Adoptees Connect is a peer led adoptee-centric connect group for adult adoptees. This group is designed to be a “safe space” for adoptees to gather and share experiences regarding their adoption journeys. We believe being adopted can come with complexities that only another adoptee can understand. Through Adoptees Connect Groups adult adoptees are being empowered by one another. This brings encouragement, community,  and a launching pad in finding their voices as they navigate their adoptee journeys together.  In our collective efforts, we’re striving to bring hope & healing to as many adoptees as possible by building lifelong connections with those who understand. Our goal is to let ever adoptee know they aren’t alone and the way they feel is normal for a not normal situation. Nothing is normal about being separated from your biological families at the beginning of life.

Our organization is a global effort, creating chapters across the nation and abroad. Our groups are designed to take online relationships offline and to get to know the person behind the profile. With statistics of adoptees attempting suicide 4x more than non-adoptees and prisons, jails, treatment facilities and mental health facilities overpopulated with adoptees, our hope is our mission will help counteract with these staggering statistics.



At Adoptees Connect we strive to make a difference in the lives of Adult Adoptees and those impacted by Adoption. We provide a service to Adult Adoptees in our communities that’s otherwise unavailable.

Being adopted is often one of the most challenging experiences in a person’s life. It’s said to be a lonely journey, and it often can be. It can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders when you have no one in your life to share your experiences with. It can feel isolating and, often many adoptees give up because they just don’t have the motivation to keep going. It can be discouraging in many ways.

We aren’t designed to walk our journeys alone.

We all need support every now and then. Connecting with other Adult Adoptees who understand is a life changing experience. Even if they are at different stages of their adoption journey, they’ll understand what it is you’re going through and be able to give you the encouragement you need to keep going.

Adoptees Connect Groups help many people cope with the emotional aspects of being adopted by providing a safe place to share their feelings and challenges. They also allow people to learn from others facing similar situations.

Benefits of participating in an Adoptees Connect Group may include:

  • Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
  • Gaining a sense of empowerment and control
  • Improving coping skills and sense of adjustment
  • Talking openly and honestly about adoptee feelings
  • Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue
  • Developing a clearer understanding of what to expect with your situation
  • Being around others that speak the same language as you
  • Comparing notes about resources, what has helped and not helped in healing
  • Identify triggers and how to process them
  • Building lifelong relationships
  • Bringing quality of life
  • Exciting activities together
  • Empower one another by sharing experiences, strengths and hopes
  • Resource Referrals
  • Advocacy

In Adoptees Connect Groups, you’ll find Adult Adoptees with problems like yours. Members of a connect group usually share their personal experiences and offer one another emotional comfort and moral support. They may also offer practical advice and tips to help you cope with your situation.

At Adoptees Connect we’re focused and dedicated on building lifelong relationships with one another. We’re walking life out together by planning fun activities, hosting small group monthly meetings and walking life out together. Adoptees Connect is where adoptee voices meet.

This is the basis of what Adoptees Connect was founded on.



Pamela Karanova Lexington, KY

Pamela is an adult adoptee from a closed adoption, born in Waterloo, IA. She currently resides in Lexington, KY and considers it to be her home. Pamela is post reunions with both biological parents and has had many ups and downs regarding her adoptee journey.  She shares her story at Adoptee In Recovery. Pamela has spent years on a healing journey and in that process her connections with other adoptees has been something that’s been extremely rewarding and beneficial to her healing. Pamela has 3 adult children and she’s a Team Leader for a team of caregivers in the home health field. To learn more about her vision for Adoptees Connect visit here.

Stephani Harris Louisville, KY

Stephani was born and adopted in Kentucky. She discovered a secret at 9 years old that her Biological Mother, ½ siblings, and extended families lived only few miles away from her and her adopted family. At 30 years old, she sought out the truth about her Biological Father, the discovery of their ethnicity that’s shared between them, and the primary reason for her relinquishment in adoption. Years as an adult, she struggled with depression, suicidal ideology, and confusion about her identity. Her message to tell the world is that the pain of lies and secrets are far more painful than knowing your own truth. Knowing the truth has given her compassion and empathy for others who struggle in their adoption journey. Stephani is married to an Adoptee and has one child. She is the Co-author and Contributor of the anthology book, The Adoptee Survival Guide. She’s a business owner and Cosmetologist for over 30 years.

Maria Gatz – Lexington, KY


Maria is a Latina who was born, raised and adopted in Kentucky. She grew up with an adopted younger brother (from a different biological background) where both children were raised with adoption awareness and with full love and support from their adoptive family. Maria began her own personal adoption journey when first meeting her biological family in the fall of 2011. After battling with anxiety, depression, and identity issues for years, Maria began to face fundamental adoptee issues and heal upon meeting Founder of Adoptees Connect, Pamela Karanova.  “ ‘Coming out of the fog,’ changed my life and continues to do so, but it has been challenging. I couldn’t imagine navigating through this without the help and support of Adoptees Connect. There is so much more to adoption than bringing home a child to love. I’m honored to be a member of the board of directors for Adoptees Connect and help encourage adoptees to use a voice that many have yet to find and raise awareness for a happier, healthier adoption community.”

Harris Coltrain Louisville, KY

Harris was adopted in 1970 and raised in Richmond, Virginia, but has been a resident of Louisville, Kentucky since 1994. Knowing about his adoption came early, at age 7, and his parents were always open and supportive. They did the best they could in helping him to try and understand the nature of adoption. In addition, they had a second adopted child, his sister who was just 4 years younger. 13 years ago he was able to locate and have reunions with both sides of his biological family and is now the oldest of 11 siblings. He is also the father of 3 wonderful children.

After struggling with alcohol and drug addiction for 13+ years, he was able to get sober in 1996 and has been in recovery ever since. Sobriety has been a main focus for many years and he hopes to work with other Adoptees that struggle with alcohol and addiction issues. Just this year, since being introduced to Adoptees Connect, reading “The Primal Wound” and “Journey of the Adopted Self”, has he been able to begin to address some of the issues related directly to the trauma of adoption.

adoptees connect pic
Bailee Boggess, Owensboro, KY

Bailee is originally from Owensboro, KY, where she was adopted and raised. She currently lives in Lexington, KY. Growing up biracial in an all-white family was accompanied by its challenges, but she was raised in a household with two wonderful parents who were always supportive of her curiosity about culture and her biological family. Beginning in 2016, she sought out and met most of her biological family discovering that she has, in total, 8 brothers and sisters, 19 nieces and nephews, and one godson. She graduated from Georgetown College in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is working towards getting her Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology. In addition to serving on the board for Adoptees Connect, she also does dementia research at Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky. By sharing her story and adoptee journey, she hopes to inspire others to embrace their culture, their family, and their connections with others. She also wants to raise awareness of the importance of diversity in the adoptee community.