Inaugural Meeting of International Adoptee Congress

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Brings together growing adult adoptee community

The first meeting of the International Adoptee Congress (IAC), an organization made up of 75 internationally adopted persons from various ethnic and geographic backgrounds, will meet in Washington, DC on November 2-5, 2006.

The goals of this historic meeting will be to:

  •     Demonstrate unity within the growing adoptee community;
  •     Explore new and innovative ways to empower and give voice to pre-teen, teen, and adult adoptees and their families;
  •     Consider ways in which adoptees can work with each other, as well as other members of the broad adoption community, in positioning adoptees as leaders in adoption;
  •     Evaluate current resources (cultural, educational, adopted person organizations, therapeutic, mentorship, internet, film, literature, art, legislative) available to adoptees; discuss how adoptees can aid in improving and promoting the resources;
  •     Launch a national adoptee agenda for all adoptees and adoptee organizations to participate in.

“For too long,” says Bert Ballard, IAC President and co-founder of the Vietnamese Adoptee Network (VAN), “international adoptees in the United States have been reactionary. Now, though, the IAC will offer international adoptees an opportunity to establish their presence, one that will set the tone for dialogue with agencies, adoptive parents, and each other.”

Sharon Cuartero, member of the IAC Board of Directors and co-founder of the Filipino Adoptees Network (F.A.N.), extends the sentiments: “To date, opportunities for international adoptees as a large, unified group to express and empower themselves have been limited. The creation of the IAC will enable them to come together and find their voice within the larger adoption community.”

The IAC has received tremendous support and endorsement from a variety of organizations and individuals. Rick Gibson, Adoption Supervisor at Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS), writes, “As more and more adopted persons enter adulthood, many are choosing to focus, either professionally or personally, on adoption and child welfare issues around the world. Adoptees’ perspectives on adoptive parent preparation, adoption policy and procedures, in-country child welfare, post adoption support and a myriad of other issues, are critical components when reviewing current standards of adoption practice. Adoption professionals looking to better understand their work and sharpen their practice will pay close attention to the results of the Congress.”

This summer, members of the IAC Board of Directors, representing Filipino, Honduran, Indian, Korean, and Vietnamese adopted persons, will invite other adult adoptees and adoptee groups across the United States to join the IAC and participate in November.

Individuals, organizations, and members of the press interested in the Inaugural Meeting of the IAC are invited to contact Kelly Brownlee at 206-818-1625.

The International Adoptee Congress (IAC) is a membership organization made up of internationally adopted persons. The IAC is committed to empowering, supporting, and giving voice to all international adoptees and adoptee groups. We are also committed to helping the broad adoption community to create and sustain healthy adoptive families. For more information please contact Kelly Brownlee at 206-818-1625.


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Kelly Brownlee

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