Three Questions is a new Next Stage series. Over the coming months, we will feature social good leaders from across the region who are partnering in new and innovative ways to create big community change.
What do you most wish our community knew about those who Adoption Support Alliance serves?
It is easy for people to believe that a legal adoption is the end of the process. But, in truth, that is only the beginning for many families. There are many agencies that focus on the “wedding” part of adoption. At Adoption Support Alliance, our focus is the long-term “marriage”. Adoption starts with loss and we want to support families as they heal from that loss. We strive to help families navigate adoption as informed as possible, talk about adoption with confidence, raise children to be confident in their identities and create strong attachments in families. Adoption is more complicated than many realize. It is unique and requires support that gets it.
What opportunities exist for individuals to get involved with Adoption Support Alliance ?
The most important way to help our organization is to tell adoptive families about us. We know there are many adoptive families that are struggling to find a community in which their adoption is the norm, not the exception. We want to do that for them- through counseling, support groups, education classes or community events. Help spread the word so that our community can grow!
In addition, like many nonprofits, individuals can become involved by giving financially, volunteering at a fundraiser, hosting a gathering for adoptive families in their community or writing a blog post about their connection to adoption. If you let us know your willingness to engage with us, we’d love to plug you in!
How is participating in the CULTIVATE program most impacting Adoption Support Alliance?
It’s really hard to pinpoint what has been MOST impactful, as so much about our involvement in CULTIVATE has grown us as an organization. Through the CULTIVATE program, Adoption Support Alliance has developed a theory of change to communicate its services in a visual way to a multitude of stakeholders. ASA, with CULTIVATE staff, has developed a long-held dream of creating a network of adoption-competent clinicians in order to better serve adoptive families in a complicated mental health system. CULTIVATE has made introductions for us to potential partners in Charlotte to assist as we make this dream a reality. Erin Nasmyth, our Executive Director, has benefited greatly from the expertise that has been poured into our mission by Josh Jacobson and Chrissy Eubanks. Erin leaves motivated and inspired after time with the Cultivate leaders and the other amazing organizations that participate. The encouragement and investment by NextStage and the CULTIVATE program is a huge boost of confidence for Adoption Support Alliance.
Adoption Support Alliance is a nonprofit, but it’s mission is also highly applicable to the private sector. Why should companies care about your mission? How can Adoption support Alliance actively support the needs or wellbeing of employees?
It is estimated that 1 out of 25 families in the United States have adopted, which means, in Charlotte, there are a significant number of families who have adopted (approximately 3,600) or are pursuing adoption. Adoptive families work in all areas of the private sector. Many companies provide significant benefits to their employees through financial support of an adoption. But, finances are just part of it. Seeing the uniqueness of adoptive families and connecting them with support services and community would positively impact company culture. Hosting classes like our Adoption 101 for employees interested in growing their families through adoption would be a significant benefit to employees. Adoption Support Alliance would love to share more about our vision with companies in the private sector and how we can partner to assist employees.
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