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Also-Known-As Newsletter: February 2023

February 16, 2023

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A Letter From Our President

Dear friends,

I came upon what is generally held as the first “modern” adoption law, at least within the United States, referenced as the Massachusetts Adoption of Children Act of 1851. It is quite barebones, but one thing that caught my attention was a section that stated,

“…if the child be of the age of fourteen years or upwards, the adoption shall not be made without his or her consent.”

I am curious as to how that (seemingly) arbitrary age of fourteen was decided upon. Furthermore, I am even more curious as to how the impact of the decision to bring each one of us up and out and over to where we grew up—apart from our own volition—has shaped each of us differently, some more than others for sure. From the start of our stories, there is an heightened struggle somewhere between what some call a spectrum of being a victim of fate, or an agent of free choice—mind you, which are obviously not the only two ways to consider one’s position amidst the course of life!

However, I can see a pattern that progressively grows clearer with each passing year in my life. The spheres in myself that I have focused on to submit to fate and victimization often leave me atrophied and without any true sense of growth. Whereas, the parts of me that I decide to take ownership of, to commit to establishing habits and patterns that I want to see more of in me—they produce the kind of flourishing that has brought the greatest sense of accomplishment in my growth and journey.

All of us look at the things in and out of our control differently, which is to be celebrated! But I have to say, there is something about the adoptee community that shines when individuals come together to recognize the good and the bad, the difficult and the joyous—all the complexities that make up the adoptee experience—and take ownership of that as our story, with no apologies. I know that’s what I need from my community at Also-Known-As, and I hope that is what you will experience too, as we move into these warmer months ahead of us.


Robert Lee (Calabretta)
Also-Known-As President,

Also-Known-As Adoptee Excellence Scholarship

The 2023 Also-Known-As Adoptee Excellence Scholarship is now live!

One individual will be awarded a $1,000.00 (one-thousand dollars and zero cents) scholarship to support their full-time study at an accredited institution.

International adoptees are invited to apply if they are U.S. citizens; age 25 or under; and plan to enroll full-time in 2023 at an accredited college, university or vocational-technical school in the United States.

Financial need will be considered. This merit scholarship will be awarded in June 2023.

For more information, FAQs, and to apply, please visit https://www.alsoknownas.org/scholarships

Also-Known-As Upcoming Events

Reclamation: Birthland 2/21

Please join us for another discussion in our Reclamation Series surrounding the topic of Birthland. We will be having three guest panelists, Amanda Sparso, Ryan Dritz and Darci Siegel, share their unique experience in relation to Birthland as well as opening space and discussion for sharing and reflection unique to all transnational adoptees. Light food and drink will be provided.

Who: Adoptees only
When: Tuesday, February 21, 2023 7PM - 8:30PM
Where: Women Make Movies 115 W 29th st. Unit 1200 New York, NY 10001
RSVP: Facebook or Email RLee@alsoknownas.org

Community News

Nicole Chung's second book, A LIVING REMEDY, is now available for preorder! For a signed and personalized copy, preorder through adoptee-owned Loyalty Bookstore. From the bestselling author of ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW comes a searing memoir of class, inequality, and grief—a daughter’s search to understand the lives her adoptive parents led, the life she forged as an adult, and the lives she’s lost. A LIVING REMEDY goes on sale April 4, 2023.

The next Korea Gathering is being planned for July 10 to 16th 2023. To learn more about the gathering and register to attend, visit the 2023 Gathering page. IKAA is also recruiting volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering with the planning committee, please fill out this form.

To publish your news in our community section, please send us an email with the details!

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