10 Adoptee Accounts on Instagram Adoptive Parents Should Follow

Adopting a child can be a life-changing experience. Not only for the adoptive parents but for the adoptee as well. However, many agencies are not able to provide in-depth education on the nuances of the adoptee experience.

As a transracial adoptee, the adoption communities that I have found online have been essential for my growth with my identity, self-esteem, and even helped me bond more with my family. These communities are not only beneficial but are essential for adoptive parents who are looking to expand their world view.

And for prospective-adoptive parents looking to learn more, I always recommend that they listen, follow, and elevate adoptee voices as the true experts in adoption because we have the actual lived experience of how adoption has affected our day-to-day lives.

To make things a little simpler, I have curated a list of 10 Instagram accounts that prioritize adoptee voices and are looking to help bring the adoption community closer together with their work.


1. Lauren J. Sharkey | @theljsharks

Lauren is such a great adoptee for adoptive parents who are willing to learn more about the difficulties transracial adoptees face. Her honest voice and informative slides offer an in-depth look through an adoptee’s eyes.

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In the age of COVID, I've been thinking a lot about responsibility – responsibility to ourselves, to others, to the global community. ⁣ ⁣ After yesterday's interaction with an adoptive parent, I've been meditating on the responsibility of adoptive parents with regard to educating themselves on the adoptee experience, how to talk about race, and other facets of adoption.⁣ ⁣ I've also been taking time to reflect on what my responsibility is as an adoptee who is committed to education, holding space, and providing support. I think it's important for everyone in adoptee-centric spaces to continually reevaluate their mission and boundaries, and to protect themselves from others who might infringe upon their safety.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ #inconvenientdaughter #laurenjsharkey #adoption #adoptionjourney #adoptionbooks #adoptionreading #adoptee #adopteevoices #adopteestories #adopteemovement #adopteesconnect #adopteesspeak #adopteereads #adopteereading #kad #koreanadoptee #tra #transracialadoptee #adopteecommunity #ownvoicebooks #representationmatters #adoptiveparent #adoptivemother #adoptivemom #birthmother #firstmother

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2. Cam Lee Small, MS, LPCC | @therapyredeemed

Cam is a transracial adoptee (TRA) and an Adoption-Informed Therapist who curates his Instagram with informative graphics that help teach adoptive families how to support their TRA. He also helps adoptive parents think a little out of their comfort zone with posts that focus on antiracism and nuances within the adoption community.

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Adoptees, I see you, I’ve been incredibly blessed and encouraged and challenged and spurred on by you, thank you for showing up either that one time or on the daily, and even for the ones watching quietly in the back, all y’all are here and I’m so thankful for the solidarity we bring to one another. • For folks wondering how to keep supporting us, here are a few ideas, I’d also add “pay them and pray for them!”🙏🏼 • Whoever you are please consider adding yours in the comments below!💌🎙 • #adoptee #adoptees #adopted #adopteevoices #flipthescript #adopteemovement #adopteestories #adopteeinfluencer #adoption #adoptionjourney #adoptionrocks #adoptionislove #adoptivefamily #adoptivemama #adoptiveparents #adoptionawareness #adoptees4justice #adopteerights #dearadoption #adoptiontrauma #adoptioninformed #traumarecovery #mentalhealthawareness #contentcreators #therapyredeemed

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3. Jessenia Parmer | @iamadopted

Jae is such a light in the adoption community. She advocates for mental health education and adoptee rights. Adoptive parents can learn a lot from her honest posts on the struggles some adoptees face with their mental health, including suicidal ideation.

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Adoptees: Have you ever had your feelings about being adopted invalidated? It hurts, doesn’t it? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Adoptive parents: are you validating ALL of your child's feelings about being adopted? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Growing up, I struggled with my feelings. I was always sad and angry, but it was hard for me to understand my feelings because everywhere I turned, there were reminders that I should be grateful to be adopted and happy that someone wanted to me or chose me. I would think to myself, how could I be experiencing something so painful, and the world keeps telling me I should be grateful. The grateful narrative didn’t allow space for me to process my trauma, grief of losing my family, and anger that my birth mom abandoned me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It wasn’t until I started therapy with an adoption trauma competent therapist that EVERYTHING began to turn around for me. After I opened up with what I was struggling with, she said, “OF COURSE YOU ARE SAD AND ANGRY.” It was at that moment I felt like I could finally breathe, and I finally felt NORMAL. I thought there was something wrong with me. Her validation changed my life and made me realize that what I was feeling was NORMAL. It is natural for anyone that loses their first family and experiences trauma to feel sad and/or angry. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Your feelings are valid. Never let anyone tell you how to feel about being adopted. The first step of healing is acknowledging what you feel and then working through it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Adoptive parents: anytime an adoptee shares their feelings about being adopted, we do it from a brave space. I ask you to meet us there with love, empathy, and compassion 💓. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🤗 If any of most posts are of value to you, please consider donating to help keep my mug full of coffee and to keep creating + spending time helping adoptees and adoptive families online. Thank you xo ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Venmo: @iamadopted ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Cashapp: $iamadopted ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Paypal: [email protected]

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4. Hannah Matthews, M.S.Ed | @_HeyTRA

Hannah is a writer and educator who offers endless content on her Instagram account that focuses on identity, education, and anti-racism in adoption. Her feed was originally created as a place for transracial adoptees but adoptive parents can learn a lot from HeyTRA.

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I’ve noticed a trend where white adoptive and foster parents feel panicked to befriend Black people and families upon transracial parenting. But how can you do that without it being tokenization or simply transactional? Can you? If you’d like to find out, tonight is the night. My webinar with @patricia_a_taylor and @faithful_jay on Being the Black Friend” happens live on zoom at 8pm EST. You can purchase your tickets using the link in my bio. And right now, if you use the code FRIEND you get 25% off your ticket. I hope to see you there! • • • #heytra #transracialadoptee #transracialadoption #blackfriend #friendship #beingtheblackfriend #webinar #discussion #conversation

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5. Ferera Swan | @fereraswan

Ferera is a strong advocate for adoption reform, family preservation, and of course, adoptee rights. As an adoptee, I feel like many adoptive parents can learn a lot from her educational graphics on Instagram that push adoptive parents to learn more about the system of adoption.


6. Torie DiMartile | @wreckageandwonder

Torie is also a transracial adoptee, whose posts discuss adoption, racial identity, faith, and social justice. She has lessons up on her Instagram feed called “Hump Day History” and covers topics like colonialism to the history of transracial adoption. Adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents can learn a lot from her account.


7. Amanda | @thisadopteelife

Amanda was adopted from Colombia and raised by an adoptive family in Sweden. She offers an honest view of the complexities of being a transracial adoptee. This new perspective allows adoptive parents to consider an angle they might not typically be open to. She also has almost weekly live chats on IGTV with other adoptees that allow further insights into the adoptee experience. 

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Here’s a thought in regards to transnational (which tends to also be transracial) adoption. 🤔 Whenever you feel inclined to suggest that a child can be removed from their origin, culture, language and kin, and it would have minimal effects on them later on, here’s a question for you; would it have minimal effects on you to have to adjust to another country, language, culture and social environment and in doing so sever the connection you have to everything around you right now, for the rest of your life? (And the loss isn’t just lived by transnational adoptees, but many adoptees to other forms of adoption as well. ) To all my fellow adoptees, PS. We are all in this together. #thisadopteelife #adopteeinflunecer #advocacy #livesdependonit #adoptee #mentalhealth #adopteeonyoutube #adopteevoices #adopteetruth #adoptees #adoptee journey #adopteehealing #adopteestory #healing #adoption #adopted #domesticadoption #internationaladoption #blog #journey #flipthescript #tellyourstory #own your #healingjourney #outofthefog #adopteerights #changingthenarrative #adoptionstory #DNA #searchingforfamily

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8. Andie | @andie.ink

Andie offers a unique view to the adoption community because she is not only an adoptee but also an adoptive parent. Follow her page to get insight on how trauma affects adoptees and ethics within adoption.

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*Before you read:
 Know that if you fall into this category there is no shame from me. Please listen, recognize the defensiveness within yourself may actually be guilt. You are LEARNING. Thank you for that. But recognizing your naive mistake. Address and heal your guilt and then please take the short and long-term steps towards apology. 

********************* Announcing with a photo… in a field… with a sign… a smile or laughter that you are going to be Foster Parents is a mockery of the pain, the neglect, the abuse, the intergenerational trauma that both your future foster child and their parents are currently enduring. 
 You are celebrating Trauma. 

And it makes me physically sick every time I scroll past an announcement. I know I am not alone. Many of my Adoptee, Former Foster Youth, First/Bio parents, and Social Work friends have also expressed this disgust to me. 

You see while you get excited… prep a room or two… buy cute toys and decor… hire a photographer… place those letters on a sign… pick out your cute outfits and do your hair…. smile and laugh as the camera clicks… 
 Your future foster children are being hurt. Beaten. Sexually abused. Raped. Punched. Left in their cribs in their own feces while they hunger and are not comforted. Their parents are experiencing domestic violence. They are fighting addiction and mental illness. They are struggling to make ends meet or fight against their own trauma passed down to them. 

These are not a pretty pictures. I don’t see you posting those photos of the realities your future foster children are experiencing. You reserve those for short video clips for the crime shows you binge watch on Friday Date Nights. You brush them aside with the privilege that you are so far removed from those experiences that you have the audacity to tell the world you are becoming foster parents with a curated photo displaying your joy. Let me make it clear: This is your Savorism showing. 

Again. I do not post this to shame Foster Parents who have done this. I do this to educate. We ALL make mistakes. What is important is the steps we make when we’ve been made aware. Please swipe to the following slide for action steps.

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9. Katie | @KatietheKAD

Katie was adopted from Korea and is an invaluable voice in the adoptee community. Adoptive parents can learn a lot from her “Dear Mom” Series on Instagram, where she shares some of the most pressing questions adoptees have for birth mothers. Her account is private, so you must request to follow and be approved.


10. Melissa Guida-Richards | @Adoptee Thoughts

Last, but not least, is my account. I created Adoptee Thoughts as a place to help bring the adoption community together. I discuss race, identity, and PSAs for adoptive parents. I also aim to prioritize adoptee voices with weekly previews to my podcast interviews with fellow adoptees.

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Many adoptees have adoptive parents ask them the golden question… "what can I do to make sure that my (adopted) child doesn't experience the things you did?" . . What a loaded question that is. But the truth is that you can do everything perfectly and still your child may experience problems as an adoptee. Every adoption involves some trauma at some level. . . Now I know this is difficult to hear, but it is the truth. There is no perfect equation to parenting that guarantees a child that will not struggle. No matter what we do as parents, we will make mistakes. But for adoptive parents, you need to realize that the most important thing you can do is to support your adoptee and foster an environment that will allow them to express themselves and share their struggles with you. If you are able to do that… then you are doing a good job. . . The rest is in the hands of God. For there are no guarantees in life, and just like with a biological child… you can do everything "right" and there can still be obstacles that occur. . . . #parenting #transracialadoption #momlife #adoptivemom #transracialadoptee #thisisadoption #adopted #beingadoptedmeans #flipthescript #parentingishard #adopteethoughts #adopteethoughtspodcast #adopteevoices #adopteeinfluencer #adoptiveparents #adoptive

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Read More: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Starting the Adoption Process


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