Roots Research Center was established in 1999 in Athens by adult adoptees with the aim of searching for their roots. The Center’s activities range is twofold: to support adult adoptees in search of their roots as well as to promote the notion of fostering and adoption as means of a special social practice in the field of Child Protection.
The Center is operating in the roots searching area and maintains a “Research” and “Registration” databank for those in search of their roots. The data maintenance is performed under the auspices of the Hellenic Data Protection Authority. Roots Center pools resources from experienced consultants and scientists with expertise in the field.
Regarding the two main functions of Roots, i.e. roots searching and fostering, the following procedure is practiced:
The Center needs an application from the adult adoptee interested in finding her/his birth family or on behalf of the birth family in search of their adult adopted children. Within the respective legal framework, Roots works on the case being their legal representative aiming to locating their roots. Since 1999, Roots have received 1150 research applications and registrations from Greece and more than 200 applications from abroad. For this aim, Roots collaborate with all the Greek foundling hospitals both active and inactive.
This programme has been running since October 2004 aiming at the de-institutionalisation and de-asylumisation of children and the prevention of cases where a problematic birth family (families in crisis, parents with special needs and/or mental problems etc) causes problems of dependency and/or abuse to the children. The Center aims at the awareness of the public regarding the role of Fostering as means of Child Protection, at the development and promotion of Fostering and its benefits both for the children and for the foster families, at the recruitment of possible foster parents, the psychosocial support of both children and foster parents and at the cooperation with Private and Public authorities, as well as with NGOs on the subject. Since November 2005, when the official inauguration/presentation of the fostering programme took place, Roots have received several applications from potential foster parents and families which have been evaluated and then forwarded to the respective authorities for the conclusion of the fostering process.
In order for the Center to make known and promote the knowledge in the field of adoption-roots searching- and fostering has organized plenty of information days and seminars while it has also participated with presentations to information days of other relevant bodies. It cooperates with the Greek Ministry of Education and the General Secretariat for Youth in the framework of EU social policy and welfare projects.
Roots have contributed successfully a EU project named “YOUTH” (2001 – 2002, 2003 – 2004 & 2004 – 2005) and it has collaborated with organisations of child protection in Greece and abroad as well as with Greek and foreign Universities. It is with the Center’s aims to collaborate with young people who are active and keen to work in a creative way.
Roots main activities are based on voluntarism and teamwork. The Center is lacking a primary sponsor and it is supported by the financial aid of friends and supporters who want to upgrade and improve the services available to the public. In the framework of the Center’s developmental orientation, we aim at the collaboration with organizations in the following fields:
Public awareness and promotion of the Center’s activities, specifically of the roots research programme (search for birth families) addressed to adult adoptees.
The scientific support of the Center and the continuous updating and education of its collaborators on relevant issues and their development in the other European countries.
The Center’s support through the voluntary contribution on behalf of young people in Greece and abroad in order to familiarise them with the subjects treated by Roots and the Greek culture.
The moral and financial support to our activities in order to upgrade and develop our services.