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Reuniting Ethiopian Children with their Birth Parents

Beteseb Felega-Ethiopian Adoption Connection (BF-EAC) is a nonprofit organization which operates a program, including a website that reunites Ethiopian-born adoptees with their biological relatives. BF-EAC is the idea by Andrea Kelley, an American. She and her husband, who live just outside Kansas City, Missouri, adopted their two children from Ethiopia, bringing home a son in 2000 and a daughter in 2002. Over time, Kelley became aware that many birth families “were searching for their children, but there was no way for us both to meet.” Accustomed to adoption search databases in the United States, “I just decided to make one for Ethiopia,” she said. Helped by an adoptive mom with strong tech skills, Kelley invested countless hours and $3,000 to launch BF-EAC in 2014. Since then, the organization – registered with the Ethiopian government as a nonprofit – has reconnected more than 200 adoptees with their Ethiopian relatives. More than 1,000 other cases remain active in the registry, with adoptees or their birth relatives seeking connections. The database posts information – such as birth dates, names of the children or relatives, photos – provided by Ethiopian birth families, adoptive parents or adoptees themselves.