We are grateful for the incredible and selfless dedication of all our volunteers. Those who have been working on The Adoption Files Initiative (TAFI) have spent thousands of hours reviewing hundreds of decades-old adoption files from many years ago when many adoptions were secretive. Our volunteers’ work, along with the dedication of Amara staff members, has allowed many adult adoptees to learn more about their stories. Connecting people to their truth can be a transformative experience.
Recently, local storyteller and podcast producer, Katy Klein, became so inspired by TAFI that she reached out to see if it could be her oral history project at the prestigious Stony Brook University Podcast Fellowship. Katy learned about TAFI from an article that ran in The Imprint and Crosscut in late 2021. After meeting with her and vetting her background, Amara agreed to help connect her to folks who have a connection to TAFI, whether they are volunteers, members of our ethics committee, or adoptees who are willing to share their stories.
“I want to share authentic stories in a kind, compassionate, and nuanced way,” she said, adding that there will be “no villains” in the podcast(s) and no “gotchas.”
One of things that inspired Katy the most about TAFI and drew her toward wanting to create a podcast (or several) about it is the complexity of reconciling old beliefs about secrecy and shame with today’s healthy emphasis on openness and healing. “I think it’s really important for people to hear these stories,” she explained, so that other agencies with decades-old adoption files can begin similar programs. Amara works with other agencies who want to create similar initiatives.
Katy plans to wrap up her fellowship in late spring 2023 and will have at least one, possibly more, great audio projects to share that will shine a light on the importance of people knowing their true stories.