The creation of this website was born out of the experiences of two openly adopted adoptees who grew up as friends (yes, that's us up there!). As open adoptees, we both had very different experiences with our biological and adoptive families, but there were some things we had in common as we grew up. Much of what we had in common was feeling at a loss for what family meant to us, how and where we belonged in the world, and at the very core, what to make of who we were.
As we sought out other adoptees' experiences and perspectives, gathered information, and tried to gain answers, we found very little that helped us understand our own experiences. What we found instead, was the information provided by adoption agencies that was geared towards the marketing of open adoption. What information we did find that was not oriented towards marketing, was information and chat rooms geared toward parents (biological and adoptive) and children of closed adoption. Mostly though, the resources we found were for parents.
In our search to make sense of our experiences, we looked towards the perspectives and answers of adoptees from closed adoptions. While we identified with some of the experiences, much of it also felt entirely foreign. There was one unavoidable difference between open and closed adoptions: adoptees of closed adoptions either never knew their biological parents or met them much later in life. While the information and perspectives were helpful, they could not help us begin to unravel the complexities of knowing our biological parents from a young age.
We are dedicating this site to the children of open adoption because, although the choice of adoption for adults is big and life altering, it is the a decision that encompasses the entire existence of the child and follows them for the entirety of their lives. We want to be able to help bring the voices of adopted children to the forefront of the experience and cultivate a sense of belonging and community for those who struggle with and question their sense of identity.
Tisa was openly adopted and grew up in Portland, Oregon. She currently lives in San Francisco and is pursuing a Masters in Social Work at Berkeley. She is studying the child welfare system and alternate approaches to current methods of intervention. Her interests are rooted in understanding lived experiences, how those influence who we become, and how this information can be used to design policy.
Ellis was openly adopted and grew up in Portland, Oregon. She currently lives in Portland with her cat, Lucifer. Ellis attended Evergreen State College, where her studies focused on Indigenous justice and utilizing dance to tell the story. She is deeply drawn to using music and visual art as a way to help understand and process our experiences. Ellis is also dedicated to working with dancers to create a more equitable and body positive environment in the world of dance.