We Are Adopted is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving and promoting the interests of adopted people of all ages. They support the exploration of personal and shared experiences for adopted and fostered people through regular meetups, workshops, speakers, resources, and community connections. Visit them and connect at weareadopted.ca.

We Are Adopted was created in response to a need within the adoption community for a voice and representation for people who were adopted and/or fostered. Although every adoptee knows adoption influences our lives, reunions seem to flush up the wounding underneath the surface, and that became the catalyst that drew us together. It continues to drive the need to meet, discuss our concerns, share ideas and solutions, and be understood in a way that we are not otherwise.

Before that, the fact that adoption impacted adoptees significantly was something we experienced privately, in isolation. Immediately after the adoption laws changed in BC in the early 1990s, a flood of adoptees and birth mothers sought support. Under the umbrella of the Forget Me Not Family Society, I and others with counselling training volunteered our time facilitating support groups around Vancouver to help people come to terms with adoption reunions. Who knew that the experience would unleash such a tremendous wave of emotion?

After many years, another adoptee, Ginny Paulsen, and I co-founded The Adoptees Association to represent the voices and interests of adopted and fostered people. Interestingly, doing so sparked some conflict with other adoption organizations that didn’t think adoptees needed their own group. It felt like pushback against our coming of age. We’ve since changed our name, but we continue to welcome old and new members ranging from 18 to 80 years old at our free monthly gatherings.

People come and go. They usually attend when they are struggling with a challenging aspect of their family relationships. Many stay to offer support and a listening ear to others, knowing there is value in having a safe space to share perspectives among others who get it. The human soul longs to be understood.