Greek born adoptees seeking to know more about their roots, and Greek families searching for their children lost to adoption, have gathered in Nashville, Tennessee for what’s being billed as the first annual Greek adoptee reunion.
The three-day event was organized by the Eftychia Project, a nonprofit organization that helps Greek adoptees find their birth families.
The Eftychia Project advocates “on behalf of all Greek-born adoptees with the Greek government concerning the issues of transparency about our adoptions, unfettered access to our adoption, and birth records, a DNA database for adoptees and their biological families and Greek citizenship for all Greek-born adoptees,” it says.
Greek Born Adoptee Group Founder Was Adoptee Herself
The group was founded in 2019 by Linda Carol Trotter, herself a Greek-born adoptee and advocate for Greek adoptee birth and identity rights. In March, Trotter met with Greece’s Minister of the Interior and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in Athens. The meeting came in an effort to shore up support regarding the granting of citizenship and access to records for Greek-born adoptees.
Last November, she also met with Greece’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for the diaspora who promised action on granting them full citizenship.
Born Eftychia Noula, Trotter was adopted by an American couple who were told her mother had died in Greece. She is among the thousands of Greek people spirited away from the country in the 1950s and 1960s, when many newborns were sold or taken away from their rightful parents.
Trotter’s organization focuses in particular on helping Greek children adopted by American parents between 1948 and 1962.
Trotter’s quest to find her family succeeded when she was told her mother, Charikleia Noula, was “alive and kicking” at the age of 79. When it was announced that her long-lost Greek adoptee daughter had been found, Trotter said, her mother was told, “you have just won the lottery.”
A 2019 documentary called The Lost Children of Cold War Greece detailed the issue.
The Eftychia Project also offers a DNA Kit Distribution Program free to Greek families in Greece and to Greek adoptees. It works with MyHeritage, which says it has the largest DNA database in Europe.