Ties Today

Our Mission: We empower adoptees and their loved ones through transformative heritage experiences that deepen cultural connections, nurture a sense of belonging, and honor individual adoptee narratives.

Thirty years ago, as Ties began offering birth country travel programs, we knew we were creating experiences around connection. Connection to country, connection to heritage, connection to one’s past, connection to family, connection with other adoptees or with other parents, and connection to self.  We understand so much more now, in great part because adoptees are able and willing to tell us how their adoption has impacted them: about their needs and feelings around birth family, adoptive family, and identity.  The adoptee voice gets louder by the day—and that makes us all better able to focus on what is important.

Today, Ties has programs in 18 countries, although not all are active every year.

In 2023, Becca and Bea were ready to retire and passed the reigns to Tanya and Ben Kaanta. Tanya is an adult adoptee from South Korea, adopted in 1975. Tanya first returned alone to live and work in Korea in 1999 and found it extremely difficult as a solo adoptee traveler. At that time, she had not heard of Ties, but wished she had.

Tanya has a PhD in Sociology with a focus on Intercountry Adoption, Identity, Emotion Work, and Advocacy and has served as Ties Adjunct Staff since 2019.  An engineer by degree, Ben has been in several chief-level leadership positions throughout his 20+ year business career. He has certifications in project management and coaching. Tanya and Ben are avid travelers and have two children, aged 17 and 20. Adoption is a core element of their relationship and their family, even more so now that they are leading The Ties Program mission.