Minnesota Adoption Resource Network (Marn) is launching an inspired program that should become a national model for dealing with foster and adoptive care. Ten adoptees from diverse ethnic backgrounds have combined their wisdom & energy to provide adoptee-to-adoptee training, connections and resources.

A calender full of adoptee-focused events, support groups, website, networking and discussion tools.

Wow. This is a heartfelt and logical pooling of talent and concern that could make a world of difference to a world full of adoptees.

Best wishes to everyone in this grand new venture. Read their newsletter;

Executive Director:

Minnesota Adoption Resource Network (MARN) proudly debuts AHA, Adoptees Have Answers, a unique program funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, to provide adoptee-to-adoptee training, connections and resources. AHA supports a life experience that is often mythologized, pathologized and romanticized but rarely understood. AHA relies on new research findings that, in the evolving field of adoption, adopted persons are the experts. As MARN celebrates 30 years of advocacy in a state with a rich history of “firsts” in adoption, the premiere of AHA is both fitting and welcomed.

Mary Martin Mason, Minnesota Adoption Resource Network

In This Issue
From the Program Manager
AHA Mission and Beliefs
What AHA Provides
Key Research–Why Adoptee Perspective?
Meet the Staff
AHA’s First Webinar
Call for Submissions
Minnesota Adoptees Release New Book
Scholarship Program for Youth Adopted from Foster Care
Minnesota Adoptee Comes Home to Humor
AHA Advisory Group

From the Program Manager

We at Adoptees Have Answers, and many others who imagined and inspired its vision, are very pleased to welcome you to our new Minnesota adoptee community space. Rooted in current research and hosted by an all-adoptee staff and Advisory Group, AHA becomes another Minnesota ‘first’ in adoption — a live and virtual community designed by adoptees as a safe environment for seeking and sharing answers and connecting with other adoptees. Whether you’re joining us as a newsletter contributor, webinar participant, blogger, support group member, event attendee, service user or provider, your ideas and stories will ‘stick to the wall.’ Be sure to keep checking our website at http://aha.mn, now under development, as we continually add networking tools and broadcast information that you provide. Because you, the adoptees, are the experts.

Kate Ingalls-Maloney, Project Manager

AHA Mission and Beliefs

Our Mission
To promote connections among
adopted individuals of all ages,
ethnicities and adoption types while maximizing their lifelong welfare and self-fulfillment

Our Beliefs

We believe that being adopted has lifelong consequences for those who are adopted
We believe that adoptees benefit from connecting with other adoptees in a variety of ways
We believe that adoptees are the experts in adoption
We believe that others benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of adopted individuals

What AHA Provides

An array of opportunities for adoptee-to-adoptee connections
A website featuring resources for adopted individuals
Online networking and discussion tools
A master calendar of adoptee-focused events in Minnesota
A tollfree AdopteeLine for general information inquiries and
First Responder calls — 877-966-2727
Adoptee-facilitated support groups
Live events honoring adopted individuals and groups of all
ages and background

Key Research — Why Adoptee Perspective

In November 2009, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute published a groundbreaking study entitled Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption. The study of 500 adoptees constitutes the broadest and most in-depth study of adult adoptive identity to date. Among other things, the study states that adoption is a significant aspect of identity for adoptees throughout the lifespan, that race and ethnicity are of central importance, and that the importance of these factors highlights the need for adoptees to have connections with other adoptees. Adoptee-to-adoptee connections offer support, information and role models. The study also points out that adoptees’ voices are the ones most often missing from examinations of identity in adoption, even though they are the experts on their own experiences.

AHA addresses both of these points by providing space in which adoptees can share their experiences in their own words, interact with adoptees from a wide range of backgrounds, and access resources that emphasize the adoptee as the arbiter of his or her own experience.

Meet the Staff

Julia Decker, Program Coordinator
Korean adoptee, BA in Asian Studies, has worked and lived abroad in China, Taiwan and Spain, fluent in Mandarin and Spanish, extensive volunteer work with Children’s Home Society & Family Services and Catholic Charities.

Anne Johnson, Program Communication Specialist
Korean adoptee, BA in Communication, eight years’ experience in presentation and seminar development, experience with adoption and children’s mental health issues, knowledge of adoption law.

AHA’s First Webinar in 12–Part Series

SAVE THE DATE — Thursday, April 22, 2010

Please join the AHA Staff and nationally recognized adoption researcher, Adam Pertman, for our first webinar, Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 noon CST. The webinar, Adoptees Have Answers: Enlisting the Experts, will feature an overview of the new AHA Program by AHA Staff and an in-depth summary of the adoption research that inspired it — ‘Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption,’ conducted by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

For this webinar, you will need to register in advance of the presentation date by contacting Anne Johnson at 612.746.5122. In the future you will be able to register online directly through our website. The cost of attending is $20.00.

About the Presenter
Adam Pertman is Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national nonprofit and pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. Author of the groundbreaking book, Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America, and Associate Editor of Adoption Quarterly, Pertman has contributed to many articles on adoption and other family-related issues and has delivered hundreds of keynotes, trainings and other presentations both in the United States and abroad. He is widely quoted in the news media including the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald, and National Public Radio, and has ‘Today’ and ‘Nightline.’

Prior to his work in adoption, Pertman was a senior journalist with The Boston Globe for two decades, covering a wide range of domestic and international topics, and was ultimately nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by The Boston Globe for his extensive and eloquent work in adoption. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.

Next AHA Webinar
Watch for upcoming announcements on our next webinar — Minnesota Orphan Train Riders: Reflections on Adoption Over the Lifespan. This webinar will feature orphan train riders currently living in Minnesota and be offered in conjunction with a live event to honor these individuals.

Call for Submissions

AHA is very interested in publishing your adoption-related art work — visual and word art — in subsequent issues. If you would like to submit a piece for publication, please email it to j.decker@aha.mn with the words ‘Newsletter Submission’ in the subject line.
Note: Please send images in .jpg/.jpeg format. Written pieces should be limited to 250 words and submitted as MS Word documents or written directly into the body of an email message. We are looking forward to your creative output.

Minnesota Adoptees Release New Book

In the portrait book HERE: A Visual History of Adopted Koreans in MInnesota, Korean adoptees Kim Jackson and Hee Won Lee tell the stories of some of Minnesota’s many Korean adoptees through vivid photographs and excerpts from oral histories. On Saturday, April 17, 2010, both authors will appear at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis for a book signing and release, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm. The signing will include a reception, with a Korean drumming performance by Shinparam. The event is presented by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Series, sponsored by the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, and is free and open to the public.

Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, 55408

Scholarship Program for Youth Adopted from Foster Care

The Children’s Action Network and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption have created a national scholarship program, called Fostering a Future, to benefit youth adopted from foster care who want to pursue higher education. Applications are being accepted until Tuesday, April 20, 2010 for the program, which is sponsored by Capital One. Applicants must have been adopted from the U.S. foster care system after the age of 13, be graduating high school seniors, maintain (or improve) a qualifying grade point average throughout their senior year, and demonstrate financial need. For more information or to access an application, go to: http://www.childrensactionnetwork.org/scholarship.htm

Minnesota Adoptee Comes Home to Humor

Korean adoptee and nationally known comedian, Amy Anderson, will be appearing this month at The Joke Joint in Bloomington. Showtimes are 8:00 pm on Thursday, April 22, 8:00 pm and 10:30 pm on Friday, April 23, and 7:30 pm and 10:00 pm on Saturday, April 24. The Joke Joint is located at 2300 E. American Boulevard in Bloomington (the old Thunderbird Hotel). Tickets are $8 for Thursday night, and $14 for Friday and Saturday, and can be purchased online.

Adoptees Have Answers
Minnesota Adoption Resource Network
430 Oak Grove Street, Suite 404
Minneapolis, MN 55403

General inquiries:
Fax: 612.861-7112

AHA Advisory Group

The AHA Advisory Group is comprised of ten distinguished adult adoptees from diverse ethnic backgrounds and adoption types. Each has contributed professionally to the field of Adoption in addition to having the life experience and wisdom of being adopted. AHA is privileged to have guidance from this group of adoptees.

Michele Benson
Adoptee, retired educator, support group facilitator in Duluth, MN (not pictured)

Julie Hart
Korean adoptee, adoption social worker

Jae Ran Kim
Korean adoptee, nationally known adoption and child welfare trainer

Hei Kyong Kim
Adoptee, psychologist with Indian Health Board, child trauma and adoption trainer (not pictured)

Penny Needham
Adoptee, retired educator, middle school and adult adoptee support group faciliator

Robert O’Connor
Adoptee, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Metro State University, adoption specialist

Deborah Jiang Stein
Adoptee, writer and communications specialist, workshop facilitator for at-risk youth

Michelle Johnson
Adoptee, adoption trainer, Volunteer Coordinator for Minnesota’s 4th Judicial District, Guardian Ad Litem Program

Sandy White Hawk
Sicangu Lakota adoptee, founder of First Nations Orphans Association, adoption speaker

Mary Martin Mason
Adoptee, adoptive parent, nationally recognized adoption trainer, Director of Legislative Committee for American Adoption Congress

Kate Ingalls-Maloney
Adoptee, MA in Education, adoption trainer, Learning Technology specialist

The Advisory Group members will be profiled on the new AHA website at http://aha.mn.

Please stay tuned for that release in the coming days and weeks.
Quick Links

AHA Website

AHA on Facebook

AHA on YouTube

AHA on Twitter


Contact Info



General Inquiries



To join our mailing list please e-mail info@aha.mn

Stay tuned for
AHA website


  1. I am the mother of a 27-year-old Korean, whom we adopted at age 20 months. She has just recently been bringing up issues of feeling different because she is adopted, but more to the point, that she is Asian and that the general population in our area does not include a lot of Asians. Do you know of a support group for Asian adult adoptees in the Baltimore, Maryland area that we could look into, or do you have other suggestions which would help us? Thank you.

  2. I happened to come across the e-mail of Joann Geisbert, dated December 10, 2010 on the Website titled https://www.invisiblechildren.org, wherein she is inquiring about support groups for Asian adult adoptees in the Baltimore, MD area. I, too, have an adult Korean adoptee, age 23 years, and would be interested in finding such a support group in the Baltimore area. I am wondering if you were able to help Joann find a group, and if so, could you pass the information along to me? Thank you, Sue Roberts

  3. Just curious as to what it takes to adopt a child? I know of some people in Liberty County who adopted children in the late sixties and early seventies who were not well off, one couple were very poor. The father was a farmer and yet the managed to adopt a little girl. This same little girl grew up and gave her youngest baby away to a local couple. What are the qualifications for adopting a child? I have been told it’s very expensive and you need to have insurance, a really good job and there are tons of hoops to jump through. Can anyone tell me how it really works? Thanks.

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