A Whangārei woman who was adopted is launching an adult adoptee support group to help others in similar positions.
Elizabeth Wakelin said she has always known she was adopted and when she was in her mid 20s she applied for and got her original birth certificate.
But she said that was as far as she went with it for several years.
Five months ago, at a dinner party with Jigs Bradley, who has established various support groups in Whangārei, she was spurred into action by dinner conversation.
She went home and started researching all about adoption - how to find her birth parents, studies about adoptees and more.
Wakelin said she was raised in a loving, caring environment and had "the most amazing Kiwi upbringing" in Whangārei.
But she said she still suffered with depression, anxiety "and not wanting people to get close, even though that's what you crave".
"But it's the fear of rejection that swirls down deep that's not a conscious thing, that you don't know about."
Wakelin has since found an online coach and fellow adoptee who has been helping her, suggesting books to read and helping her understand what she was feeling.
"There's nowhere that I could find easily to support me so I thought, let's start up a group."
She has joined forces with Bradley, who has a personal interest in adoption, to start an adult adoptee support group.
Wakelin said the group is about "supporting adult adoptees through whatever journey they're going through".
She said some people might be part way through their journey while others might not even know where to start.
"It's not counselling or psychotherapy, it's people sharing their journeys."
Wakelin said they will have a list of counsellors they can refer people to if they want that, or if they think it might help them.
The Adult Adoptee Support Group will have it's first meeting on February 6 at the Anglican Care Centre on the corner of Mill Rd and Deveron St from 7pm to 9pm.
It will then be held on the first Wednesday of the month.
Wakelin said there will be no pressure to share.
If you want to know more you can contact Elizabeth Wakelin on 02108031755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org