Mission

Kindred’s initiative is to provide international and domestic adoptees and their families (both adoptive and biological) with services such as travel, translation, and support for those who wish to reunite; easily accessible hotlines; introduction to art and encouragement of artistic expression; and programs set in native countries to aid orphans living within the foster care and government systems. No matter how big or small the need, the foundation’s goal is to aid adoptees and their families in finding stability and happiness.

Love and family is extendable not only to those with whom we share our DNA, but to whomever we choose to accept into our lives.

About Us

Kindred: The Foundation for Adoption is an American foundation created by adoptees Samantha Futerman and Jenna Ushkowitz.

In 2013, Samantha and Anaïs Bordier discovered that they were identical twin sisters separated at birth. When their story garnered worldwide attention, the twins heard countless stories about the joys and hardships experienced by fellow adoptees. Samantha knew she needed to use her new insight to aid adoptees and their families in a myriad of situations. She then reached out to fellow Korean American adoptee Jenna Ushkowitz for help.

From an early age, Samantha and Jenna possessed a unique bond as they grew up auditioning as actors alongside each other in New York City. Discovering their shared status as young female adoptees in the entertainment business, the girls developed an enduring friendship. Jenna enthusiastically joined Samantha to co-found Kindred, beginning their journey into advocacy for adoption.

Who We Are

Samantha | Co-Founder

Samantha Futerman is a Korean American adoptee. Born in Busan, South Korea, Samantha was adopted by a loving family in Verona, New Jersey through Spence Chapin Adoption Services and the Social Welfare Society. She was raised with two older brothers, her parents’ biological sons.

Samantha began performing during her childhood and continued to pursue her talents while attending high school at the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City, and eventually graduating with a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University. In 2011, Samantha moved to Los Angeles to further her acting career. Her entire life changed in February of 2013 when she discovered that she had an identical twin sister. This remarkable experience ignited a desire in Samantha to explore the world of adoption by assisting fellow adoptees and their surrounding communities. Growing up without the insight of other adoptees, she wanted to share a positive outlook on adoption and explore the ways in which family is deeper than DNA.

Jenna | Co-Founder

Jenna Ushkowitz is a Korean American adoptee from Seoul, South Korea who was adopted at 3 months old through Love the Children Adoption Agency. She grew up in East Meadow, New York with her parents Brad and Judi Ushkowitz, and an older brother, Gregg. As a child, Jenna worked in the entertainment industry acting in commercials, Broadway and television. She attended Holy Trinity High School, known for its prestigious theatre program, and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2007 with a BA in Theatre Performance. After performing in Broadway’s “Spring Awakening,” Jenna landed a role on the hit show “Glee” in 2008 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams in television and film. In 2014, Jenna was approached by friend Samantha Futerman with an amazing story on her own adoption. Knowing that not all adoptees had the same comfortable experience as herself and Samantha, the women felt compelled to take action by creating an inspiring resource for other adoptees so they know they are not alone, no matter what their personal journey has been.

What’s Up

Be Brave!

We all have an adoption story, don’t we? Most of us understand that family isn’t only defined by blood. Family is the place where we are fully known, fully loved. I’ve experienced this in many forms and have learned that sometimes even your blood relations can fully know you and not love you. I may be a birth mother in the adoption triad but I have experienced the joy of being accepted and appreciated for who I am by people who have no obligation to love me. I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet for the adoption agency that helped me find a family for my daughter. The banquet room was filled with over 400 people and I was overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed not by the eyes or judgements of those who might hear me share such a vulnerable story about my life. I was overwhelmed by how many people supported children… how many people supported me. It might come as no surprise to you to hear that birth mothers and birth fathers have the least amount of support in the experience of adoption. Whether your parental rights are given away by choice or taken away by force, the grief you feel as the void in your heart remains ever present is not met with much support on the back end. Yes there are support groups for birth parents, though not many. How many birth parents do you think actually want to attend a meeting where they have to admit that their children were taken away from them? Even an adoption by choice leaves a birth parent...

My Adoption Story

“When did you find out you were adopted?” as the saying goes. If I had a dollar for every time that question was asked of me; the answer is always the same – even when I was very young, “I never didn’t know.” Being adopted is a part of who I am, it was woven in to the thread of my identity; red hair, short, blue eyes, button nose, clumsy, dancer, adopted. My adoption was handled through a private agency. I was born in a private hospital and I was given to my adoptive parents when I was 5 days old. Unlike when they adopted my brother 2 years earlier when he was 6 months old, they had no warning time for me. They received a call from the adoption agency the evening before and were told that they would be getting a NEWBORN BABY the next day! Luckily they lived on a military base and once word got out to all their friends, they had more baby gear than they knew what to do with. My father who was in the US Air Force was sent to another country in the next few months after they got me. So the American Red Cross actually handled the finalization of the adoption and our family lived overseas until I was 4 years old. The fact of my adoption was always like a novelty to me and I would love to tell people. Then I’d wait see what reaction I would get. I even got in trouble once with my pregnant kindergarten teacher prompting a call to my mom. Apparently she...

Where Are You From?

Over the past few years, the question that I have gotten most frequently when first meeting someone is, “Where are you from?” This single question and the response that I could give are more complex than the person asking could ever know. Usually, my response is “I’m from Pennsylvania,” which is where I spent the majority of my life. For many people, that is not the answer they are looking for. But it is the one that I give most often, hoping that the questions will stop there (they usually do not).  By asking this initial question, a door to my life (which many times, I do not wish to be opened) is forced open by a perfect stranger. As a child, my parents were asked this question numerous times about me and where I came from. They became accustomed to it and formulated a well-suited response. Unfortunately, as I started getting older, this question became more and more prevalent and was asked directly to me. There is no class or formal training on how to respond to questions like this. I can remember getting this question occasionally in elementary school, especially since I was the only Korean in a predominately Caucasian school. As I continued to progress through grade school, this question did not bother me or affect me in any way. I just took it as people being curious or interested in my heritage, which I really knew little of. In college, my peers asked me this question several times, and I did not mind opening up to them about my adoption or past. For the most part, many professors and...

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We are a registered 501(c)3 corporation and all contributions are tax deductible. Our Federal ID number is: 46-5627926

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