searching and also having decades of experience in providing formal search and support services to the community.

ICAV knows intuitively what the latest 연구 (p231) conducted within the Korean adoptee community shows – i.e.,, that intercountry adoptees find their peers and adoptee led organisations to be the most helpful in their searches. There’s nothing better than those who live it knowing intuitively how to best provide the services we need as a community.

If you’d like to be part of our audience, click here to RSVP.

Our 8 panelists are:

마르시아 엥겔

Marcia is the creator and operator of 플랜엔젤, a nonprofit human rights foundation currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her organization has a powerful mission: helping Colombian families find their children who were lost to child trafficking and adoption.

For fifteen years now, Plan Angel has grown a strong community with over 1,000 families in Colombia. The foundation helps these families search for their missing adopted children all over the world, hoping to one day reconnect them with each other. Marcia and her foundation have reunited hundreds of families and continue to support them after their reunion.

Linda Carol Forrest Trotter

Linda is a Greek-born adoptee, adopted by American parents and found her biological family in Greece five and a half years ago. She is the founder and president of 에프티키아 프로젝트, a nonprofit organization that assists and supports, free of charge, Greek-born adoptees searching for their roots and Greek families searching for their children lost to adoption.

In addition to its Search and Reunion program, the Eftychia Project, in collaboration with the MyHeritage DNA company, distributes DNA kits for free to adoptees and Greek families. To date, The Eftychia Project has facilitated the reconnections of 19 adoptees with their Greek families.

The Eftychia Project also actively advocates on behalf of all Greek-born adoptees with the Greek government for their birth and identity rights, including transparency about their adoptions, unfettered access to their birth, orphanage and adoption records, and the restoration of their Greek citizenship.

케일라 커티스

Kayla is born in South Korea and adopted to South Australia. Kayla has been searching for her Korean birth family for over twenty years. She returned to Korea to do ‘on the ground’ searching using posters, newspapers, local police, and adoptee search organisations. In the absence of having a reunion with birth family, she has built a meaningful relationship with her birth country and Korean culture and proudly identifies as Korean-Australian.  

In her professional life, Kayla works as a Senior Counsellor for the 국제 입양인 및 가족 지원 서비스(ICAFSS) at Relationships Australia.  

Kayla is a qualified Therapeutic Life Story Worker and has a Master’s in Social Work as well as extensive experience working in the area of adoption both in government and non-government, providing counselling, education and training, community development and post adoption support.  In this role, Kayla supports intercountry adoptees with searching and navigating this uncertain and complex process between countries, as well as offering therapeutic support to adoptees, on this journey. 

트리스타 골드버그

Trista Goldberg is an international DNA influencer, DNA consultant and founder of 재결합 작전 after finding her Vietnamese birth family in 2001.  Trista used DNA to verify her family’s biological connection and verified that she was half Vietnamese and half American.

Over the last 20 plus years she helped make DNA mainstream. Operation Reunite became the beta pilot group that launched the autosomal DNA test in 2010. The miracles she has seen in her lifetime has been magnetised with DNA.

Trista believes there are so many blessings when you really know who you are and where you came from. She understands the value of expanding the adoptee network, sharing and educating how we can harness the technology of DNA to help our community.

Benoît Vermeerbergen

Benoît was born in Villers-Semeuse, France under “Sous X”. This means that his parents and especially his mother did not want to be known or found. His birth certificate literally only shows X’s as parents’ names. Growing up Benoît had a lot of questions trying to understand all of this. After his studies, he purposely began working for the ‘Population Services’ in the hope of discovering more information about his birth mother. 

During this process and the years that followed, Benoît helped so many other people in their search (for example, trying to find their biological birth parents), that he made genealogical research his main source of income. It has always been and will always be his greatest passion in life! 

Genealogy and adoption therefore are his field of specialisation. In the past couple of years he has also started working in the field of ‘DNA’. In 2019, he found his biological mother through this method. Today, he cooperates with a lot of genealogical and adoption related authorities (for example, he works at Afstammingscentrum in Belgium) and helps to invent and build many adoption related platforms. Although Belgium is his home country, he also has experience in doing research abroad, i.e. Australia, Mexico, and The Netherlands.

Rebecca Payot

Rebecca is the founder of the association Racines Naissent des Ailes and co-founder of Emmaye Adoptee’s Family Reunion. Adopted in Ethiopia at the age of 5, Rebecca is a graduate in early childhood psychology specialising in adolescents in identity crisis. She has worked for 20 years in international adoption in France as a consultant and speaker on quest of origins. She is the author of her first book entitled “The Quest of Origins, a Miracle Remedy for the ills of the adopted?”

힐브란트 웨스트라

Hilbrand is a Korean adoptee raised in the Netherlands and has the longest track record, working with and for adoptees in the Netherlands since 1989. Internationally, his name is well known and disputed at the same time by the first generation of intercountry adoptees because he dared to oppose the Disney fairytale of adoption. He is also the first adoptee in the world to receive an official Royal decoration by the King of the Netherlands in 2015 and is Knighted in the Order of Orange Nassau for outstanding work for adoptees and in the field of adoption.

In daily life, Hilbrand runs his own school in systemic work and is a renowned teacher and trainer nationally and his work has sparked great interest in the UK. He spends time bridging the work in this field between the Netherlands and the UK. Hilbrand is a confidant and executive coach for leaders and directors in the Netherlands and also works partly with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Celin Fässler

Celin is adopted from Sri Lanka to Switzerland and is the Communications Manager and Board Member at 뿌리로 돌아가기. Back to the Roots is a Swiss NGO founded in 2018 by Sri Lankan adoptees. Its main goal is to raise awareness of the complex search for origins and to support adoptees in their searching process. Since May 2022, Back to the Roots has been funded by the Swiss government and the regional districts in order to provide professional support to adoptees from Sri Lanka to Switzerland.

Sarah Ramani Ineichen

Sarah is adopted from Sri Lankan to Switzerland and is the President of Back to the Roots and may present jointly with Celin in this webinar.

The webinar will be recorded and made available at ICAVs website.

If you have questions you’d like to see addressed in our webinar, please add your comments to this blog or 연락하다 us.

Huge thanks to the Australian Government, DSS for funding this event via our Relationships Australia, Small Grants & Bursaries program.

나는 어디에 속해 있습니까?

~에 의해 샤리스 마리아 디아즈, born as Mary Pike Law, cross cultural adoptee born in Puerto Rico

Pote de leche are Spanish words for “milk bottle”. Where I was born, this is how someone is described when they are too white. Yes, too white. That is what I was called at school when bullied. In my teens, I spent many Sundays sunbathing in the backyard of our home. This was one of the many ways I tried to fit in.

My tendency has been to consider myself a transcultural adoptee and not a transracial adoptee, because my adoptive parents were Caucasian like me. Recently, I realized their looks do not make my experience too different from the experience of any transracial adoptee. I was born in Puerto Rico from an American mother and English father and adopted by a Puerto Rican couple. Puerto Ricans have a mix of Native Taino, European and African genes, our skin colors are as varied as the colors of a rainbow. The most common skin tones go from golden honey to cinnamon. For some, I looked like a little milk-colored ghost.

My adoptive mother told me that an effort was made by the Social Services Department, which oversaw my adoption process, to make the closest match possible. She said the only things that did not “match” with her and my adoptive father were my red hair and my parents’ (actually, my natural father’s) religion. I was supposed to be an Anglican but was going to be raised as a Catholic. This was part of the brief information she gave me about my parents, when she confessed that they were not dead as I had been told at 7 years old. She also admitted that I was not born in Quebec, which they also made me believe. I was born in Ponce, the biggest city on the southern shore of the island. She gave me this information when I was 21 years old.

So, at 21 years of age, I discovered that I was a legitimate Puerto Rican born in the island, and also that my natural father was an English engineer and my natural mother was Canadian. I was happy about the first fact and astonished about the rest. Suddenly, I was half English and half Canadian. At 48 years old I found my original family on my mother’s side. Then I discovered this was a misleading fact about my mother. She was an American who happened to be born in Ontario because my grandfather was working there by that time. I grew up believing I was a Québéquois, after that I spent more than two decades believing that I was half Canadian. All my life I had believed things about myself that were not true.

I learned another extremely important fact about my mother. She was an abstract-expressionist painter, a detail that was hidden by my adoptive family in spite of my obvious artistic talent. I started drawing on walls at 2 years old. My adoptive parents believed that art was to be nothing more than a hobby, it was not a worthy field for an intelligent girl who respected herself and that happened to be their daughter. This did not stop me, anyway. After a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a short career as a copywriter, I became a full-time painter at the age of 30. To discover that my mother was a painter, years later, was mind-blowing.

Identity construction or identity formation is the process in which humans develop a clear and unique view of themselves, of who they are. According to Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development, this process takes place during our teen years, where we explore many aspects of our identities. It concludes at 18 years old, or, as more recent research suggests, in the early twenties. By that age we should have developed a clear vision of the person we are. How was I supposed to reach a conclusion about who I was, when I lacked important information about myself?

My search for my original family started when there was no internet, and it took me more than 20 years to find them. I did not arrive in time to meet my mother. A lifelong smoker, she had died of lung cancer. I connected with my half-siblings, all of them older than me. They were born during her marriage previous to her relationship with my father. Two of them were old enough to remember her pregnancy. They had been enthusiastically waiting for the new baby, just to be told that I was stillborn, news that hurt them so much. Before she passed away, my mother confessed to my siblings that I was relinquished for adoption. Through them, I learned what a difficult choice it was for my mother to let me go.

During my search, well-known discrimination against Latinos in sectors of the American culture gave me an additional motive to fear rejection. I didn’t know I had nothing to worry about. My siblings welcomed me with open arms. Reconnecting with them has been such a heartwarming, comforting, life-changing experience. We are united not only by blood, but also by art, music, literature, and by ideas in common about so many things, including our rejection of racism. It was baffling to learn that my opinions about society and politics are so similar to my natural parents’ points of view, which were different, and sometimes even opposite to my adoptive parents’ beliefs.

My siblings remember my father, their stepfather, fondly. With their help I was able to confirm on the Internet that he had passed away too. His life was a mystery not only to me, but to them too. A few years later, I finally discovered his whereabouts. He lived many years in Australia and was a community broadcasting pioneer. A classical music lover, he helped to establish Sydney-based radio station 2MBS-FM and worked to promote the growth of the public broadcasting sector. His contributions granted him the distinction of being appointed OBE by the British government. My mind was blown away for a second time when I learned that he had dedicated his life to a field related to mass communication, which was my career of choice before painting. My eldest half-brother on his side was the first relative I was able to contact. “Quite a surprise!”, he wrote the day he found out that he had a new sister. Huge surprise, indeed. My father never told anyone about my existence. Now I got to know my half-siblings and other family members on his side too. They are a big family, and I am delighted to keep in touch with them.

My early childhood photo

With each new piece of information about my parents and my heritage, adjustments had to be made to the concept of who I am. To be an international, transcultural, transracial adoptee can be terribly disorienting. We grow up wondering not only about our original families, but also about our cultural roots. We grow up feeling we are different from everyone around us, in so many subtle and not so subtle ways… In my case, feeling I am Puerto Rican, but not completely Puerto Rican. Because I may consider myself a true Boricua (the Taino demonym after the original name of the island, Borikén), but in tourist areas people address me in English, and some are astonished to hear me answer in Spanish. More recently, I have pondered if my reserved nature, my formal demeanor, my cool reactions may be inherited English traits. And getting to know about my parents, even some of my tastes, like what I like to eat and the music I love, has made more sense. But in cultural terms I am not American or British enough to be able to wholly consider myself any of these. Where do I belong, then? And how can I achieve completion of my identity under these conditions? It is a natural human need to belong. Many times I have felt rootless. In limbo.

A great number of international adoptees have been adopted into Anglo-Saxon countries, mostly United States and Australia, and many of them come from places considered developing countries. The international adoptee community, which has found in social media a great tool to communicate, receive and give support, and get organized, encourages transracial and transcultural adoptees to connect with their roots. My case is a rare one, because it is the opposite of the majority. I was adopted from the Anglo-Saxon culture to a Latin American culture. I never imagined that this would put me in a delicate position.

Puerto Rico has a 500-year-old Hispanic culture. I am in love with the Spanish language, with its richness and infinite subtleties. I feel so honored and grateful to have this as my first language. We study the English language starting at first grade of elementary school, because we are a United States’ territory since 1898, as a result of the Spanish-American war. We are United States citizens since 1914. We have an independentist sector and an autonomist sector which are very protective of our culture. Historically, there has been a generalized resistance to learning English. In my case, I seem to have some ability with languages and made a conscious effort to achieve fluency, for practical reasons but also because it is the language of my parents and my ancestors.

In 2019 I traveled to Connecticut to meet my eldest half-brother on my mother’s side. That year, a close friend who knew about my reunion with natural family told me that someone in our circle had criticized the frequency of my social media posts in the English language. Now that I am in touch with my family, I have been posting more content in English, and it seems this makes some people uncomfortable. But the most surprising part is that even a member of my natural family has told me that I am a real Boricua and should be proud of it. I was astonished. Who says I am not proud? I have no doubt that this person had good intentions, but no one can do this for me. Who or what I am is for me to decide. But the point is some people seem to believe that connecting with my Anglo-Saxon roots implies a rejection of Puerto Rican culture or that I consider being Puerto Rican an inferior condition, something not far from racism. Nothing could be farther from the truth! I was born in Puerto Rico and love my culture.

Puerto Rico’s situation is complicated, in consequence my identity issues became complicated. I am aware of our island’s subordinated position to a Caucasian English-speaking country; that this circumstance has caused injustices against our people; that our uniqueness needs to be protected and celebrated. Being aware sometimes makes our lives more difficult, because we understand the deep implications of situations. There was a time when I felt torn by the awareness of my reality: being Puerto Rican and also being linked by my ancestry to two cultures which for centuries dedicated their efforts to Imperialism. I am even related through my father to Admiral Horatio Nelson, a historical character that embodies British imperialism. How to reconcile that to my island’s colonial history and situation? Where I was going to put my loyalty? To feel that I was being judged for reconnecting to my original cultures – something every international adoptee is encouraged to do – did not help me in the task of answering these difficult questions.

Even when they were not perfect and made mistakes, my natural parents were good people with qualities I admire. The more I get to know them, the more I love them. The more I know them, the more I see them in me. If I love them, I cannot reject where they came from, which is also a basic part of who I am. Therefore, I have concluded that I cannot exclude their cultures from my identity construction process.

To connect to these cultures until I feel they are also mine is a process. I am not sure if I will ever achieve this, but I am determined to go through this process without any feelings of guilt. To do so is a duty to myself, to be able to become whole and have a real, or at least a better sense of who I am. And it is not only a duty, it is also my right.

이름에 무엇입니까?

~에 의해 스테파니 김동희, 한국에서 네덜란드로 채택되었습니다.

이름은 그냥 "하지만" 이름입니까?

단어와 언어의 의미는 문자, 기호 또는 소리의 모음 그 이상입니다.

말과 소리에는 의미가 있고, 이는 상징이며 감정과 생각을 반영합니다. 이름은 당신의 정체성을 나타냅니다. 당신은 누구이며, 어디에서 왔으며 누구에게 속해 있습니까?

많은 입양인과 친부모 둘 중 하나 또는 둘 중 하나를 찾고 있는 모든 사람에게 명확한 답이 없는 질문입니다.

나는 김씨 집안의 넷째 딸로 한국 어머니 뱃속에서 인간으로 잉태되어 성장했고, 내가 태어나고 나서 부모님은 나를 동희(동희)라고 지었다.

나는 네덜란드 가정에 입양되어 새로운 이름과 새로운 성을 얻었습니다. 최근에 이것은 내 정체성을 '덮어쓰기'하는 것처럼 느껴지기 시작했고 더 이상 그것에 대해 기분이 좋지 않습니다.

네덜란드에서 자라 네덜란드 국적을 가진 한국 여성과 점점 더 가까워지고 있습니다. 내 한국의 정체성은 내 배경이며 내가 그 문화에서 자라지 않았음에도 불구하고 내 모습의 큰 부분을 형성합니다.

내 이름에 대한 느낌과 가족 이름에 대한 느낌 사이에는 약간의 차이가 있습니다.

나는 양부모가 나에게서 동희를 빼앗지 않고 그저 스테파니를 더해서 여기에서 더 쉽게 살게 해준 것에 감사한다. 차별이 몇 년 동안 사라지지 않았기 때문에 오늘날에는 여전히 서양식 이름을 갖는 것이 더 쉽습니다.

제 혈통과 한국 배경이 제가 제 성을 언급하고 싶은 곳이라는 것을 점점 더 느끼고 있고, 김 가족의 일원이 된 것이 자랑스럽습니다.

나는 이 이름과 이 이름을 사용하는 사람들과 문화 및 생물학적 가족 역사를 공유하지 않기 때문에 네덜란드 성 이름과의 연관성을 덜 느낍니다. 또한, 양아버지와 형제 외에는 그 가족들과 많은 접촉이나 연결이 된 적이 없습니다.

그래서 소셜 미디어를 시작으로 한국 이름으로 나를 알리는 것에 익숙해지기로 결심했습니다. 그것이 나에게 하는 일을 경험하기 위해, 그것이 나를 더 많이 느끼게 해준다면.

사람들이 내 이름으로 나를 편안하게 부를 수 있기를 바랍니다. 나는 어떤 이름이 내가 누구인지 가장 많이 생각나게 하고 집처럼 느끼게 하는 이름을 분류하는 데 도움이 될 것이라고 생각합니다. 둘 중 하나일 수도 있고 둘 다일 수도 있습니다. 나는 모든 결과에 대해 괜찮다.

재킷을 벗는 것 같아서 조금 노출되고 취약한 느낌이 들기 때문에 어떤 면에서는 불편합니다.

하지만 42년 이상 동안 네덜란드 이름으로 자신을 식별해왔기 때문에 괜찮습니다.

이것은 원래 Instagram에 게시되었으며 ICAV에 게시하기 위해 수정되었습니다..


이름에 무엇입니까? 정체성, 존중, 소유권?

채택 시 많은 손실

~에 의해 마르스, 필리핀에서 캐나다로 가져왔습니다. Maars @BlackSheepMaars를 팔로우할 수 있습니다.

저는 지난 3.5년 동안 제 뿌리를 연구해 왔습니다. 처음 이 여행을 시작했을 때, 나는 장소와 이름을 제공한 순간에 대한 낙서밖에 없었습니다. 주로 내가 자라면서 가족들이 나와 내가 가족이 된 것에 대해 이야기할 때 우연히 들은 것들입니다. 확인되지 않은 정보가 많았고 대부분은 추측이고 꾸며낸 이야기였다.

나는 소파에 앉아서 내가 말한 것, 언급된 것, 험담한 것, 나에게 비명을 지른 것에 대한 모든 기억을 머릿속에 적었습니다.

이 여행을 시작하기 위한 실제 정보가 없었고, 정보를 요청하고 여기저기서 질문을 던졌을 때도 마찬가지였습니다. 특별히 말하는 것을 좋아하는 사람은 아무도 없었습니다. 발견하고 싶지 않은 비밀처럼 느껴졌다. 하지만 어쨌든 계속 갔고, 첫해에는 미국에 사는 한 여성을 친어머니로 착각하기까지 하면서 많은 것을 얻었습니다.

나는 실질적인 가시적 기대, 방향, 또는 이 여정이 어디에서 끝날지 전혀 알지 못했습니다. 하지만 친어머니를 찾은 후 제 목표는 단 하나였습니다. 우리의 작은 가족을 하나로 묶고 첫 두 자녀를 포기해야 했던 생모의 상한 마음을 치유하기 위해.

나는 내 친동생을 찾고 싶었습니다. 그래야 최소한 그녀가 이번 생을 떠나기 전에 자신의 죄책감과 수치심을 치유할 수 있기 때문입니다. 그러나 나는 그것을 할 수 없었다. 나는 너무 늦었고 그녀가 지나간 후 5개월이 지나도록 그를 찾지 못했습니다.

외동딸로 자라면서, 세상에 혼자라는 느낌, 나와 같은 종류의 외계인, 내 뿌리, 유산, 조상의 전통 – 내가 만든 모든 것, 이 행성에 단 한 사람만 남게 될 것입니다. 입양으로 인해 나와 같은 상처를 공유한다. 그러나 우리 삶의 입양이라는 트라우마는 결국 우리를 두 번째로 다시 헤어지게 만들 것입니다.

채택 시 손실이 너무 많습니다!

나는 여전히 내 부계 쪽을 통해 일하려고 노력하고, 단서가 무엇이든 희망하지만 피할 수 없는 것은 존재조차 알지 못했던 누군가/무언가를 찾는 것입니다. 탐험하는 위업입니다.

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