In 2024, the Adoptive Families Association of British Columbia officially became the Belonging Network

Why we changed our name and brand

We changed our name and brand to better reflect the diverse audience we serve: permanency families of all kinds, youth in and from government care, and of course our existing core community of adoptive families.

The change is also a response to feedback from respected Indigenous friends and partners. They let us know that because of the ways adoption has harmed Indigenous families and communities, a name change would be a meaningful step in our truth and reconciliation journey.

Why we chose the Belonging Network

A sense of belonging is one of humanity’s most basic needs.

Belonging is a feeling of being happy, comfortable, welcome, secure, supported, and accepted as part of a particular group. It can also be a profound sense of connectedness to a place, language, or culture. Being part of a family—however you define it—and having a place to call home are two important ways of belonging that connect directly to our work.

Indigenous partners have also told us that belonging is a preferred term in their world and is an increasingly important concept and goal.

Finally, the Belonging Network is a name that’s easy to say, easy to remember, and easy to understand. It connects to our mission both logically and emotionally. It creates natural openings for conversation—we have already seen this happen.. And perhaps most importantly, it speaks to peoples’ hearts.

We hope it speaks to your heart, too.

Feedback from our community

“Belonging is inclusive and welcoming.” –AFABC member

“Belonging speaks to a human emotional need and interconnectedness—both of which are critical for effectively supporting children, youth and families.” –Indigenous partner

“The Belonging Network makes me think of connection, inclusion, being part of something bigger than oneself.” –Youth from care

“Creating a deeper sense of belonging and connection for kids and youth is what underlies this work.” –AFABC member

“Belonging is what having a family is all about.” –Youth from care

“All of us need to belong.” –AFABC member

“I believe very strongly in the framework that Dr. Martin Brokenleg manifested [in his model of the Circle of Courage] when he said that before anything else, all humans have to belong somewhere. Every one of us has to believe that there is somewhere where we belong and we are valued, we are seen, and we are heard. Without a sense of belonging, it is difficult to be able to master, reciprocate, and exercise independence. Belonging is the foundation and the building blocks to actualizing the gifts that we have. Every one of us has gifts, but without a sense of belonging, it is very difficult to nurture and offer these gifts to the world. Our ability to attach meaning to our existence and actions, our ability to be self-aware and then our ability to use what we know in order to be able to serve others, is only possible if we feel as though we belong somewhere. Sense of belonging is paramount, in my opinion, to human existence.”
– Rachelle Dallaire, Executive Director, Indigenous Perspectives Society