Adult Adoptee & Foster Alum of Color at Pact Family Camp
Pact welcomes over 40 adopted adults and foster alum of color to each Pact Family Camp. As an adopted adult or foster alum, we provide you with a private space where you can connect with others who share your experiences and identity; you can also interact with children and parents who are in attendance. Adopted adults of color participate as guests, speakers, counselors and staff; we honor their presence and value their voices.
Too often in the adoption field, the adoptee perspective is subordinated to that of the adoptive parent. Pact believes that adult adoptees are the truest experts on their own experience. We welcome adoptee voices and support them as part of our mission.
Adopted adults of color are an essential part of Pact Family Camp, including the renowned adoption professionals, researchers, and authors who speak to and work with both children and parents, as well as many of the counselors in the children's program. These adults play a crucial mentoring role for Pact campers of all ages. At Pact Family Camp, kids who feel different on a daily basis get a chance to be surrounded and validated by people who understand where they are coming from.
Adopted adults and foster alum of color who aren’t working elsewhere are invited to participate in all of the adult programming (keynote presentations, panel discussions, workshops, etc.). While most of these presentations are designed with adoptive parents as the primary target audience, explorations of the experience of adoption can be illuminating to adoptees and former foster youth as well; their presence deepens the discussions and adds an important perspective.
We know that the adult adoptees and foster alum who attend care deeply about our mission – to serve adopted children of color – because they see themselves reflected in the children we serve. We also understand that topics of adoption, family, oppression, race, and culture can be sensitive, volatile subjects; we want to make sure that you are not being asked to be a teacher of white people and/or adoptive parents if that is not your desire. Of course, we invite people to reach across triad and racial lines as they choose, but we want to acknowledge the power dynamics that can happen when adopted adults and foster alum of color are in the minority.
There are daily opportunities for adopted adults and foster alum of color to meet as a separate group and talk together. We provide safe spaces for adopted and fostered adults to gather in community, offer the opportunity to attend a Pact-sponsored dinner offsite, and provide staff to facilitate conversations and support during both Camps.
Adult adoptees and foster care alums have the option to attend Camp in three ways: