Examining the lives and backstories of famous adopted superheroes and learning from the experiences of IC students whose lives have been touched by adoption are two ways in which the Ithaca College Adoption Support and Awareness Alliance Club will observe National Adoption Month.
Though 2014 marks the 19th year that November has been celebrated as National Adoption Month, it will only be the second year the college has recognized the month. This year, the national focus is on promoting and supporting sibling connections, according to childwelfare.gov.
The first event will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 6 in Williams Hall, Room 202, looking at superheroes and adoption. Participants will discuss how adoption changes one’s life and will compare experiences, since the three main superheroes in focus — Batman, Superman and Spiderman— were all adopted in one way or another.
The next event will be a panel held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 in Textor 102. The speakers — students who are adoptees, siblings of adoptees or otherwise affected by adoption — will talk about their experiences and will take questions from the audience. Student Leadership Institute credit is available for attendees.
Junior Jacqueline Unger, co-president of IC ASAA, said the event series would help relay information to people and would allow them a networking opportunity.
“Holding many events allows us to focus on one aspect of adoption at a time,” she said. “Events are a great way to meet new people, connect with the community and learn something new,” she said.
Club adviser Ari Kissiloff, assistant professor of strategic communications, said he thought the group was doing very well considering it is relatively new to campus.
“I’ve been to a number of their events, and they have a good turnout,” he said. “They’re good about social media. [IC ASAA] has a more limited appeal than other clubs.”
Junior Emily Quinn, co-president of IC ASAA, said National Adoption Month is important because it brings awareness that there are other ways to form a family besides DNA.
“The main focus is finding foster-care children permanent families and forever homes,” she said.
Quinn said she started the group because she felt there was a need for the community on campus.
“When I came to campus, I realized that there wasn’t a community or place to go for adoptees to go and share their experiences,” she said. “That was something I grew up with and something I thought was needed on campus.”
Unger said although there is a general awareness about adoption, she hopes people walk away having learned something they didn’t know before.
“There are many facets to [adoption] that people have never explored before,” she said. “I hope they can gain some insight as to why [adoption] is important in society and how it affects everyone, not just the people directly involved in adoption.”
Kissiloff said as someone who was adopted at birth, he never had a resource like IC ASAA growing up.
“I think it’s good that people who have been adopted have a group of people to talk to who have had similar experiences and have some support,” he said. “I’m just here to support them.”