It is rare to hear the voices of adoptees of the first postwar intercountry adoption wave. These voices of the lost and forgotten children of Greece speak boldly and with tremendous clarity about the issues of uprooting, (self-)doubt, joy and pain. They courageously ask that the organizations and intermediaries who made the decisions about their lives and then forgot about them correct what must still be corrected. They continue to search, relentlessly, for that part of their Greek identity that no one bothered to preserve. Their united effort is most effective and will leave an example for others to follow. Mary Cardaras did an excellent job creating the platform for them to speak out.Professor Gonda Van Steen, Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature. Department of Classics and Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London
10 January 2023
New book uncovers lost stories of Greek adoptees
Oral histories of Cold War international adoption are released today in new book, Voices of the Lost Children, based on research by Professor Gonda Van Steen.
Voices of the Lost Children of Greece is a collection of essays from Greek-born adoptees in the 1950s after two consecutive wars. Their stories strike home the experience of international adoption, whose impact has been lifelong, but had not before been properly measured or acknowledged. The book is edited by Mary Cardaras, with the foreword by Gabrielle Glaser and introduction by Professor Gonda Van Steen, Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature at King’s.
Our stories are a part of Greek history, which need to be told.Mary Cardaras, Editor of Voices of the Lost Children of Greece
Professor Gonda Van Steen’s research on the children adopted from Greece to the USA and the Netherlands in the 1950s-60S, has changed lives- she recounts reconnecting ‘a biological mother with her adult daughter, who was taken from her as a forty-day-old child some fifty-nine years ago’.
The now adult adoptees often find Professor Van Steen through social media and she assists them in finding their biological roots. Professor Van Steen has also published, Adoption, Memory and Cold War Greece: Kid pro quo? . This book carefully documents her study, and for the first time established the Greek adoption movement as a historic phenomenon. Greek-born adoptees have used this study and its practical information to get in touch with their origins, their families, and with each other.