Alex Gilbert

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Alex Gilbert
Alex Gilbert in 2017
Born Sasha Alexander Gilbert
(1992-04-01) 1 April 1992 (age 25)
Arkhangelsk, Russia
Residence Auckland, New Zealand
Nationality New Zealand
Citizenship New Zealand & Russia
Years active 2011–present
Known for I'm Adopted
Adoption Awareness
'My Russian Side'
Home town Whangarei, New Zealand
Partner(s) Margarita Subach (2015-2017)
Website and

Alex Gilbert (/ˈæləksˈɡɪlbət/;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[1][2][3][4][5] 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.[6][7][8]

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.[9] 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.[10][11][12]

Life and career[edit]

1992–2011: Early life[edit]

Alex Gilbert was born on 1 April 1992 in Arkhangelsk, Russia, to Tatiana Gusovskaia and Mihail Kovkov.[13] 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.)[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

2013–2014: My Russian Side[edit]

After an unsuccessful attempt in 2009, Gilbert decided to start searching again for his birth parents at the beginning of 2013.[17] 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.[7][18]

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.[19][20]

2015–present: I'm Adopted[edit]

In July 2015 Gilbert established the I'm Adopted project,[4][21][22][23] for other adopted people to share their stories.[24][25][26] The project is a platform that helps adoptees around the world to share their personal experiences with adoption through social media.[27][28] The project also works to bring adoptees together to meet through meet ups and events.[29][30] The project is currently available in English, Russian and[31] Spanish with the help of contributors and translators worldwide.[32][33] 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.[1]

Gilbert meeting Anna Kuznetsova (The Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation) Moscow, Russia October 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.[1] 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.[34]

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. [35][9][10][36] Gilbert also talked with various adopted teenagers and parents in Moscow for a charity that focuses on adoption called Арифметика добра[37][38][39][40]. Gilbert also met the Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation Anna Kuznetsova which was also placed in Moscow.[11][41][42][12]

2011–present: Television career[edit]

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.[43] 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.[44]



  • My Russian Side (2014)


  1. ^ a b c "Whangarei's Alex Gilbert helping adoptees share stories". NZ Herald. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "'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 to learn more. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ a b Hurley, Sam (22 August 2015). "Whangarei boy who traced Russian roots helps fellow Kiwi adoptees find bloodlines". TVNZ – One News. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Clifford, Robert (2015). "Modern Adoption Exploring Technology and innovation in Adoption" (PDF). Winston Churchill Memorial Trust: 34–34. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "To Russia with Love – TVNZ". TVNZ. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Ihaka, James (5 April 2014). "Russian roots reveal childhood links". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Nortorn, Hannah (18 August 2014). "From Russia with Love". The Northern Advocate Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Спустя больше 20 лет в Архангельск к родному отцу приехал теперь уже гражданин Новой Зеландии — Алекс Гилберт". Retrieved 2017-10-28. 
  10. ^ a b правды», Дина КАРПИЦКАЯ | Сайт «Комсомольской (2017-10-30). "Как новозеландец, усыновленный 25 лет назад, нашел своих настоящих родителей в России". KP.RU - сайт «Комсомольской правды» (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  11. ^ a b "Alex Gilbert". Retrieved 2017-10-28. 
  12. ^ a b "Анна Кузнецова: «Помощь приемным детям, которые хотят знать свои русские корни – благородное дело»". Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  13. ^ "Новозеландец нашел в Рыбинске родную мать". Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  14. ^ Alex Gilbert (19 March 2017), My Russian Side, retrieved 25 July 2017 
  15. ^ Mulroy, Zahra. "This man's 9000 mile journey to meet his birth mum ended with a surprise twist". The Mirror. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  16. ^ Мурашев, Александр. "АЛЕКС ГИЛБЕРТ, КОТОРЫЙ НАШЕЛ МАМУ". Sguschenka / Мулбабар. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  17. ^ "«Здравствуйте, я ваш сын. Пишу вам из Новой Зеландии». Парень, усыновленный 20 лет назад, вернулся в Россию к родителям — Daily". (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  18. ^ "「生みの母に会いたい」SNSで情報を手に入れ、遠いロシアへ渡った青年の思い". Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  19. ^ "Второй дубль. Пусть говорят". 1TV Russia. 1TV Russia. Archived from the original on 24 December 2015. 
  20. ^ правда», Галина ОНУЧИНА | АО ИД «Комсомольская (20 October 2015). "Парень из Новой Зеландии встретился в Рыбинске с родной матерью, бросившей его в роддоме". АО ИД «Комсомольская правда». Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  21. ^ "One day: I found my Russian birth mother after two decades". New Zealand Women’s Weekly. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  22. ^ "Новозеландец нашел в Рыбинске родную мать". Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  23. ^ "One year on since 'I'm Adopted' was founded". Mediaworks / TV3 / Paul Henry. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "«Мне всегда хотелось выяснить, кто мои родители и почему они меня бросили» | Филантроп". Филантроп (in Russian). 2017-10-19. Retrieved 2017-10-21. 
  25. ^ Newlove, Alexandra (7 August 2015). "Russian adoptee shares stories". The Northern Advocate. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  26. ^ Newlove, Alexandra (4 November 2015). "Adoption project enthrals Russians". The New Zealand Herald Northern Advocate. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  27. ^ Wade, Amelia (5 June 2016). "Power of social media: He tracked down his birth parents, now he's helping others". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  28. ^ "This website could help you find your birth parents through social media". Family Topics | SBS. SBS Australia. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  29. ^ "Russian adoptee helps find relatives". Stuff. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  30. ^ Sergel, Michael. "Queen gives support for Kiwi's 'I'm Adopted' project". Archived from the original on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  31. ^ ""Я хочу знать, почему": приемные дети ищут кровных родителей | Милосердие.ru". Милосердие.ru (in Russian). 11 May 2017. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017. 
  32. ^ "The Kiwi start up that helps people find their birth parents goes international". Archived from the original on 11 August 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  33. ^ "Site helping adoptees find birth parents". Otago Daily Times Online News. 25 July 2017. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  34. ^ "News from the Beehive: February 2017". Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  35. ^ "Алекс Гилберт: «Мой жизненный пазл сложился» - Измени одну жизнь". Измени одну жизнь (in Russian). 2017-11-01. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  36. ^ 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. 
  37. ^ "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. 
  38. ^ "Новозеландский адвокат по усыновлению Алекс Гилберт побывал в гостях у фонда "Арифметика добра"". Агентство социальной информации (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  39. ^ "Фонд «Арифметика добра» принял в гостях Алекса Гилберта, автора международного проекта поиска кровных родителей - Московская Благотворительность - ваш гид по благотворительности в Москве". (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  40. ^ "Алекс Гилберт о своей жизни и общественной деятельности / Радио Маяк". Retrieved 2017-11-10. 
  41. ^ "Alex Gilbert". Retrieved 2017-10-28. 
  42. ^ "Алекс Гилберт: приемным детям главное не врать". РИА Новости (in Russian). Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  43. ^ "Alex Gilbert". IMDb. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  44. ^ "Alex Gilbert – Linkedin". 
  45. ^ My Russian Side. OCLC 888031209. 
  46. ^ "Alex Gilbert". Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 

External links[edit]