Alex Gilbert in 2017
|Born||Sasha Alexander Gilbert
1 April 1992
|Residence||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Citizenship||New Zealand & Russia|
|Known for||I'm Adopted
'My Russian Side'
|Home town||Whangarei, New Zealand|
|Partner(s)||Margarita Subach (2015-2017)|
|Website||alexgilbert.co.nz and imadopted.org|
Alex Gilbert (//;Russian: Алекс Гилберт, born 1 April 1992) is a New Zealand adoption advocate. He is known as the founder of the adoption project I'm Adopted which he established in 2015.
Gilbert was born in Arkhangelsk, Russia, placed in the local Orphanage for the first two years of his life until he was adopted by his New Zealand parents in 1994. He was then raised in Whangarei. New Zealand. He then moved to Auckland in the beginning of 2011.
In 2013 Gilbert started searching for his Birth Parents in Russia who he had no connection with. He managed to find his Birth Mother and then eventually his Birth Father, who didn't know about his existence until he contacted him in 2013. The story of his search for, and finally meeting, his birth parents in Russia first aired on New Zealand TV in 2014.
In 2015 Gilbert created the adoption project I'm Adopted which has helped others adopted around the world share their stories and find their Birth Parents. The project gives adopted people who are on the search for their Birth parents or family the right to search for their lost connections. Since the project started, it has been available in English, Russian and Spanish. In October 2017, Gilbert revisited his orphanage in Arkhangelsk for the first time after leaving in 1994. He also worked and talked with 'Арифметика добра' which helps orphans find families in Russia as well as meeting the Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation Anna Kuznetsova.
Life and career
1992–2011: Early life
Alex Gilbert was born on 1 April 1992 in Arkhangelsk, Russia, to Tatiana Gusovskaia and Mihail Kovkov. Gilbert was placed in a Russian orphanage in Arkhangelsk by his 19-year-old birth mother Tatiana after he was born. (His birth mother had also been placed in an orphanage when she was a child.) His birth father Mihail did not know of his existence until 2013 after hearing through a series of online messages that Gilbert was searching for him. His Birth Father's name was fabricated on Gilbert's birth certificate and adoption papers. In 1994, Gilbert and his brother Andrei were adopted by his New Zealand parents Mark and Janice Gilbert. He grew up in Whangarei, New Zealand and lived there until he was 18 years. He moved to Auckland at the beginning of 2011 to study and work in Television.
2013–2014: My Russian Side
After an unsuccessful attempt in 2009, Gilbert decided to start searching again for his birth parents at the beginning of 2013. He used Russian social networking websites and eventually located them. In November 2013 Gilbert travelled to Russia to meet them for the first time. Gilbert first arrived in Moscow and then the next morning he was driven for six hours to see his Birth Mother who was living in Rybinsk. The next day on the trip Gilbert flew to Saint Petersburg to then meet his Birth Father Mihail for the first time. This trip, and his meetings with his birth parents, was documented and filmed for TV One's Sunday current affairs program. The story aired at the beginning of 2014.
He wrote and released his autobiographical book My Russian Side in 2014 along with an autobiographical documentary film, with the same title, that he wrote, directed and is featured in. It includes in-depth interviews, the background story of his November 2013 journey to Russia, and his meetings with his birth parents.
2015–present: I'm Adopted
In July 2015 Gilbert established the I'm Adopted project, for other adopted people to share their stories. The project is a platform that helps adoptees around the world to share their personal experiences with adoption through social media. The project also works to bring adoptees together to meet through meet ups and events. The project is currently available in English, Russian and Spanish with the help of contributors and translators worldwide. Since the project began in 2015, it has shared over 300 written or videotaped stories from adoptees around the world. Gilbert also helps organise support groups and meet ups with the I'm Adopted project for adopted people. The project was registered as a New Zealand charitable trust at the beginning of 2017.
In February 2017, an event was held at the New Zealand Parliament to help raise awareness for I'm Adopted and its projects. Gilbert was one of the key speakers along with the newly appointed I'm Adopted ambassadors Alex Kuch and Sasha Kelly who are also adopted themselves. Wendy Hawke, director of Inter-Country Adoption NZ also spoke at the event. The event was hosted by former New Zealand National MP Todd Barclay.
In October 2017 Gilbert went to Russia to revisit his Orphanage in Arkhangelsk, Russia. This was the first time Gilbert revisited the Orphanage since he left in 1994.  Gilbert also talked with various adopted teenagers and parents in Moscow for a charity that focuses on adoption called Арифметика добра. Gilbert also met the Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation Anna Kuznetsova which was also placed in Moscow.
2011–present: Television career
As well as being an adoption advocact, Gilbert works as a TV production assistant and camera operator. He went to South Seas Film and Television School in 2011 to study film and television. Gilbert has previously worked on various films and television shows inside New Zealand and other countries including South Korea, the United States and several countries in Europe. He is currently an assistant producer for the TV show The Cafe on New Zealand's Three and is also an editor for a production company.
- My Russian Side (2014)
- "Whangarei's Alex Gilbert helping adoptees share stories". NZ Herald. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
- "'I'm Adopted': Alex Gilbert's story – Breakfast – 03 May 2016". TVNZ – One News Now. TVNZ. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
Alex is now looking at tracing other children from his orphanage who were adopted into New Zealand, visit imadopted.org to learn more.
- "ICANZ Annual Report 2015" (PDF). ICANZ. Inter Country Adoption New Zealand: 5. June 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
He has now set up a Facebook page specifically for young adult adoptees called I Am Adopted.
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- правды», Дина КАРПИЦКАЯ | Сайт «Комсомольской (2017-11-01). "Родная кровь: усыновлённый в Новую Зеландию сирота через 20 лет нашел своих русских родителей". KP.RU - сайт «Комсомольской правды» (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- "В фонде "Арифметика добра" прошла встреча с автором проекта поиска кровных родителей Алексом Гилбертом | Филантроп". Филантроп (in Russian). 2017-10-31. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
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- "Фонд «Арифметика добра» принял в гостях Алекса Гилберта, автора международного проекта поиска кровных родителей - Московская Благотворительность - ваш гид по благотворительности в Москве". moscowcharity.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-11-03.
- "Алекс Гилберт о своей жизни и общественной деятельности / Радио Маяк". radiomayak.ru. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
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- "Алекс Гилберт: приемным детям главное не врать". РИА Новости (in Russian). Retrieved 1 November 2017.
- "Alex Gilbert". IMDb. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- "Alex Gilbert – Linkedin".
- My Russian Side. OCLC 888031209.
- "Alex Gilbert". www.facebook.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2017.