The Choice to Search and Meanings of “Home”

Thu, Nov 21, 2019 @ 6:30pm - 7:30pm

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Voices of American Adoptees from China is a series of programs held throughout November 2019 in celebration of National Adoption Awareness Month. The series also commemorates the 40th year anniversary of the People’s Republic of China’s One-Child Policy.

 

In this installment of the series, join us for a panel discussion with adoptees from China on the decision to search for birth families and what it means to “come home.” Why do some adoptees choose to search and others do not? How can adoptees begin searching, and what is the likelihood of success under the Chinese government’s current scrutiny? What does “home” mean for transracial adoptees, and how does its fluid definition relate to other immigrant groups and the stories of Chinese in America? Hear from a range of perspectives on searching from three adoptees: Charlotte Cotter, who has searched and found her birth parents; Sophia Capri, who is beginning the process of searching; and Maya Delany, who has no interest in searching. Amanda Baden, an adoptee from Hong Kong and psychologist whose practice focuses on counseling transracial adoptees, will moderate.

 

Charlotte Cotter is an adult Chinese-American adoptee who was adopted from Jiangsu Province, China at five months old in January 1994 and was raised in the greater Boston, MA area. During the summer of 2016, Charlotte searched for and located her biological parents with the help of Chinese social media and local media outlets. She grew up with her two moms and her sister, who is also adopted from China, in Newton, Massachusetts. In 2011, along with Lane Allison, she co-founded the organization China's Children International (CCI), one of the first international support, networking, and community organizations created by and for Chinese adoptees. She has led the adoptee board of CCI for eight years as co-president and has helped CCI launch dozens of programs both here and abroad. Fluent in Chinese, Charlotte is a recent graduate of Yale University, where she majored in East Asian Studies with a focus on 20th Century Chinese History. She is currently back living in Boston and working as a Library Assistant at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies Collection at Harvard University.

 

Sophia Capri is a current sophomore at Barnard College of Columbia University pursuing a degree in Psychology and Human Rights. She was adopted from Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, China at 10 months old. Sophia is a Birth Parent Research Co-Coordinator for China’s Children International (CCI). She believes it is important to respect everyone’s journey in searching and connecting with their past. She hopes that she is able to assist in supporting and providing resources to help adoptees at all stages of the process. Sophia is very passionate about issues related to adoption and looks forward to speaking on the panel about her personal journey of birth parent searching.

 

Maya Delany graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2017 with a self-designed major in American Studies and a Film Studies minor. She worked to center Asian American and other marginalized narratives in both disciplines. She currently serves as secretary on Families with Children from China (FCC)'s Board of Directors and previously co-chaired FCC New York's Adoptee Board. Maya formerly worked in film, in human rights campaigning at Amnesty International, and currently works in digital marketing.

 

Amanda Baden is a Professor and the Graduate Program Coordinator in the graduate Counseling Program at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. She is trained as a counseling psychologist and earned her PhD at Michigan State University. Amanda has both personal and professional experience with adoption. She was adopted from Hong Kong and raised in a transracially adoptive family. Her experiences both personally and professionally have led her to focus her research and clinical practice on adoption triad members, transracial/international adoption issues, racial and cultural identity, and multicultural counseling competence. Amanda has written extensively on adoption issues including having created a model of identity for transracial and international adoptees called the Cultural-Racial Identity Model. She is one of the editors of the book The Handbook of Adoption: Implications for Researchers, Practitioners, and Families (Sage Publications). She is also the co-chair of the Biennial Adoption Conferences held by the Adoption Initiative at St. John’s University in New York City and serves on several advisory boards for adoption organizations including the Adoption Initiative (at St. John’s University), Families with Children from China, Chinese Adoptee Links, and the Chinese Adult Adoptee Worldwide Reunion. She was a regular columnist for Families with Children from China Journals across the US and Canada and for Mei Magazine (project now ended), a publication for Chinese adopted children. In 2005, Amanda was chosen by her Congressman, Jerrold Nadler, and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute as an Angel in Adoption. She lives in New York City and is a licensed psychologist with a clinical practice in Manhattan.