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The Eftychia Project

Helping Greek Adoptees Find Their Roots

About UsAbout Us
     Please note, our website in still under construction and new pages are coming. Please keep checking for updates.
Ever since our President, Eftychia/Linda Carol Trotter, found her Greek family in June 2017, she had it in her heart to "pay it forward", so to speak, by helping other Greek adoptees find theirs, at absolutely no cost to the adoptee. Out of that desire, and with the help of dear friends with like minds, The Eftychia Project was born. We are a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization classified as a public charity with tax-exempt status by the IRS. Donations to our organization are tax-deductible (Pub 78).

We are devoted to providing assistance and support to Greek-born adoptees searching for their roots and Greek families searching for their children lost to adoption. We also seek to advocate 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. Our current board of directors consists entirely of Greek-born adoptees: President, Linda Carol Trotter; Secretary, Maria Heckinger; Treasurer, Merrill Jenkins.

While we aid Greek-born adoptees (those born in and adopted from/in Greece) from any era, we especially want to assist the thousands of Greek children adopted by American parents in the scandal-ridden years between 1948 and 1962, as time is running out if we have any hope of finding our birth parents still living. Your interest and support of our efforts are greatly appreciated.

If you are a Greek adoptee looking for your Greek roots or a Greek family looking for an adoptee and you would like to request assistance, please send your request to the emails listed in the Contact Us section of the website, to our general email at TheEftychiaProject@gmail.com or click on the Facebook link on the homepage to send a message to our Facebook account. For media inquiries, please send your requests to info@theeftychiaproject.org
First Annual Greek ADOPTEE Reunion
***REGISTER NOW FOR THE FIRST ANNUAL GREEK ADOPTEE REUNION, AUGUST 5-6, 2022 IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE!!!***
Follow the link below to our Eventbrite site to register for this first-of-its-kind event for Greek adoptees.

***ALL Greek adoptees and Greek families are welcome, regardless of group or organization affiliation - you need not be a follower or supporter of The Eftychia Project to attend***
Simply go to the site and click on "Tickets" to register. Cost of the Reunion, which includes all activities and the trip to the Parthenon and the Greek Taverna Night, is $75 for the adoptee or family member and $50 for each Spouse/Partner/Other Family Member/Friend.

All the information for the Reunion, including the link for hotel accommodations at the host hotel for the Reunion, Embassy Suites Nashville South, is on our Eventbrite site. If you are interested in sharing a room or driving to the Reunion with someone else, we will be maintaining a rooming list and transportation list, and can put you in touch with adoptees in your area who are also interested.

Updates to the schedule of activities will be posted on the Eventbrite site, and will also be posted on The Eftychia Project FB page and First Annual Greek Adoptee Reunion FB page. There will only be two guest speakers, so as to concentrate the majority of our time together with adoptee-led and adoptee-centric activities that will enhance our shared bond of being Greek-born adoptees.

Plan to arrive on Thursday evening, August 4, 2022, as the first full day of Reunion activities begins at 9:00 am on Friday, August 5, 2022. Check-in to receive credentials and goody bag for the Reunion will begin at 7:00 - 10:00 pm on Thursday, August 4 and resume on August 5, 8:00 - 9:00 am. Opening ceremonies and remarks will begin at 9:00 am on August 5.

The hotel accommodations include a free hot breakfast each morning and a cocktail reception with snacks and hors d'oeuvres each evening. Rental cars are available at the hotel for anyone wishing to rent a car for one day or longer. Restaurants and shopping are only a short distance away.

***GREEK ADOPTEE AUTHORS: If you are a Greek-born adoptee, who has written a book or memoir, you are invited to participate in our adoptee-author book-signing event (you must be registered for the Reunion to participate). ALL adoptees who have written books, self-published or otherwise, are welcome. Please contact Eftychia for  details at Eftychia@theeftychiaproject.org.

***WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU THERE!!!***
First Annual Greek Adoptee Reunion
Presented by 

The Eftychia Project
August 5-6, 2022
Nashville, Tennessee
"The Athens of the South"


Follow the link below to our Eventbrite site to register for the Reunion - once there, click on "Tickets" to register:
First Annual Greek Adoptee Reunion Registration​​​

For hotel accommodations, follow this link: First Annual Greek Adoptee Reunion Hotel Reservations
Reunion REGISTRATION & Hotel Accomodations
Reunion Schedule
Check out the schedule of activities below:....we can't wait to see you there!

FIRST ANNUAL GREEK ADOPTEE REUNION
Presented by The Eftychia Project
AUGUST 4-6, 2022, NASHVILLE, TN “THE ATHENS OF THE SOUTH”

EMBASSY SUITES HOTEL – NASHVILLE SOUTH

SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES (subject to change)

•THURSDAY, AUGUST 4, 2022 – Pre-Reunion Activities
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM – REUNION SIGN-IN AND WELCOME COCKTAILS in the Eftychia Project Executive Suite
Sign in, pick up your Reunion credentials and goody bag, and meet and mingle with other attendees

•FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022 – Reunion Activities Day 1
8:00 AM – SIGN-IN CONTINUES AT THE REGISTRATION DESK OUSTIDE THE JUNIOR BALLROOM
9:00 AM – OPENING CEREMONIES AND WELCOME
9:30 AM – SAM WILLIAMS, THE ORTHODOX GENEALOGIST – followed by Q&A
“UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF DNA AND FAMILIAL RELATIONSHIPS FOR ADOPTEES” – PART 1
11:00 AM – GREEK COFFEE HOUR WITH GREEK ADOPTEE STORIES
12:00 PM – LUNCH ON YOUR OWN
1:30 PM – CAROL KOSTAKOS PETRANEK – followed by Q&A
“GREEK RECORDS IN GREECE: WHAT’S AVAILABLE AND HOW TO ACCESS THEM”
3:00 PM – GREEK ADOPTEE COFFEE HOUR with Greek Adoptee Stories
4:00 PM – ADOPTEE-LED PANEL DISCUSSION – followed by Q&A
“SEARCH AND REUNION: TOOLS, TIPS AND RESOURCES”
Learn about “the tools of the trade” in searching for and reuniting with your Greek family, including what adoptees who have found their families wish they had known before embarking upon the quest for their roots
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM – DINNER BREAK
Hotel provides free evening reception in the Atrium with complimentary drinks and hors de’ouvres
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM - COCKTAIL HOUR – Mix and Mingle
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM - Adoptee-Author Book Signing/Fun Photo Booth/Virtual Greek Adoptee Museum – Mix and mingle with your fellow Greek adoptees and bring your adoption papers for live help with your search from our board members and search angels

•SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2022 – Reunion Activities Day 2
8:00 AM – CHECK-IN/INFO DESK OPEN OUTSIDE JUNIOR BALLROOM
9:00 AM – CAROL KOSTAKOS PETRANEK – followed by Q&A
“ONLINE GREEK RECORDS FOR ADOPTEES: WHAT’S AVAILABLE ON ANCESTRY, MYHERITAGE AND GREEK ANCESTRY”
10:30 AM – TRANSPARENCY, OPEN RECORDS AND GREEK CITIZENSHIP: THE STATE OF ADVOCACY AND ACTIVISM FOR OUR BIRTH AND IDENTITY RIGHTS
A discussion led by our Board of Directors about where we are and where we are going in the fight for our birth and identity rights
11:15 AM – LUNCH ON YOUR OWN
12:30 PM – SAM WILLIAMS, THE ORTHODOX GENEALOGIST – followed by Q&A
“UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF DNA AND FAMILIAL RELATIONSHIPS FOR ADOPTEES” – PART 2
2:00 PM – TRIP TO THE PARTHENON
We’ll visit the world’s only full-size replica of the Parthenon in Nashville’s Centennial Park
6:00 PM – RETURN FROM THE PARTHENON
7:00 pm – GREEK TAVERNA NIGHT
Enjoy fun and fellowship with your fellow Greek adoptees with Greek food, music and dancing in the Junior ballroom, along with drawings for Greek-themed door prizes
10:00 PM – CLOSING CEREMONIES AND REMARKS

•SUNDAY, AUGUST 7 – CHECK-OUT OF HOTEL

FEATURED SPEAKERS FOR THE FIRST ANNUAL GREEK ADOPTEE REUNION!

CAROL KOSTAKOS PETRANEK

Hellenic Genealogy

CAROL KOSTAKOS PETRANEK We were thrilled when Carol accepted our invitation to speak at the Reunion. Many of you know Carol through her work with Greek Ancestry, FamilySearch and Hellenic Genealogy Geek. Carol is the Assistant Director of the Washington, DC Family History Center and an active member of the Greek genealogy community. She also writes personal and family histories and is a volunteer at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Her passion for Greek family history has prompted her to volunteer to preserve at-risk and historic records in Greece, beginning with digitization of marriage records at the Metropolis of Sparta. Carol will speak to us about the various records available in Greece and how to access them, as well as the many helpful records available on Greek Ancestry, MyHeritage, and Ancestry.com.

Sam Williams

Orthodox Genealogist

SAM WILLIAMS, THE ORTHODOX GENEALOGIST Sam was a big hit at our virtual Greek Adoptee Reunionpalooza last August and we are so pleased he will be joining us in Nashville! Sam is a professional genealogist with a focus on Central Virginia, African American and Greek American research, and he loves encouraging a passion for family history. Sam holds a BA in International Affairs and Spanish from James Madison University and a Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Sam will break down the mysteries of DNA testing, genealogy, and familial relationships (what's a second cousin twice-removed, anyway?) and how Greek adoptees and Greek families can use the results to trace those elusive family connections.

Information

For general information about The Eftychia Project, please contact us by clicking on the email link below.

Greek Adoptee Help

If you are a Greek adoptee looking for family members, please contact us by clicking on the email link below.

Greek Family Help

If you are a Greek family searching for loved ones, please contact us by clicking on the email link below.

$25

Donation Amount

Partnerships
MyHeritage, the leading global discovery platform for family history and genetic genealogy, has generously donated DNA kits to the Eftychia Project. Founded in 2003, MyHeritage offers a simple-to-use family tree platform, a growing collection of billions of historical records, powerful search and matching technologies, and an integrated DNA testing service. MyHeritage is home to one of the world’s largest consumer DNA databases and is the most popular family history and DNA testing service in Europe. The company seeks to enable everyone to discover who they are and where they come from, and we are very grateful for their support.

Greek adoptee conversations
***BY POPULAR DEMAND!***
The Eftychia Project has been hosting a series of virtual, interactive forums for Greek adoptees and Greek biological families.
The next “GREEK ADOPTEE CONVERSATION” will be held..........date not yet set.
The exact date and details will be provided in the near future.


After a suggestion from Board of Directors member Merrill Jenkins and feedback from adoptees who attended our overwhelmingly successful recent Greek Adoptee Reunionpalooza 2021, The Eftychia Project is pleased to announce the establishment of a new series of interactive forums for Greek-born adoptees and Greek families to meet virtually and discuss topics and issues of keen interest that directly affect them. Each two-hour forum will be conducted via Zoom and each will feature a topic of conversation which will be announced prior to each forum.

12 noon CT (10:00 am PT, 11:00 am MT, 1:00 pm ET, and 20:00 Greek time).12 noon Central Time.

The Eftyhchia Project presents
Greek Adoptee Conversations
via Zoom (links will be posted prior to each session)


All sessions begin at 12:00 noon CT
(10:00 am PT, 11 am MT, 1:00 pm ET, 20:00 Greek time)


Events
***OUR THANKS TO ALL WHO MADE GREEK ADOPTEE REUNIONPALOOZA A HUGE SUCCESS!!***

A great, big THANK YOU to our fabulous speakers Sam Williams, Gregory Kontos, Maria Vakouftsi and Elena Giannoulaki and all of our particpants who made Greek Adoptee Reunionpalooza 2021 a huge success. 

If you missed our 2-day event, the recordings will be made available over the next few days for replay on our FB page The Eftychia Project and our YouTube channel
YouTube link

We look forward to seeing all of you next year in Nashville, TN for the in-person First Annual Greek Adoptee Reunion on August 5-6, 2022. 
Go to our Adoptee Reunion page on this website and also check out our Facebook page for more info.. 



***GREEK-BORN ADOPTEES:  REQUESTING YOUR COMPLETE IMMIGRATION FILE FROM USCIS - PAPER REQUEST FORM VS. ONLINE. WHICH ONE WILL REALLY GIVE YOU ALL OF YOUR DOCUMENTS?

by Linda Carol Forrest Trotter



See page below to download Form G-639 


While we Greek-born adoptees are able to request our complete immigration files (Alien Files) from USCIS through the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), which method is really best for requesting those records? For over two years, we've provided Form G-639 USCIS, with the instructions and a sample completed form, to many Greek-born adoptees to facilitate their requests to USCIS. It has been our experience in the past that completing the G-639 USCIS on paper and mailing it to the National Records Center via Priority Mail with a tracking number seemed to provide the best results.


Today, I decided to download the latest version of paper form G-639 to update what we provide to Greek-born adoptees. It is almost impossible to find online now (I did find it, finally), as the government is trying to force everyone to apply for their immigration files online. They still accept the paper request forms, as they explain on the website that if you sent your request by mail, email or fax, you can still ask to receive your file in digital form. But there is nowhere that I can find on the website to download the paper form, although you can download the instructions for the form. So far, it has been a mixed bag as to what adoptees receive when they request their files online. Some are told they don't have a file, some are given only a few pages, while it seems that only a few are lucky enough to receive their complete file. So, today, I decided to request my immigration file online (even though I already received mine on a CD over three years ago), just to go through the process to see the difference in requesting the file online, with respect to the time it takes and how many pages of documents I actually end up receiving. When I requested my documents the first time, it took almost 6 months and I received 79 pages, two of which had been redacted. It will be interesting to compare what I receive from the online application compared to the paper application the first time around.


What I did notice as I worked my way through the online application is that there is virtually no place to explain any discrepancies or unusual circumstances. For example, under "Other Information", there are spaces to input various identifiers to help the government find your file: I-94 Arrival - Departure Record, Passport or Travel Document Number, Alien Registration Number (A-Number, USCIS Online Account Number (if any), Application, Petition or Request Receipt Number. Most of these are not applicable to we Greek-born adoptees, with the exception of the A-Number and perhaps the Passport or Travel Document Number. I am not certain that there is anywhere that they kept track of our Greek passport numbers, because nowhere in the file I received three years ago was there a reference to my Greek passport. If you don't have your Alien Registration Number (or A-number), by far the best identifier for your immigration file, there are is no place to enter your naturalization certificate number or your naturalization petition number, if you happen to have those. And you must choose "Alien File" when it asks for the records you are seeking. And when you choose "Alien File", it then does not allow you to request any other files, i.e., birth certificate, naturalization certificate, etc. Because, in theory, the Alien File SHOULD contain both a copy of your birth certificate and your naturalization certificate. But in practice, sadly, that is not the case - we've had multiple adoptees who have found neither of these documents in their Alien File. In our next Greek Adoptee Conversations: The Search for Roots and Reunion, coming up on Saturday, January 15, 2022, we'll discuss Form G-639 and other tools that are useful in the search for biological family. We'll also hear from adoptees who have found family and those who are still searching, and the impact it has had upon their lives. Mark your calendars and join us for what promises to be an enlightening conversation.


Immigration Form G-639






***THE EFTYCHIA PROJECT LAUNCHES GREEK-BORN ADOPTEE-LED INITIATIVE FOR A DIALOGUE WITH THE GREEK GOVERNMENT CONCERNING TRANSPARENCY, ACCESS TO RECORDS, A DNA DATABASE AND GREEK CITIZENSHIP FOR ALL GREEK-BORN ADOPTEES***
***GREEK-BORN ADOPTEES, WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!***
TEP is passionate about furthering the quest of a growing chorus of Greek-born adoptees for the Greek Citizenship they so rightfully deserve. We are beginning work on a plan for a path to citizenship for Greek adoptees that we hope to present to the Greek government in the coming months. But there are other pressing issues of supreme importance to all Greek-born adoptees/Greek biological families that need to be addressed by the Greek state which, at the very least, owes us the opportunity to present our concerns and the courtesy of hearing us out:
(1) We believe that the knowledge of their roots and their biological family origins are basic human rights of all adoptees
(2) We believe that Greek-born adoptees and Greek biological families are entitled to transparency from the Greek government and all Greek adoption-related institutions and organizations reagrding these adoptions 
(3) We believe that Greek-born adoptees are entitled to unfettered access to Greek court, orphanage, institutional and organizational records related to their adoptions, as well as copies of ALL of their adoption-related documents
(4) We believe that Greek-born adoptees and Greek families are entitled to the establishment of an adoptee/biological family DNA database by the Greek state for the purpose of reuniting adoptees and their biological families, at no cost to either the adoptee or the biological family
(5) We believe that all Greek-born adoptees are entitled to Greek citizenship, and that the pathway to Greek citizenship should be streamlined, with minimal bureaucratic processes and at minimal or no cost to the adoptee
If you are a Greek-born adoptee, your input is vital for formulating this citizenship plan and presenting these issues to the Greek government. Your lived experiences are crucial to this initiative. If you would like to participate, please email us as soon as possible at theeftychiaproject@gmail.com and let us know of your interest and your contact information. We will then email you information regarding partcipation. It is our hope that by Greek-born adoptees working together, we will be able to begin a dialogue with the Greek government to right the wrongs of the past, to open the door to those documents and records to which we are entitled and to which access for many of us has been denied, to establish a DNA database through which we might be reunited with our biological families, and to reclaim the Greek citizenship that is our birthright. There is strength in numbers - let's work together and make what has long been a dream into a reality!
Advocacy Update
The Eftychia Project is at Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs | Η Ελλάδα στον Κόσμο.

***THE EFTYCHIA PROJECT MEETS WITH THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN ATHENS IN THE PUSH FOR GREEK-BORN ADOPTEE BIRTH AND IDENTITY RIGHTS AND GREEK CITIZENSHIP***

The Eftychia Project (TEP), along with MP Stathis K. Konstantinidis of Kozani, met on Monday afternoon, November 8, 2021, with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Diaspora Greeks, Andreas Katsaniotis, to discuss the fight of Greek-born adoptees for their birth and identity rights, including their right to Greek citizenship. TEP presented a bound formal statement that included an introduction to the Greek adoptions, the four main issues for Greek-born adoptees (transparency, open records, Greek citizenship and a collaborative DNA database) and proposed solutions for each of these issues. Also included in the statement were emotional letters from multiple Greek adoptees in which they expressed their feelings about their Greek identity and why Greek citizenship was so important to them.

The hour-long meeting covered all four issues, with particular emphasis on Greek citizenship and that the proof of our citizenship is contained in the Greek passports with which we left Greece for our new adoptive homes. Political and legislative solutions to the citizenship issue were also discussed. The Deputy Minister has pledged his support and now the work begins to determine how the Greek government can bring our hopes and dreams to fruition. 

This is only the beginning of a collaboration with the Greek government for the justice that Greek-born adoptees have long-deserved but have been so long denied. As so aptly put by Mr. Margaritis, Director of the Diplomatic Cabinet, also present at the meeting, "You have suffered long enough". Yes, we have, Mr. Margaritis --- yes, we have. On behalf of Greek-born adoptees everywhere, our thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their invaluable help and support. 

***If you are a Greek-born adoptee and would like to be actively involved in our adoptee-led initiative with the Greek government for our birth and identity rights, please send us an email at theeftychiaproject@gmail.com***