Our Partners

AdopSource

"Integrating Culture, Identity, and Life Experiences"

Asian adoptee communities have unique experiences and challenges that are not often recognized and addressed within the Asian and mainstream communities. There are significant issues that the Asian adoptee communities struggle with such as cultural identity, mental health, isolation, and racism. Also, politics between agencies and adoptee organizations often make it difficult to collaborate with each other. AdopSource is a newly formed non-profit organization that aims to bring the Asian adoptee community together and bring the experience and issues to the forefront.

Finally, a space of their own. Over 100 adoptee parents and adoptees from Korea, China, Columbia, Vietnam, India, and the U.S. laughed together as local Minnesota comedian, Tou Ger Xiong, performed at AdopSource's first annual membership event. The mood of the event was festive and hopeful. The diversity of the attendees reflected the growing reach of the newly emerging organization.  AdopSource image

Minnesota is home to more than 30,000 Asian adoptees, the largest number per capita in the United States. AdopSource formed as a response to the needs of this specific population. Originally branching from a Korean adoptee organization called GOAL (Global Overseas Adoptees Link), AdopSource now operates as its own 501c3 organization. Its work aims to support the integration of culture, identity, and life experiences for all Asian adoptees, their families, and the greater community in Minnesota. AdopSource's commitment stems from significant issues that the Asian adoptees struggle with such as cultural identity, isolation, mental health, and racism. Adoption agencies and the public sector fall short in providing comprehensive resources to address these needs.

Through their community engagement process, AdopSource organized dialogues with adoptees, adoptive families, and agencies to explore how to partner with each other and foster a non-competitive and positive learning environment that promotes growth and greater communication. AdopSource learned more about the political environment within the Asian adoptee community and who their allies are. For example, many adoptee agencies and organizations have very different missions and focus on specific populations which makes collaboration challenging. Some agencies focus exclusively on youth services, overlooking the needs of many adult adoptees.

Also, some adoptee-led organizations are ethnic-based and work in isolation from other ethnic adoptee communities. They can be reluctant to partner with agencies or adoptive parents because of power dynamics. In addition from learning about the adoptee community that they wish to interact with, the community engagement process has helped AdopSource to reshape the organization's goals and objectives, and it created more visibility and partnerships for the organization. This focus and increased visibility contributed to the success of their inaugural membership event a month later.

"I see every meeting, discussion, and engagement as positive growth for our organization. Fortunately, all the times that we have faced a challenge, we have been able to turn it into an opportunity to learn and strengthen from within." -Aron Spiess, AdopSource Secretary

Looking ahead, AdopSource plans to address the root causes of issues affecting the adoptee community by holding educational workshops and conferences that provide space for dialogue. Asian adoptees have a unique experience that is often not validated by either the Asian community or mainstream culture. Adoptees often feel isolated from each other. They can face many challenges growing up and as adults that do not necessarily fit with the ethnic-based or youth programs of existing agencies and organizations.

As a sought-after alternative, AdopSource will not only educate the community about Asian adoptee issues, but will work to create a hub of resources for all Asian adoptees and their families-a safe and valuable space of their own.

"As a new organization, it's neat to watch it continue to form. We learned that there are deep politics within the Asian adoptee community, and yet we're still able to collaborate together." -Aron Spiess, AdopSource Secretary