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Kevin Ost-Vollmers responds to Kathleen Strottman’s (of CCAI) response

Kathleen Strottman of the CCAI was kind enough to respond to my email in regards to the CCAI’s dis of the adoptee and first parent communities.  For professional purpose, I have opted not to include her email, but below is my response to her.  Enjoy — KOV


Dear Kathleen,

Thank you for getting back to me.  I appreciate your willingness to engage in conversation.

There’s been no misunderstanding.  Even if the roundtable is officially being hosted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I’m sure the CCAI certainly could have expanded the participants.  For example, other adoptees could have been added to the mix.  There are plenty of them in DC Metro.  Thinking that inviting Susan Cox is enough representation is shallow thinking; to believe that Susan speaks on behalf of all adoptees is like saying I speak on behalf of the Justin Bieber generation.  Beyond that, Susan is first and foremost a voice for Holt International, which has a vested monetary interest in all things adoption.  She’s great at what she does, but her voice isn’t an objective one.

In regards to your explanation for why you targeted adoptive parents and adoption agencies with your two surveys, I’m sorry to say, but I don’t buy it.  The CCAI has consistently shown that adult adoptees (or, to use the CCAI language, “orphans”) and first parents are not members of the organization’s constituency.  The CCAI never solicits information from adult adoptees (unless if its folks like Susan) and, in particular, first parents.  As Maureen Evans, who is no stranger to the adoption community and whom I suspect you know, facetiously commented in the post I sent to you:

“So when will the roundtable be held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and CCAI that features only internationally adopted persons? or maybe a panel with birth/first parents? a roundtable that solicits and encourages their views on the process and the outcomes of international adoption?

I don’t see it listed on their web sites.”

If the CCAI actually reached out to the adoptee and first parent communities, it would see that there is a high level of knowledge and expertise about the adoption process, Hague implementation, adoption ethics, best practices, and so forth.  The CCAI would be surprised by how much more adoptees and first parents know than many industry insiders.  You know why this is the case, Kathleen?  It’s because every aspect of adoption impacts our lives and we should ALWAYS have a say in what happens to us.

Thank you for your time, Kathleen.  Please stay in touch.  In the meantime, know that adoptee and first parent advocacy is alive and well, and so I’m sure the CCAI, as well as other organizations like JCICS, will be hearing from us again.


Kevin Ost-Vollmers
Land of Gazillion Adoptees

4 Comments on Kevin Ost-Vollmers responds to Kathleen Strottman’s (of CCAI) response

  1. Frank Ligtvoet, Brooklyn // February 10, 2012 at 11:32 am // Reply

    Kevin, you are just amazing! Thanks for all you do for the adoption community. Take care, Frank

    • Thank you for your kind words, Frank. I take my cues from the adoptee, first parent, and progressive adoptive parent communities. They’re the folks who are really doing the work. I just jabber 😉

  2. Excellent, Kevin.

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