Feb 2013 AFAAD Update

As you may have noticed, after 5 years of deep commitment to the adoptee community, AFAAD is on a self-care / restructuring / strategic planning hiatus. 

Please keep up with most recent updates about our Oakland, CA, Minneapolis, MN and Atlanta, GA events through our Twitter feed and our Facebook page

If you are interested in starting a chapter in your area – please email us at afaadinfo at gmail.com 

We hope to have an update on the 2013 Gathering very soon. 

Finally – as we are planning and developing plans for the strength of our future, we NEED your volunteer help!! Do you have website skills? Can you donate office space? Do have social media skills? Are you interested in chapter development? Can you donate funding to pay for an intern? We need all these things and general support for our day to day activities so we can grow. Please email us to share your support. 

Excited for the Future, 

The Entire AFAAD Board. 


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Happy Holidays from AFAAD!

Dear AFAAD Community of Members & Supporters,

What a year 2011 has been for us!
We have been blessed to continue much of our outreach work, our educational workshops, discussions, presentations and support of films and artistic productions. We supported adoptee performer Rock Wilk’s Broke Wide Open coming to Oakland, CA. We offered a film and discussion nights for the public in the Bay Area. We continue to offer a once a month discussion group on multiple topics for adoptees and foster care alumni. We collaborated with organizations MAVIN, Adoption Mosaic and Mixed Roots Foundation. We continue our advocacy work, including collaboration with other adoptee organizations, and other ethical adoption watchdog organizations that focus on ensuring that both domestic and international adoption of children is done with family preservation at its core. For example, we signed on in solidarity against the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act / H.R. 1464/S.416 and opposed the blanket reopening of adoptions from Haiti to the Netherlands. And of course, in November 2011, we had our most powerful Annual National Gathering yet, in Seattle, WA.

In 2012, we will continue all of our annual projects. As well, we are committed to a focused strategic planning, to ensure our future as an organization, the development of our Board of Directors and our national chapter programming. We are excited to announce that Spring 2012 our local Bay Area chapter will begin a series of writing workshops for youth adoptees and foster care alumni of color with two local adoptee poets. Yay youth programming!

We hope you can see how deeply important and transformative the work we do for our community. This work is done all on a volunteer basis, as each of our Board members uses our own time and money. We are writing to ask your support to help us fulfill our holiday wishes, and to ask you to help us enter the new year on a positive note.

When you donate before December 30th – Here is where your money will go:
A One time Donation of:
$20 makes it possible for us to pay for smaller expenses like paper, stamps, and smaller mailings.
$50 makes it possible for AFAAD Board members to continue donating our homes and or renting spaces for discussion groups, workshops for member only events or for larger expenses like printer cartridges, larger mailings, and phone bills.
$100 makes it possible for us to continue offering small stipends to local guest speakers and interns for one time projects.
$500 will cover expenses for important guest speakers at our events, or allow a foster care alumni or adoptee who could not otherwise attend our Annual Gathering to come for free. A donation of this size would also allow us to begin the development of our desperately needed website overhaul.
$1000 makes it possible for continued strengthening of our national outreach, the development of our Seattle, Minnesota and Atlanta chapters, goes directly to the planning of our National Gathering, an event that is paid for partially by conferences fees and partially out of our own pockets each year.

When you give, your donation is tax-deductible, and your name will be listed HERE as a generous participant in this work that we do.

We send a special thank you MAVIN and Mixed Roots Foundation for their recent donations to our 2011 Annual Gathering in Seattle, WA.

Please give what you can! Donate online securely through our fiscal sponsor HERE.
Or you can send a check, written to “Community Initiatives” (our fiscal sponsor) with “AFAAD” in the memo line.

Please do not hesitate to call on any of us if you have questions, or want to volunteer, we have many opportunities.

Happy Holidays and as always, thank you for your support of our work!
The Entire AFAAD Volunteer Board of Directors

Lisa Marie Rollins
Ian Hagemaan
Lisa D. Walker
Karie Gaska

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“South Africa Tightens Rules for Adoption”

News from South Africa on Adoption:

“JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – In the wake of Madonna’s adoptions in nearby Malawi, and a commercial surrogacy boom in India, South Africa is laying out stricter rules for foreigners looking to make families here.

Last month a court in Pretoria set out guidelines for foreigners looking to hire a surrogate mother in South Africa. In 2010, a new child welfare law made it tougher for foreigners to adopt. The overall message is that children born in South Africa are better off in their own country, and foreigners need to show a commitment to living here if they want to use South Africans to help them make a family.

In the case last month, a Dutch and Danish couple won permission to use a surrogate. In the ruling, the court in Pretoria laid out guidelines that will now direct how future cases will be resolved. Surrogacy has been legal in South Africa since 2006, and the constitution guarantees equal protection for gays, which courts have routinely cited in allowing same-sex couples to adopt or use surrogates.”… READ THE REST HERE.
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CFP The 4th International Conference on Adoption and Culture

The 4th International Conference on Adoption and Culture

Mapping Adoption: Histories, Geographies, Literatures, Politics
March 22 – 25, 2012
The Claremont Colleges, Claremont, California

Call for Proposals

For our 2012 conference, we are expanding our concerns to include not only adoption in its many historical and cultural variations but also parallel institutions such as foster care, orphanages, and technologically-assisted reproduction, as well as various forms of forced relinquishment or family separation.. We seek proposals that explore the cultural meanings and/or political locations of any of these practices, and we encourage analyses of relationships among them. We will include academic work from a wide range of scholarly disciplines and areas—literature, film and popular culture and performance studies, cultural studies, history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science, law, women’s and gender studies, etc.— as well as artistic presentations of film, creative writing, graphic art, music, or productions in other media. We also encourage interdisciplinary panels, presentations, and productions.

Proposals may address adoption or related practices or their representation in any way, but we especially encourage work addressing race, class, gender, nationality, and/or sexuality and sexual orientation, and/or investigations of topics such as state and institutional power, (in)fertility, markets and market practices, and incarceration.

Confirmed keynote speaker: Catherine Ceniza Choy, Associate Professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, University of California, Berkeley, whose forthcoming book, Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America, examines how Asian international adoption has contributed to the transformation of the U.S. into an international adoption nation and how its history is also a history of race, labor, immigration and intimacy.

Please send 200-word proposals for papers or samples of creative work (of less than 10 pages) to asac2012@scrippscollege.edu.

Proposal deadline: July 1, 2011.

A conference website is under development.

For additional information, contact Susan
Castagnetto at: scastagn@scrippscollege.edu.

Conference co-chairs:
Susan Castagnetto, Intercollegiate Women’s Studies of The Claremont Colleges, Scripps College

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Adoptee Voice: Rock Wilk in Oakland!

March 14th AFAAD Bay Area Special Public Education Event

AFAAD Welcomes adoptee and poet Rock Wilk’s solo theater show, “Broke Wide Open” to Oakland as part of our 2011 “Adoptee Voices” Series! Monday, March 14, 8pm. Oakland, CA. Please join AFAAD as we sponsor Rock Wilk’s one night only performance of his solo theater show, “Broke Wide Open”. BROKE WIDE OPEN is a musical and poetic avalanche of words dramatically cascading into one man’s search for his biological mother, his identity, his home.

Q&A session following.
Open to the Public. Please bring your family and friends.
Monday, March 14, 8pm
Joyce Gordon Gallery
(2 blocks from 12th Street BART)
406 14th St
Oakland, CA.


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Support AFAAD’s work with Adopted People and Foster Care Alumni!

You can make an immediate impact by contributing to our work on line!
Your donations are 100% tax-deductible.

November 2010

Dear Friend,

Four years ago, a group of over 30 Black adoptees and foster care survivors came together in Oakland, California and began building a network to support others with similar experiences. Since our inception, AFAAD has directly impacted the lives of over 300 youth and adults with our educational, support, healing, and advocacy work. And we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Recent support from people like you has contributed to these successes:

We hold monthly discussion groups, education events and social events in the San Francisco Bay Area. Adult adoptees and foster care survivors rarely have the opportunity to talk with other adults who share their stories, or explore how those stories shape our lives – both in painful and joyful ways. Our support meetings offer an opportunity for us to build community and to share our histories and current lives – and for many of us, this is the first time we can do so in a space that’s exclusively ours! Our meetings support those who decide to search for their kin and for those who choose not to do so, and also provide an opportunity for us to educate each other as we connect our individual stories to the larger themes that affect black children in disrupted families locally and internationally.

We expanded through the creation of a new chapter in Minnesota. Our MN chapter hold as its priorities: to connect the local network of adoptees and foster care alumni community with one another and to connect with MN organizations who are providing support for adoptive families. Its significant that our first chapter born would be in Minnesota as it has, per capita, the highest population of international/transracial adoptees from around the globe. The discussion group that has started there is a major addition to conversations about black adoptees and foster care alumni in MN area.

We helped found and participated in the Adoptees of Color Roundtable (ACR). In collaboration with other adoptee-led organizations, AFAAD was a major contributor to the founding and development of the international Adoptee of Color Roundtable. We worked with ACR to help draft a statement on the adoption of children from Haiti after the earthquake, which was signed and endorsed by over 100 individuals and organizations from across the globe. The ACR Statement was the first time that a substantial group of adoptees of color from multiple nations came together to issue a statement about families of color having a right to due process prior to the removal of their children.

We organize and continue our Annual Gathering for Adoptees and Foster Care Alumni. The purpose of our Annual Gathering is to make connections, network, educate, provide healing space, and celebrate the diversity of our experiences, including those whose interrupted family lives include adoptees and foster care alumni who were placed transracially and with their same race, internationally and domestically, and within or without existing kinship networks. Our Annual Gathering is an opportunity for AFAAD scholars and artists to present their personal and professional work on relevant themes and is a time for making connections through activities designed to heal and celebrate our community. The Gathering attracts attendees from across the U.S. and Canada, and always includes a public event to provide education and support for adoptive families and the larger community.

We continued our Education and Advocacy work. Support from our donors and members enabled us to lead a session at the United States Social Forum in Detroit, where over 30 participants from all over the world left with a concrete understanding of how child removal from communities of color connects with other social justice movements and issues, and with pathways to support each others’ work.

As you can see, AFAAD has touched and changed lives in the few years since we were founded. As we continue to advance our efforts to support the well being of adult adoptees and foster care survivors, expanding our current programming and setting a strategic plan in place to guide our efforts over the next 5 years we look to our supporters to help us grow.

We need your help!

2010 Mini Gathering AFAAD seeks to continue our successful annual Gathering. In November, AFAAD will hold a Mini Gathering in Atlanta. The one-day event will feature a film screening, discussion, and the first opportunity for black adoptees and foster care alumni to gather on the East Coast under the AFAAD banner. Because of support of donors like you this event is presented as FREE to the public and to the adoptees and foster care alumni in the Atlanta area. We are so excited to connect with community in Atlanta!

Website development: AFAAD’s website needs an overhaul; please support with financial and in-kind resources as we develop our web presence to reflect our projected growth and future plans.

AFAAD 5 year Strategic Planning: AFAAD currently faces a critical point in its growth and development as the international conversation around race and family gains prominence. The time is right for AFAAD to take a step back, assess where we’ve been, and develop a strategic road map for our continued growth in the next 5 years. We need your help to hire a consultant to guide us through that process.

Our Goal is to raise $5000.00 by December 30, 2010.
Won’t you help us continue our work to support adopted people and foster care alumni?

Individual donors and group sponsors, unless otherwise requested, will be listed on our website, afaad.wordpress.com, posted in our program materials, and on our social networking sites and receive our newsletter. Sponsors who commit over $100.00 will also receive our newsletter and a limited-edition AFAAD t-shirt!

Please join us in our mission to support, educate and advocate for adoptees and foster care survivors world wide. On behalf of the many people like us who will directly benefit from your gift, thank you for your support.


AFAAD Volunteer Board of Directors

Adoptees and Foster Care Alumni from the First Gathering Nov 08

Lisa Marie Rollins
Executive Director

Lisa D. Walker
Outreach and Education Director

Ian K. Hagemann
Strategic Planning and Development Director

Karie Gaska, MSW
Community and Operations Director

Advisory Board

Dr. Julia Sudbury

Connie Galambos Malloy

You can make an immediate impact by contributing to our work on line!
Your donations are 100% tax-deductible.

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3rd Annual AFAAD (Mini) Gathering for Adoptees and Foster Care Alumni of African Descent and screening of the film, “Off and Running” (co sponsored by PBS’s POV films) Saturday November 13, in Atlanta, GA!

3rd Annual AFAAD (Mini) Gathering for Adoptees and Foster Care Alumni of African Descent and screening of the film, “Off and Running” (co sponsored by PBS’s POV films) in Atlanta, GA.

1-day event, partially open to the public
FREE!! (please register!!)

Register For the Events Here!:

Saturday November 13th
10am-5pm, with some evening activities

Announcing the 3rd Annual Gathering of adoptees (transracial / international and same race) and foster care alumni of African descent in Atlanta, GA.

This year our Gathering is a 1-day Mini- Gathering, with two sessions for adoptees/ fostercare alumi and our main event, Film screening and discussion of the recent PBS POV documentary, “Off and Running” from an adoptee/ fostercare alumni perspective, which is open to the public.

“Off and Running” tells the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white Jewish lesbians. Her older brother is black and Puerto Rican and her younger brother is Korean. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s household is like most American homes — until Avery writes to her birth mother and the response throws her into crisis. She struggles over her “true” identity, the circumstances of her adoption and her estrangement from black culture. Just when it seems as if her life is unraveling, Avery decides to pick up the pieces and make sense of her identity, with inspiring results.”

“Off and Running” is a co-production of ITVS in association with the National Black Programming Consortium and American Documentary/POV and the Diverse Voices Project, with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

(coming soon)

Who is AFAAD?

AFAAD (Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora) was formed specifically to support adopted and fostered people, to share our common and divergent experiences around race, adoption, joy, loss, family, search and reunion, and self identity and to celebrate our unique creativity, stories and community. AFAAD’s 3rd Annual (Mini) Gathering is designed with you mind.

The purpose of our Annual Gathering is to make connections, network, educate, provide healing space, and to celebrate the diversity of our amazing diaspora of transracial, international, domestic adoptees and foster care alumni. AFAAD uses “Black” in the widest diasporic sense, which includes African, African American, AfroAsian and AfroLatino, bi-racial and multi-heritage peoples.

For more information about our mission, community and legislative advocacy work and how to donate to our work please feel free to call, email or visit our website.

AFAAD’s 2010 Gathering is being hosted by Georgia State University, ideally situated in the center of downtown Atlanta, GA, close to all forms of public transportation. Individuals visiting Altanta must make their own hotel reservations separately from AFAAD Gathering registration.

CineFest Film Theater at GSU
66 Courtland Street SE, Suite 240
Atlanta, GA 30303

List of hotels near to the GSU campus

FREE Register for the Events here!

Posted in adult adoptees, AFAAD Gatherings, african american adoptees, black adoptee, Caribbean adoptee, Films to See, TRA, transracial adoption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AFAAD at United States Social Forum!

AFAAD is collaborating with other adoptees of color and going to the United States Social Forum and presenting! Its very exciting. The workshop title is, “Where have all our children gone? Linking child removal from communities of color to larger social justice movements” and is going to be on Thursday, June 24th, 2010. 10:00am – 12:00pm, at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel: WB3.

AFAAD member, and MN AFAAD chapter co-founderShannon Gibney will be writing us up a report from the USSF on our activities there

Harlow’s Monkey hipped us to another adoption related panel discussion, “Poverty Is Not Neglect & We Are Not Powerless: Mothers reclaim Our Children Back from the Child Welfare Industry” that will be on Wednesday, June 23rd, 10:00am – 12:00pm.

Adoptees, Foster Care Alumni and Families — We hope you will come out, meet us and spend some time getting to know our work!!

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AFAAD Seeking Volunteers & Intern

Non-Profit Volunteer Support Needed!! Black Adoptee and Foster Care Organization

AFAAD — Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora is looking for qualified volunteers to work with our organization. We are looking for one interns and a few volunteers who will work collaboratively with the existing board and founding members, as well as the larger community to assist with our annual projects.

About AFAAD: AFAAD is an adoptee and foster care alumni led organization that connects, supports, and advocates for the needs of the African diasporic adoption and foster care community on a global level through community outreach, legislative advocacy, research, and social gatherings.

AFAAD believes that providing connections for and creating space to make visible the adoption and foster community in Black/ African diasporic cultures worldwide will give support to those who otherwise remain isolated in their experiences. Another of AFAAD objectives is to ensure that conversations around adoption in both academia and in populate culture progress in a way that include contributions by adult adoptees. We support those who are conducting cutting-edge research, restructuring child welfare laws and policies, and creating new artwork, performance and films that reflect our unique experiences and perspectives. We place race, culture and connection at the forefront of our stories. We are committed to voicing a powerful message about kinship, family, race, survival, and global black identities.

Volunteer Position Commitment
5 -10 hours a week
May 15 – August 15, 2010

What we need:

– Nov 2010 conference planning support
– fundraising campaign support
– marketing and membership communication support (website, twitter, email lists, blog)
– newsletter development and editing
– website development support
– someone with their own laptop / portable
– administrative support (mailing, database entry, editing)

What you will get:
– experience developing a project from beginning to end
– experience with web marketing and communication
– development of professional relationships with a diverse group of adoptees and foster care alumni
– strong programming skills in a environment that respects your contributions
– volunteer appreciation lunch
– support for your future endeavors

Please contact Lisa Marie Rollins with a resume and brief letter of interest, stating your interest in volunteering at afaadinfo@gmail.com DEADLINE May 10, 2010

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Vote to Restore Adult Adoptee Birth Certificates

AFAAD supports this effort! Please vote to Return Adult Adoptees the right to their Original Birth Certificates


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