Children’s ombudsman to help adopted children find blood relations
The Children’s Ombudsman has pledged her support for the I’m Adopted project which allows adopted children from all over the world to share their experiences of searching for their blood relatives.
Anna Kuznetsova has been speaking to the founder of the I’m Adopted project. Alexander Gilbert was born in Archangel in 1992. His natural mother handed him over to an orphanage just after he was born and two years later, he was adopted by a New Zealand couple. According to the Children’s Ombudsman’s Press Office, his adoptive parents never hid the fact that he was born in Russia and, over time, Alexander decided to find his roots. He was able to trace his mother through social networks and travelled to Russia for the first time in 2013. His mother helped in looking for the father who, it turns out, was living in St Petersburg and totally unaware that he had a son!
As a result of his experiences, Gilbert decided to set up a Facebook page and website (https://imadopted.org) to help other foster children and established I’m Adopted in 2015. This social network has brought together 22,000 users from all over the world, most of whom were adopted and taken abroad by their adoptive parents. More than 400 people (350 of them Russian) decided to find their blood relatives and share their experiences with others after using the I’m Adopted social network.
Anna Kuznetsova said that working with other Russian NGOs can be of great benefit to the I’m Adopted project in terms of help in finding relatives, information support and sponsorship for organising a trip. “Finding relatives and travelling to their homeland, seeing the cities where they were born and becoming better acquainted with Russian culture is very important in getting a person to know where he or she comes from, where their roots lie, as well as supporting them in their noble endeavours”, said Kuznetsova.