‘selfrooted’ is a group that works to repair the systemic harm caused by the adoption and foster care sectors in Germany, especially supporting individuals affected by transracial adoption and foster care, and raise awareness of this social issue that can be disregarded by social justice spaces.

Growing up adopted or fostered can be isolating and trigger trauma-inducing experiences at early life stages – something that is especially felt by BIPOC adoptees, as it’s hard to address questions of race within the family nucleus. Led by Lena & Margaretha, two people with lived experience of transracial adoption and foster care in Germany, ‘selfrooted’ believes there is a great lack of an understanding – including among therapists and mental health specialists – of what it means to navigate life as a BIPOC adoptee or fostered person in a country like Germany. This is why this crew wants to connect people who share these common experiences and create a safer space that can ignite a feeling of connectedness and a place for processing and healing their traumas collectively.

Meet the selfrooted team, Lena & Margaretha

Ergo, the aim of ‘selfrooted’ is to close the isolation gap of individuated adoption and foster care transracial experiences by building community around this issue using a safe-space and trauma-healing lens. They counter the oppression in foster care and adoption spaces with an antiracist, post-capitalistic and embodied approach, and their wider, ultimate goal beyond building community is to have an impact on how this sector is portrayed and discussed within mainstream culture, media and discourse.

Graphic produced by selfrooted, shared during their workshop “Finding myself together”

The Guerrilla grant

At the bedrock of community-building for ‘selfrooted’ is the need to create a growing digital safer space for adoptees/fostered people, focusing on BIPOCs. Once that’s established and running, they are preparing and organising workshops to engage their community, launching topical discussion themes that will be the stepping stone to connect very intimate experiences with its political underpinnings. That means they will be addressing questions of mental health in relation to our wider systems of oppression (such as race or gender) and how that is felt amid adoptee and fostered people. Both the workshops and digital spaces serve as vessels to build this awareness in a group of people who share the same longings and similar aches and to create a network that reaches individuals in Germany and beyond.

Simultaneously, this committed group is applying pressure on how transracial adoption cases are discussed in the mainstream, as most people might not be aware of the entanglements between family politics, transracial adoption, and the faulty workings of these sectors in Germany. For this, they use social media to spread good practice, uncover the system’s wrongdoings and build their narrative. Their recent video explaining the term “Coming Out of the Fog” is an example of how they set the tone for shifts in relation to adoption & foster care narratives. 


When creating discourse and developing human tools for BIPOC adoptees to weather stories of trauma individually as well as collectively, ‘selfrooted’ aims to model a healing approach that builds on a more inclusive future for adoptees and fostered people. Their longer term goal is to have systemic impact, influencing the way in which adoption and foster care organisations function and contributing to tangible changes in the sector that usher in a more transparent, honest and child-focused system. In a future of achievable financial stability, this group also wishes to have in-person meetings, workshops and gatherings.

Grant size  1-10k Year  2023 Approach  Campaigning (incl. advocacy, awareness-raising, direct action) ; Capacity building (trainings, events, research)

Issue Areas  Health, Education & Care ; Racial Justice

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