Every Monday and Wednesday, between 8 and 10 p.m., adoptees living in Flanders can chat with another adoptee. The buddies will listen to their stories and are open to all questions. One can chat anonymously or not, the buddy does not ask for names or e-mail addresses.
A conversation via a-Buddy takes place online. Thanks to this website, adoptees can contact a buddy easily and safely, either by mentioning his or her name or chatting anonymously.
Chatting with a regular buddy
Adoptees can also ask for a regular companion, someone they can talk to at mutually agreed times and whom they can meet in real life. This can be is a mixed contact: there is an online and an offline contact.
Many adoptees would like to talk to someone who has also been adopted. And a lot of adult adoptees want to mean something to other adoptees, they want to give the support they’ve missed themselves. That translates into a-Buddy.
A-Buddy lowers the threshold and creates trust. A buddy knows what it is like to be adopted. A buddy knows from experience what another adoptee is going through. He understands it perfectly. We see the need for recognition and understanding reflected in the many requests a-Buddy gets.
Stories of adopted people
The stories of adopted persons, we regularly post on our website, provide the necessary recognition. It is very important to be understood by people with similar experiences. The stories make it clear that adopted people are not alone with their feelings.
aB-days and a-teens
In 2020 a-Buddy organizes four events for adopted people and their network (aB-days) and three events for adopted teenagers (a-teens). These last events consist of an activity, followed by cooking and eating together.
As an centre of expertise in Flanders, Steunpunt Adoptie offers tailor-made information and follow-up to everyone involved in the adoption process, during all phases of the adoption process.
Steunpunt Adoptie trains adopted adults to become buddies so that they can offer support to others.
Steunpunt Adoptie offers adoptees the opportunity to contact other adoptees via the website and to talk freely about everything that concerns them. This can be done anonymously, but the adoptees can also be put in contact with a personal buddy. Steunpunt Adoptie guarantees a safe and accessible contact, in which talking and listening are essential.
Buddies are the driving force behind this story. They know what it is like to be adopted. So adopted people can go to the website to feel understood and supported. Sometimes it is better not to have a conversation with a professional, but to be able to tell your story from person to person. In order to maintain the accessibility of the service, access to the chat is free of charge.
What does Steunpunt Adoptie do?
The role of Steunpunt Adoptie in the a-Buddy project is to train and support the buddies. The buddies receive training and are supervised and supported by other buddies and a coordinator. Contact between buddies and Steunpunt Adoptie takes place online and face-to-face during meetings, intervisions and support moments.
Steunpunt Adoptie is subsidized by the Flemish government, so it is unfortunately not possible to chat in French.
For the development of a-Buddy, Steunpunt Adoptie received support from Netwerk Onlinehulp Vlaanderen, the Association Geadopteerden Vlaanderen (AGV) and the Flemish Centre for Adoption (VCA). From the very beginning, Steunpunt Adoptie has received the help of adoptees to shape a-Buddy, this is a permanent involvement.
The buddies have an ongoing participatory role within a-Buddy; that is how they shaped a-Buddy and what a-Buddy looks and will look like. Nine of the current 26 buddies (anno 2020) are part of the main working group and help to decide everything about a-Buddy.
Any questions about a-Buddy?
Click here to contact Margot from Steunpunt Adoptie.