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Holt board members/adult adoptees at Holt's 2022 adoptee event

Meet Adoptee and Holt Board Member Susan Tahir!

In the next installment of our adoptee profiles series, we are honored to introduce you to Susan Tahir! As an adoptee, adoptive parent and member of Holt’s board, Susan appreciates Holt’s holistic approach to adoption and family strengthening work.

Susan Tahir was elected to Holt’s board of directors in 2021 and began serving in 2022. Her career includes working at Fortune 500 companies and start-ups as well as founding her own endurance sports company. A seasoned endurance athlete herself, Susan currently runs marathons. She was born in the Republic of Korea and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Susan Tahir, Holt International
Susan M.W. Tahir

Susan is also an adoptive parent of two children whom she and her husband adopted from Korea, through Holt. Her family is proud of their interracial and interfaith makeup. This includes Susan’s husband who is a Pakistani-American Muslim, Susan who has a Christian faith, and she and her children who are Korean Americans.   

In reflecting on her adoption journey, Susan said that growing up in a family allowed her access to resources such as an education, health care and supportive communities. As she began the adoption process for her children, she learned how significantly the adoption landscape has changed since she herself was adopted through Holt. 

“Intercountry adoption has evolved based on research and personal stories,” Susan said. “I’m encouraged by the much-needed shift to caring for the whole child. The child-centered focus should be at the forefront of every adoption journey.”

This journey doesn’t end once the child is united with their family, but continues throughout the child’s life — and into adulthood.

As part of the post adoption journey, agencies like Holt offer services to help the child as they grow up. These services can be anything from assisting adoptees with a birth search or citizenship to counseling and support groups, as well as facilitating connections with other adoptees.

“It’s not just about placing them with the right family, but also — and arguably more importantly — focusing on the child continues after they’ve found their forever family,” Susan continued. “Adoptees may need support in areas such as attachment, grief, identity, race, mental and physical health.”

Susan has heard people say how lucky her children are to be adopted. This is a sentiment she also heard spoken to her parents while growing up. But Susan asserts something different.

“My husband and I are the lucky ones,” Susan said. “Just like any other parent, it is our lives which are filled with much more love, more joyful and interesting and richer in general, because of our beautiful children.”

“Intercountry adoption has evolved based on research and personal stories. I’m encouraged by the much-needed shift to caring for the whole child. The child-centered focus should be at the forefront of every adoption journey.”

Susan is proud to serve on the board of directors because of her belief in Holt’s mission and the way Holt programs address children’s developmental needs.

“Holt’s focus on family strengthening, caring for orphans and vulnerable children and adoption helps ensure children’s best interests are the priority,” she said. “I believe in this mission and want to help Holt continue fulfilling it with my talents, skill set and lived experience.” 

Thank you for your service to Holt, Susan!

children laughing and playing with colorful balloons

Learn more about Holt’s work and history!

At Holt International, we help children thrive in the love and stability of a family. But our services extend far beyond the adoption work we are known for.

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