How to Find Adoptee Support Groups
As much as we know about adoption, we also know that no one understands the adoptee experience like another adopted individual. So, if you’re looking for someone who can empathize with you during the good and bad periods in your adoption journey, adoptee support groups may just be the answer.
But, with so many options out there, how do you find helpful support groups for adopted adults?
We’ve provided a rundown of the most popular groups and adoption forums for adoptees below. While we do not monitor or endorse the views discussed in these groups, we hope they help you find the support you’re looking for.
Where to Find Adoptee Support Groups
Most support groups for adopted adults can be found online and for good reason.
Online adopted adults forums can provide a global reach and perspective that local, in-person groups cannot. You can hear from adoptees across the world, from all different backgrounds. They may be able to provide the support and perspective you need to work through your own emotions and challenges.
We encourage adoptees to do their own research when it comes to selecting adoptee support groups. Take the time to figure out which groups are right for your experiences, but don’t ever feel pressured to join or participate in certain groups if you’re uncomfortable doing so.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
General Adoption Support Groups:
- Adopted Adults Support Group
- Adoptees Connect
- Adoptees Supporting Adoptees
- Adult Adoptee Support
- Adult Adoptees Support Adopted People
- C.E. (Adoptee Circle of Experience)
- Christian Adoptees Support Group
International Adoptee Support Groups:
- Adopted Vietnamese International (AVI) Community Page
- Adoptee Bridge
- ASIA Families
- Eastern European Adoption Coalition, Inc.
- Ethiopian Adult Adoptees
- Global Overseas Adoptees’ Link
- Heritage Camps
- Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN)
- Transracial Adoption – International Adoption
Support Groups for Adoptees of Color:
- Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora
- Adult Adoptees of Color
- Black Adoptees
- Black Adoptee Support and Education
- TAP 101 for Adult Transracial Adoptees
- Transracial Adoption
- Transracial Adoption Perspectives
Foster Care Adoptee Support Groups:
- Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families
- Former Foster Children United
- Foster and/or Adopted Foster Children Support Group
- Support for Foster Kids
- United Indians Native American Foster Care Support Group
*Because support groups are community-run, they are always subject to change. We have done our best to provide the most accurate information of existing adoptee support groups in this article, but we apologize in advance for listing any groups that no longer exist or any broken links.
A Word of Caution for Online Adoption Forums for Adoptees
While online adoptee support groups can be great for sharing your story and hearing from others, there are a few disadvantages to be aware of before joining. It’s important that you go into every online forum with open eyes and reasonable expectations.
As we all know, the anonymity of the internet makes it easy for anyone to say anything they want without repercussions. And, while the internet can be a great place to speak with like-minded people, it can also make it difficult to hear other perspectives, especially in online support groups for adopted adults.
You may find that certain groups are focused on sharing only one aspect of adoption — either a positive or negative viewpoint. Some adoptees will focus on their own experience and disregard anyone who doesn’t have the same experience, good or bad. They may rail against adoption as a whole, refusing to see others’ sides of the story. But, remember, adoption is not black and white, and not every adoptee feels the same about their story.
When you hear the same ideas and stories over and over again, you can quickly become radicalized for or against adoption in a way you weren’t before. So, before joining adopted adults forums, please remember this: Every adoptee’s personal experience with adoption is valid, even if it doesn’t agree with yours. Support groups can help you learn from other perspectives, but only if you join with a willingness to have your personal beliefs challenged to some degree.
If you find that, after joining an adoptee support group, you are being exposed to the same ideas over and over again, don’t be afraid to take a break. Try to recognize when online groups have crossed from “supportive” to “think tank.” Do what you need to do to protect your mental health.
Other Places to Find Adoptee Support
While online support groups can be useful, they often cannot provide all the support you need. Adoptees should evaluate their emotions while participating in these adoption forums for adoptees. Are they making you feel better? Or could you benefit from more than just words on a screen?
It’s up to every adoptee to determine what support they may need. Asking for help can be hard, but remember that you are entitled to it. Being an adoptee can be challenging, and there is nothing wrong with you if you need extra time to sort out your emotions and opinions on this part of your life.
If you’re looking for extra adoptee support, consider these options:
- A counselor experienced in adoption: Being adopted comes with all sorts of unique challenges. Counseling may not help unless a therapist truly understands the complex issues affecting you and others in the triad. An adoption-experienced counselor can serve as a neutral third-party sounding board, especially if your challenges with adoption stem from relationship issues with your birth or adoptive parents.
- In-person adoptee support groups: While many support groups are at your fingertips thanks to the internet, you may find it easier to connect with other adoptees face-to-face. You can search the American Adoption Congress’s list or look at existing groups on Meetup.com. If there are no adoption support groups for adoptees in your area, consider starting your own.
- A confidential hotline: If you are struggling with your emotions or mental health, don’t wait to get the help you need. Please reach out to an appropriate helpline where you can talk to a mental health professional for free and completely confidentially.
Additionally, if you were adopted through our agency, you can always reach out to our specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION for answers and guidance. We will always be here for you.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.