International adoptees invited to multicultural event
International adoptees will get the chance to share their stories at a networking event next week.
Organised by 'I'm Adopted', the event on August 6 will coincide with the project's first birthday.
Held at the Fickle Convention Centre in Three Kings, the multicultural celebration will include adoptees sharing their stories, cultural items and dinner.
Gulf Harbour adoptee Alexander Kuch has been involved in getting the event off the ground.
Alexander Kuch, 21, was adopted from a Romanian orphanage when he was two years old by German parents Walter and Heidi.
A little brother, also adopted from Romania, followed, and the family of four moved to New Zealand in 2006 for a change of lifestyle.
Kuch now studies international relations with politics and psychology and the University of Auckland, and doesn't his fortune for granted.
International adoptions have been closed in Romania since 2003, and Kuch has gone back to his birth country twice to appeal to the government for change.
With around 70,000 orphans in the Romanian system, Kuch says many end up living in poverty and crime when they are released aged 16-17.
The situation was heightened in the 1980s when communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu encouraged every woman to have as many children as possible.
Being an adoptee himself, Kuch says he is motivated to help by "seeing the opportunities that I have had, and what others haven't had".
Although he can't remember his first two years, Kuch says feelings of hopelessness and loneliness returned to him on his last visit to a Romanian orphanage.
His visit in 2015 saw him speak on adoption in parliament, on television, and at NGO conferences with other advocates and experts.
He was even surprised by his birth mother and stepfather in a live interview on Romanian television.
Uncertain about the artificial environment of the reunion and his mother's motives, Kuch hasn't kept in touch, but has kept her contact details.
Kuch plans to continue his studies in Germany with a Masters in children's rights.
See the Rodney Times What's on column for information on the 'I'm Adopted' event.
- Rodney Times