We’re new. You may have questions. Here ya go.
Who Is This?
Initial board members are Gregory Luce, Shawna Hodgson, Annette O’Connell, and Erica Babino. You can read a bit more about them here.
It’s necessary. One, we feel that, with some exceptions, the adoptee rights community today is more unified than it has been in years. So, we feel it is the right time to work toward supporting and expanding that unity among adoptees across various issues and groups, with an unwavering bottom line of equality. We feel the central issue of equal rights applies to all adoptees and that we will be more powerful if we come together as advocates, whether we act as colleagues, allies, friends, or supporters.
How will you define your work and focus?
Again, this will be defined primarily by our board, but in general Adoptees United is being set up to unify adult adoptees, work to build state-level legislative work within partner organizations, work with intercountry adoptee organizations to assist where we can in securing US citizenship rights, and raise money and resources to help with promoting all of our priorities. We basically hope to become a trusted national voice and a source of information and advocacy for issues impacting all adult adoptees in the United States.
What are you actually going to do?
That is partly self-defined and partly not yet defined. It is self-defined because we will limit our projects and priorities to issues that primarily affect or impact United States adult adoptees, whether born here or born abroad. Our board, however, will work to define our goals and mission and it will also work closely with adoptees across the country to define the core priorities of our work.
How are you involving intercountry adoptees, transracial adoptees or adoptees of color?
We are working to add board members and advisory group members who represent intercountry adoptees, transracial adoptees, adoptees of color, and other adoptee interests, such as adoptees who are former foster youth. Creating and maintaining a diverse board is a top priority, but that work must also be meaningful, purposeful, and genuine, which will take time.
Are you associated with United Adoptees International Foundation?
No. UAI is an internationally-based group in the Netherlands whose mission relates primarily to ending corruption in intercountry adoption, mostly occurring outside the United States.
I believe adoption should be abolished. Will you be working on that issue?
We do not have a position on abolishing adoption in the United States, whether that is even possible or feasible. That issue is outside the scope of our direction and mission.
What is your position on family preservation issues?
We believe, like nearly everyone else, that a child’s best interest is to remain in his or her family of origin if at all possible. Beyond that, the vast majority of our work involves the “other end” of adoption: i.e., the lifelong process that continues even after an adoptee becomes an adult. Our primary focus relates to issues of equal rights for adult adoptees, whether that is a right to citizenship or the right to obtain an adoptee’s own vital records. We anticipate being an ally on other issues that fall outside of our core work.
Can I join as a member?
Sort of. AU does not plan to have voting members. Those who want to be part of what we do may choose to be volunteers, supporters, board members, advisors, or even donors. We may develop different levels of support in the future but have not yet addressed that in detail.
What can I do to support Adoptees United?
Participate. Donate. Join our efforts. Get involved. Keep informed. You can do all of these and more. At a minimum, recognize that your specific issue may not be everyone’s issue—our goal, however, is to unify adult adoptees across core issues involving equality.
Do you represent adoptees in court?
No. Though one of our board members is an attorney, we do not provide legal services.
Will you be involved in lobbying for state and federal adoptee rights legislation?
Sometimes. Our intent is to assist organizations involved in changing state and federal laws. We will work with those groups to build their capacity, support them when they request it, and share our collective expertise more broadly. On occasion we may get directly involved in supporting legislation, though by law our lobbying work cannot be a substantial part of our overall activities.
I may be a good fit for participating on the board. How do I put my name in?
Get in touch with us here or by email at [email protected]. Let us know who you are, what you do, and what you could contribute to AU as a board member or supporter. Please understand that our top priority for the board is to recruit people who are currently underrepresented in the organization.
How much money do you have?
We are just starting to raise funds. We will be setting a two-year budget for fundraising and expenses as part of our initial work.
Are contributions tax-deductible?
Yes, contributions to Adoptees United are tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes.
How can I contribute?
You can contribute here. If you need a handy button, here’s one you can press.
What is your federal tax ID number?
Are y’all going to have some fun?