Press Release - AVA Awardee 2020
For Immediate Release:
September 25, 2020
Texas Legislator to Receive Advocacy Award from Central Texas Nonprofit
Austin, TX - Adoption Knowledge Affiliates (AKA) has announced its pick for our annual Adoption Vanguard Award (AVA) award. The AVA will be presented to Texas state legislator, Rep. Gina Calanni (Katy, TX). Rep Calanni was the primary author of HB2725, legislation aimed at granting Texas-born adopted adults legal access to their original birth certificates, introduced during the 87th Texas legislative session. This human rights issue is gaining momentum around the country. The most recent example is the passage of similar legislation in New York, now in effect since January, 2020.
Particularly poignant is that Rep. Calanni herself is adopted. Using her lived experience and exhibiting compassion for all parties, she authored and vigorously fought for the passage of a streamlined bill designed to correct identity rights and information access violations inflicted upon adoptees for over half a century due to outdated statutes. In securing an impressive 34 cosponsors for the bill, Rep Calanni illustrated the support and urgency for this issue, its passage likely imminent. As a freshman legislator, her success in building a bipartisan coalition of her colleagues while engaging powerful stakeholders in the issue, Calanni clearly furthered the cause of adoptee equality. Like prior AVA recipients, whose collective activism has served to elevate all impacted by adoption and also have a personal adoption connection, Representative Calanni’s commitment to restoring the civil rights and dignity of adoptees has earned her this esteemed AKA accolade, along with the admiration of the broader adoption community. We are honored to add her to the ranks of previous AVA award winners, which include journalist Evy Ramos, foster care champion and Change1.org founder Courtney Jones, and renowned open adoption author Patricia Martinez Dorner.
WHAT: The Presentation of the
AVA to Representative Gina Calanni.
WHEN: October 23 and 24, 2020 6:30 PM (Central Time)
WHERE: At the “Journeys of
Discovery: Navigating the
Intersections of Adoption”
Conference on The Mighty Networks
WHO: Expected attendees are members of the press, those directly connected to adoption, allied community members, and adoption and foster care advocates and professionals
Adoption Knowledge Affiliates
Adoption Knowledge Affiliates (AKA) is a unique non-profit serving Central Texas since 1992. AKA provides support and education to adopted people, birth / first families, prospective and current adoptive and foster parents, and adoption professionals. We offer peer support, search assistance, educational programs, resources, and an annual conference with top-tier adoption professionals. In 2020, we expanded our services to include those with unexpected commercial DNA results. Whether it be due to adoption, donor conception, or other circumstance. we are ready to provide the same level of support as we have these past 30 years.
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