Adoption Network Cleveland (ANC) is a fantastic resource for all members of the triad in Northeast Ohio.
They “support anyone touched by adoption: adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, foster youth and alumni, foster parents and professionals” and do this through “supporting youth waiting for adoptive families, helping prospective and adoptive families, assisting adult adoptees and birthfamilies, and being a resource in the community.”
Betsie Norris, an adoptee, started ANC in 1988. At the time, she had recently fought to open birth certificates for adoptees and found her birth parents. She saw there were needs for all members of the adoption triad that were not being met, and thus the ANC was developed. Her story is actually really amazing, and you can watch it on YouTube.
We are relatively new to the ANC and became involved because of their group for transracial adoptive families, Weaving Cultures. The group meets once a month for parents and adoptees to spend time with others living similar experiences.
ANC was instrumental in completely opening up original birth certificates in the state of Ohio. This is not the only advocacy that the organization has engaged in. You can see their 2015-16 advocacy agenda here.
There is also a commitment to helping search for and reunite Ohio-born adoptees and birth families. Those wanting to engage in a search must be paid members of the ANC and participate in at least two meetings (a virtual option is available). They will receive support and assistance throughout their search and afterwards, which is different from hiring a private investigator. For more information about ANC’s search and reunion program, click here.
Finally, it’s important to know that you don’t need to be in Cleveland to take advantage of all that ANC has to offer! Their general meetings are held at nine locations throughout the state of Ohio, plus there is a virtual meeting option. Some of these meetings are held in conjunction with the Ohio Birthparent Group (and ANC has birth parent meetings in the Cleveland area as well). Other services can be utilized from afar, like their Adoption Navigators program, which is particularly geared towards those wanting to adopt a child/children from the public child welfare system.
For a complete list of services offered by ANC, click here.
Readers in Ohio, have you utilized ANC? For those of you outside of Ohio, what programs do you love in your area?