Since my entry into the adoptee world, thanks to my fellow Ethiopian adoptee and good friend Aselefech Evans, I’ve been wanting to connect with more Ethiopian adoptees. In fact, Aselefech and I often discuss the absence of Ethiopian adoptees in adoptee circles.
My initial thought was that most Ethiopian adoptees are probably much younger than us since adoption from Ethiopia became more popular toward the end of the 90s and early 2000s, which might help explain why there is less participation in adoptee advocacy.
However, a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a French-speaking Ethiopian adoptee Facebook group with over 350 members called “Les Adoptés d’Éthiopie (The Ethiopian Adoptees).” This was a delightful discovery because I hadn’t known that there is a whole community of adult adoptees in Europe from Ethiopia.
Most of them hail from France, but there are some from Belgium and Switzerland as well. Some were adopted from Ethiopia as early as 1979, others in the 1980s like me, then others in the 1990s and 2000s. Most were adopted through religious missions, French-run orphanages, or French adoption agencies.
Eager to be part of the group, I started posting links in English on the page about adoptee issues in Canada and the U.S., and initiatives like Gazillion Voices, because I realized that many of the adoptees in Europe are probably unfamiliar with our adoptee communities and vice versa.