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Adoption Angels: Mentors Space

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
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Surnames/tags: Adoption Angels Adoption
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All Adoption Angels fall under the title of Mentor, but an Adoption Angel Mentor is someone who wishes to help answer questions for adoptees from "How do I set up my profile?" to "What do I do first to find my family?" AA Mentors are typically the first person an applicant will have contact with, so it is an important role to ensure streamlining the application process and welcoming the applicant to WikiTree.

Mentors need to become familiar with a wide variety of resources available for adoptees.



Contents

What Mentors Help With

  • Mentors are the “first responders” tasked with welcoming the applicant to their search using the templated letter to make a connection.
  • Mentors ask for clarifying information in response to their application so the next Angel can be as efficient as possible.
  • Mentors help applicants set up their WikiTree profiles and may explain the various privacy levels available so applicant feels comfortable entering their information on WikiTree.
  • Mentors help adoptees find information needed for a bio family search such as birth records and non-identifying information by being able to find state adoption practices relevant to the applicant and assisting them in requesting this information.
  • Mentors help adoptees find adoption registries in their area and encourage them to register if they are looking to connect with their biological family.
  • Mentors explain the WikiTree AA process and refer applicants to another Angel who may have the knowledge needed to answer a question about their search.
  • Mentors may also fill other roles in the applicant’s journey if they have multiple areas of expertise.
  • Mentors may help answer questions in g2g on topics related to finding birth family, adoption, and other aspects of unknown parentage.

Preparing to be a Mentor

  • First read the Adoption Angels Mission Statement so you are familiar with what Angels do and do not do.
  • Read the Adoption Angels Welcome Mat for general instructions.
  • Follow the "Adoption_Angels" and "Adoption" tags on your personal profile. This will give you notifications when people create posts in g2g with these tags.
  • Make sure Emma has invited you to the Google Doc with instructions on how to help new applicants using the templated letter and the Mentor tab in the Tracking spreadsheet.
  • Become Familiar with the Basic Search Help page written for applicants.
  • Read Adoptees: How to Set Up Your Profile and use this as a reference link to help adoptees set up their profile.
  • Know where to find geographical specific information. See the Resources by Location help page for more information. Please add to/update to this page if you come across new information.
  • Review existing profiles of adoptees that are public on WikiTree.
  • Become familiar with the Adoption Angels contact form.
  • Be familiar with Using Social Media to Search.
  • Become familiar with the Mentor tab in the Adoption Angels Tracking Spreadsheet and how to use it.
  • If you need additional help, ask a Mentor to let you shadow them and ask questions before you strike out on your own.
  • Be prepared to have a “conversation” with the applicant about the goal they listed on their application.
  • Know when to ask for help. No one is an expert on everything. We have a community of Angels, many of which have expertise in multiple roles.

Applicant FAQs for Mentors

How do I setup my profile on WikiTree if I’m adopted?

How do I become a WikiTree member, I only have guest status?

  • Refer them to this help page: Help:Volunteers or refer them to the greeters by messaging wikigreeters@googlegroups.com and referencing their wiki-ID.

What Adoption Registries should I register with?

  • Those closest to the geographical area where you were born (if you know the location).
  • As many as possible.

Do you need access to my DNA test?

  • If you wish to utilize DNA for a faster, more affirmative search, yes. An Angel proficient in genetic genealogy will require access, but I do not at this time.

Where can I learn the basics of DNA?

When can we start?

  • I will help ensure your application is complete and then I will place it in the queue for the next Angel proficient in the area you need help. Our wait times vary depending on the availability of our volunteer angels.

How will you locate my biological parents?

  • It depends. Each case is different. If you are able to obtain access to your adoption records it may be quick. If you need to work with a genetic genealogist using your DNA to locate relatives, it will depend on the number of DNA matches you have and available records. Some cases are solved in weeks, some cases may only be able to narrow the search to a great grand-parent and their descendent.

Will you contact my biological parent for me?

  • If we are able to determine your biological parents or immediate family, we will not contact them for you, but we can help you write an email or a letter or make other suggestions for contacting them. {Pamela is starting a help page with templates for letters which can be added here}

I need someone to talk to about the mixed feelings I have, can you help?

  • If the applicant needs more than some hand holding and basic support, Mentors can direct these conversations to online support groups or encourage the applicant to seek professional help near them.

Will you fill out all the information for my family tree?

  • A Researcher Angel whose expertise is building family trees will assist you with this step of your search once your birth parents have been identified.

Do you have an Ancestry membership? Can you look something up for me?

  • Family Finders will help you with any research connected to your search for birth family. However, if you need general research assistance not related to your search, those questions are best left to the G2G forum. Let me help you post your question. (Please note: When posting questions in G2G people should be reminded that it is against WikiTree policy to post information about living people.)

Need More Information?

  • Repeated questions will be added to the FAQ section of the Researcher help page.




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