COVID-19 Update (August 2023)
The first post Covid groups traveled to Korea and Guatemala this summer!  In 2024, we are re-opening Kazakhstan, Paraguay, China, Vietnam, India and possibly Cambodia. We are so happy for adoptees and their families who are finally able to return to their birth countries.

And then there’s this BIG news!

As of August 2, 2023, The Ties Program is now adoptee owned!

A special welcome from our new owner, Dr. Tanya Kaanta

I am very excited and grateful to be a part of the next chapter with the Ties Program. After traveling on previous Ties trips, I fell in love with the mission, the team, and the families.

Having a cultural connection and experience in one’s birth country can be profoundly transformative. While conducting research abroad for my dissertation, I witnessed how important a return trip was for an adoptee and their identity. The Ties Program embraces this opportunity of exploration and provides a distinct space for each family member to absorb the experience.

I’m honored to continue and grow this life-changing program.

I look forward to hearing from you all.


You can read more about the transition here.

We are looking forward to many more years ahead!
The Ties Program Team

New Address:
The Ties Program
113 Cherry St, PMB 76042
Seattle, Washington 98104-2205
866 359-0995 (phone and fax)

Tanya Kaanta  Director, Program Manager Kazakhstan, China, Next Gen: Paraguay, India, reopening of other programs, Speakers’ Bureau and Media Relations.
866 359-0995 x 705 (Eastern Time)

Sarah Goth Kurtzahn, Program Manager, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia,
866 359-0995 x 703 (Central Time)

Rebecca (Harris) Blessing, Program Manager, Guatemala, Ethiopia
866 359-0995 x 704 (Mountain Time)

Ben Kaanta will be working behind the scenes on lots of other issues keeping us running smoothly. 
866 359-0995 x 706 (Eastern Time)

Autumn Ackerson  Program Coordinator, China
866 359-0995 x 702 (Mountain Time)

Becca Piper and Bea Evans, immediate past co-directors will be working with us as this new chapter begins.

Adoption Therapists and Consulting
Amy Wilkerson 
Erin Ahlquist

For additional information, click the Adoption Therapists and Consulting tab on this page.

Adjunct Travel Staff  Your group will be accompanied by a team of adoption specialists who are well versed in adoption issues. Our adoption specialists may be an adoption agency social worker from one of the many agencies who work cooperatively with The Ties Program, a therapist, or an adult adoptee, adoptive parent or interested individual with a special background and training in adoption. While it is important to note a Ties trip is not therapy, each staff person traveling with your group will have a unique connection to adoption and a passion for serving adoptive families on this important journey.

Adjunct staff who have traveled with us include many wonderful people you may know: Autumn AckersonErin Ahlquist, Scottie Allen, Heather Ames, Betsy August, Emily Bail, Betsey Barrett, Janelle Bentley, Linda Berman, Paula Bickel, Rebecca Harris Blessing, Larilyn Carpenter, Marisa Cleveland, Jenna Cook, Soo Choi, Jessie Crupi, Ana Dodson, Kathleen Donovan, Ian Forber-Pratt, Mary Fournier, Fran Freeman, Analisa Freitas, Jackie Frens, Sophia Gardner, Shari Goldstein, Dr. Laurie Glass, Carol Hakala, Pat Hallada, Brian Hallada, Caitlin Hallada,  Pat Hoopes, Jessica Houston, Mandy Jones, Dr. Tanya Kaanta, Carmen Knight, Dr. Bibiana Koh, Matt Kurtzahn, Laura Marshall, Sandy Maher, Sarah McCarthy, Hollee McGinnis, Amy Mullen, Katie Naftzger, Cindy Neal, Mary Nervig, Dr. Sue Ouellette,  Gwen Owen, Young Hae Paeng, Melina Passage, Melitta Payne, Erica Pelaccia, Kourtni Radar, Ann Rankowitz, Mara Rothschild, Cara Schoenley, Deb Shrier, Jaclyn Skalnik, Michaelyn Sloan, Kelly Smith, Liz Solomon, Claire Stiglmeier, Laura Summerhill, Izzy Townsend, Tara VanderWoude, Amy Silverbrandt Wilkerson, Dr. Samantha Wilson, Angela Wood-Richter, Gail Woods, and Sun Yun.