The IAC Center offers a variety of professionally led support groups focusing on varied phases of the infertility and adoption life cycles. These groups are formed on a regular basis and typically convene one time per month. Clients attending these groups tend to bond, finding comfort with other like-minded individuals facing similar issues.
The IAC Center has coordinated, Support Groups for: Pre-Adoptive Parents, Adoptive Parents, Adopted Children and Teens, Infertility and Professional Support. To learn more or to join any of our groups, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Current Group Locations are Pennington, Summit, Red Bank and Montclair New Jersey; and New York City. We hope to develop more locations. In addition, IAC Center Counselors run groups at select infertility clinics and a volunteer-run adoptive parent support organization.
Contact JMantellMSW@iaccenter.com if you are interested in exploring the option of an IAC Center Counselor facilitating a group at your location.
Pre-Adoptive Parent Support Groups
Currently the IAC Center offers six different types of monthly support groups for couples and singles seeking to adopt. Each group meets once a month at varied times. New groups form once existing groups are filled.
Current Pre-Adoptive Support Groups:
Pre-adoptive Support Group: Domestic Adoption. This group discusses issues unique to pursuing and preparing for domestic adoption and parenting.
Pre-Adoptive Support Group: International Adoption. This group discusses issues unique to pursuing and preparing for international adoption and parenting.
Singles Pre-Adoptive Support Group: This group will allow single pre-adoptive parents to discuss both the general adoption issues and the unique aspects they may experience in both the adoption process and as adoptive families.
LGBT Pre-Adoptive Support Group: This group will allow gay and lesbian pre-adoptive parents to discuss both the general adoption issues and the unique aspects they may experience in both the adoption process and as adoptive families.
Foster to Adopt Support Group: This group discusses issues unique to pursuing and preparing for adoption through the foster system; and on transitioning the children to the family home life.
Waiting Too Long Pre-Adoptive Support Group: This group will allow couples and singles who have been involved in the adoption process for a while to get the support they need to remain proactive.
Members of our Pre-Adoptive Parent Support Groups discuss the emotional and practical issues related to initiating, waiting and succeeding with adoptions. The groups also give pre-adoptive parents time to think about parenting, something that oddly is often avoided during the waiting-to-adopt phase when so much emphasis is placed on getting the baby.
Each pre-adopt groups have five or 6 couples and/or singles, and typically continue until everyone has adopted their baby.
Parent Support Groups
"My friends who are not adoptive parents wish they had a group like this." A.N., Adoptive Mother, Adoptive Parents Support Group.
Currently the IAC Center offers four different types of counseling groups for adoptive parents. Each group meets once a month at varied times. New groups will continue to form.
Current Adoptive Parent Support Groups:
Adoptive Parent Support Group. This group discusses adoptive parenting and general parenting issues. Learn how to identify whether your child's behavior is related to development, personality style or adoption; how to communicate with your child about adoption; to deal with adoption issues with friends, family and the school; with open adoption and transracial adoptive family issues, etc.
Adoptive Parent Counseling Group: This group is for adoptive parents seeking to learn strategies and tools to deal effectively with behavioral or emotional challenges such as adjustment, psychological or emotional issues, anger, discipline, sleep, and sibling issues, etc.
First Years at Home Group: Learn strategies and tools to help with adjustment to home life for both your child and yourselves; and parenting strategies uniquely designed for children who have had foster and/or orphanage care.
Parents of Adopted Teens: The teenage years present challenges for all families. Learn how to identify whether your teen’s behavior is related to development, personality-style or adoption; about some of the unique concerns adopted teens may have; and some effective strategies for parent-teen communication.
Members of our Adoptive Parent Support Groups discuss adoption and general parenting subjects as well. With the guidance of the IAC Center counselor, parents process issues and develop strategies that benefit both the child and the family system.
Children and Teen Support Groups
"Sometimes we don't even talk about adoption but it really makes me feel really good to know other kids who were adopted. I know I can talk to them about adoption if I want ." L.N., age 16 years.
The IAC Center groups for adopted children focus on self-esteem and social issues related to this age group in general. Simple catalytic exercises and fun activities are offered to bring out the adoption issues. Since all children in the group will be adopted the theme will emerge in a natural manner. The goal is for children to feel supported by being in a like-minded peer group with similar issues and concerns.
The IAC Center's adopted teen group focuses on adoption issues teens may think about such as identity formation, independence and separation, heightened curiosity about the past, and general adolescent issues as well. Discussion, movies, art, writing and social games are used to explore adoption issues. This group is led by an IAC Center Counselor who was adopted and has a special capacity to relate to the teens' concerns.
The parents of adopted teens group has been developed in response to an expressed need by parents for help in understanding the way adoption impacts teens and how parents can more effectively communicate with their teens during this complicated stage of development. You may join this group even if your teen is not participating at IAC Center.
We also offer a short-term group for Siblings of Recently Arrived Adopted Children. Some of our clients have brought home toddlers or adopted older children who require much support during their transition. We have found that siblings benefit from a chance to share their concerns, feelings and experiences while their newly adopted sibling adjusts.
Please contact us at email@example.com or 609-737-8750 if you have an interest for your child; or if you like this idea, but need some ideas on how to introduce a groups to your child.
Infertility Support Groups
The IAC Center has found that infertility patients generally prefer individual or couples counseling; and find groups to be difficult during the time they are considering or involved in medical treatment. Upon request we will create a general infertility support group or make referrals to local peer support groups. The Center offers Infertility Counseling and the following groups:
Egg Donor Recipient Support Group to discuss issues specific to this family building method including donor selection, disclosure to family and friends and talking to children about third party reproduction and life cycle issues.
Embryo Donation/Embryo Adoption Support Group to discuss issues specific to this family building method including embryo selection, processing grief about genetic losses, disclosure to friends and family, and how to talk to children about their origins and other life cycle issues
- Families Formed through Donor Options gives parents the opportunity to discuss their concerns about telling and then talking to their children about how their family was formed during different ages and stages of their child's life.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to sign up for a group
Professional's Support Group
Helping professionals need support too. Infertility Nurses & Adoption Agency Social and Case Workers appreciate this opportunity to get together with others who share similar work experiences. In this group they learn skills and strategies to deal with the emotional challenges of working with infertility and/or adoption clients; may discuss personal issues that are be stimulated by working in these charged settings; and find ways to take care of themselves so that they can experience greater personal satisfaction and still work productively. A workshop on Helping Professional Stress Disorder will also interest this group and is described on the Workshops for Professionals page.
Contact email@example.com for more information or to sign up for a group
to receive information on Open Support Groups