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Posted July 25, 2005

Kelly Brownlee, Project Manager


(Seattle) MAVIN Foundation has launched a multi-year, adoptee-led project to identify what international adoptees and their families need to foster connectedness and healthy cultural identities. Once identified, the project will work with adoptees to implement the project’s vision. The project is funded by a $75,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service reports that U.S. parents adopt approximately 20,000 children annually from over three-dozen countries. Although today there is a considerable body of resources related to adoption, adoptees and adoptee perspectives often remain excluded from leadership roles in adoption organizations and from the creation of adoption policy and research.

“Today there are generations of adult adoptees who are eager to contribute their perspectives to the adoption discourse,” says Kelly Brownlee, the project’s manager, who was adopted from Vietnam in 1975. “Having lived the experience ourselves, adoptees are uniquely equipped to support adoptive parents, agencies, and the next generation of adoptees.”

Starting this month, MAVIN Foundation’s Adoptee Empowerment Project will work with dozens of adoptee-led organizations to initiate a cross-cultural needs assessment. This fall, the project will take this information into online, telephone, and face-to-face forums. The outcome of these activities will be to design an innovative, adoptee-led project to launch in 2006. In the interim, the project will also help to identify program support to strengthen the infrastructure of existing adoptee-led organizations.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 “to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.” Its programming centers around the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities. Please visit

MAVIN Foundation is the nation’s leading organization that celebrates and advocates for mixed heritage people and families. Since 1998, MAVIN’s award-winning projects like MAVIN magazine and the MatchMaker Bone Marrow Project have raised awareness of this rapidly growing population. Please visit

Download a PDF version of our letter here.

For more information, contact Kelly here or call 206 622 7101.


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