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Pre-Adoptive Parent Workshops

 

Adoptive Parent Workshops

 

Adopted Children’s Workshops

 

Infertility or Donor Workshops

 

Professional Workshops

 


 

 


 

Workshop Descriptions

"I learned a lot and also had an emotionally moving experience. The perspectives of the Counselors expanded my understanding, and the people who talked about their personal infertility or adoption were so amazingly genuine and open. I would recommend these workshops to anyone whose life is touched by infertility or adoption." - L.W., adoptive parent

"If we didn't go to the Crossing the Bridge workshop, we would not be a family today" - M.S., new adoptive parent

Workshops for: Infertility and Adoption are listed here and you will find additional workshops for Professionals on the next web page.

 

For Infertility

Family Stories: Creating and Parenting Children through Adoption and Donor Origins

If you are a parent, parent-to-be or a professional looking for insight into adoptive and donor family formation; and on how to talk to children at the different ages and stages of their understanding of their family adoption stories or their donor origins, this workshop is for you. Separate tracks for adoption and donor origin issues will be offered. You can follow one track or mix and match. NASW CE credits for 6 hours will be available upon request. In this workshop you will learn about:

  • How to talk to kids about adoption

  • How to talk to kids about donor conception

  • Tools to help your child develop healthy self-esteem
  • . Pediatrician Views on Adoption and Donor Origins
  • The impact of the Internet: Pre and Post Family Building through Adoption or Donor options

  


For Adoption

Crossing the Bridge from Infertility to Adoption

This workshop is for you if you are just considering adoption, waiting to adopt after experiencing infertility or as a single or LGBT couple, or a professional working with these families. You may also want to bring family members who you would like to get a better understanding of adoption. NASW CE credits for 5 hours will be available upon request.

This workshop will give you an in-depth understanding of the emotional and practical issues involved in deciding whether adoption is for you; and what the adoption process and life as an adoptive family will be like.  Adoption professionals, adoptive parents, birth parents, as well as adopted teens and adults will share their perspectives on adoption with you.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • What to expect emotionally

  • How to resolve issues between yourself and your partner

  • How to begin the adoption process

  • How to deal with friends and family

  • What being a family formed through adoption will really be like

 

 

Making the Decision to Adopt

This workshop is for you if you are considering adoption after infertility, pregnancy loss or as a single or LGBT parent.  This workshop focuses primarily on helping you decide whether adoption is right for you.      

You will learn:

  • How to assess your readiness to pursue adoption

  • What do you do if you feel ready and your partner is reluctant

  • How to take those first steps toward building a family through adoption

 

 

Domestic Adoption: Communicating With Birthparents

This workshop is for anyone adopting domestically, even if you are working with an attorney or an adoption agency. Agencies and attorneys focus on completing adoptions successfully, which is precisely what you want them to focus on. But they may not have the time or counseling experience to focus on training you to really connect with birthparents. This workshop will teach you to feel more confident and to gain the skills necessary for making an adoption situation work not just for now, but for the long term.


In this workshop you will learn how to:

  • Enhance your chances of being selected by a birthmother

  • Communicate with a birthmother in the first contact

  • Get the most out of the relationship you have with the birthmother (and possibly the birthfather) before, during and after the adoption

  • Get the most background information for your child and for your own comfort level when making the leap of faith inherent in adoption

  • Understand and communicate about open adoption issues 

 

 

Understanding Open Adoption Today

This workshop is for you if you are just considering adoption, waiting to adopt, an adoptive parent, birth parent, adoptee or a professional working with adoptive families. NASW CE credits for 5 hours will be available upon request.

The concept of open adoption typically stirs anxiety and uncertainty for all adoption triad members. If you are just considering adoption, you are probably confused by the multiple meanings of the term “open adoption” and at the same time under a time limit to set terms for a long term plan. If you are involved in an open adoption, you experience different emotions and issues during the adoption life cycle.

In this workshop, the different models of open adoption; the life cycle issues for each adoption triad member; and the typical issues involved in creating, maintaining and managing these relationships will be presented. You will learn about the full range of options available to your family as you consider and process what is best for your child.

Speakers will include: Psychotherapists and attorneys specializing in adoption, adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees who have had varied experiences with open adoption

In this workshop you will learn about:

  • The different kinds of open adoptions
  • Issues to consider in planning for your "post-placement adoption contact agreement"
  • Some typical stages, issues and emotions in open adoptions as experienced by the children, the adoptive parents and the birth parents
  • How issues in open adoptions can be resolved 
  • The impact of the internet on these relationships

 

 

Trans Racial Adoptive Family Issues

This workshop is for you if you are considering adopting a child of a race that is different from yours or if you are a parent or adoptee in a Trans-racial adoptive family, or a professional. NASW CE credits for 3 hours will be available upon request. IAC Center Counselors and a panel of Adults adopted into Trans-racial families will discuss the challenges of growing up in a transracial adoptive family; normative emotional and social life cycle issues, how identity and self-esteem may be impacted and how parents and professionals can help.

You will learn:

  • What it feels like to grow up in a Trans-racial adoptive family  

  • Normative emotional and social life cycle issues related to adoption and race
  • How parents can and cannot help their children with identity development and self-esteem
  • The role of the professional in helping children and families

 

 

Baby Care for Adoptive Parents

This workshop is for you if you are waiting to adopt domestically or internationally and would like to learn about baby care in a comfortable setting with other prospective adoptive parents. An RN/MSW will lead this workshop and cover both basic childcare and issues specific to adoption.  In addition, some adoption agencies will accept this workshop as partial fulfillment of your home study requirements (certificates will be issued).

In this workshop you will learn about:

  • What you really need to buy beforehand
  • Basic baby care
  • Car Seat Safety
  • Expectations for the hospital both medically and emotionally.
  • Understanding your infants need
  • How to choose a pediatrician

 

 

Baby, Toddler & Child Care for International Adoptive Parents

This workshop is for you if you are waiting to adopt internationally and would like to learn about baby, toddler and child care in a comfortable setting with other prospective adoptive parents. This workshop will cover both basic childcare and issues specific to adoption, particularly tools and strategies to help you adjust your child to their new home life with you. In addition, some adoption agencies will accept this workshop as partial fulfillment of your home study requirements (certificates will be issued).

 

In this workshop you will learn about:

  • Basic baby care
  • Basic toddler or child care in relation to arrival home
  • What you really need to buy beforehand
  • Car seat safety
  • Tips for meeting your child
  • Understanding your child's needs
  • Strategies for adjusting and transitioning your child at home
  • How to choose a pediatrician

 

Parenting the Older Adopted Child

This workshop is for parents, parents-to-be considering adopting a child over the age of two, and professionals working with these individuals and families. NASW CE credits for 5 hours will be available upon request. The typical characteristics and behaviors of these children and the long term parenting skills necessary to facilitate a successful outcome; as well as an exploration of the motivations to adopt an older child and how to decide if it is right for a particular family will be presented; and there will be a panel of Adoptive Parents and Teens who were adopted after age two.

 

You will learn:

  • Who are the children who need forever families?
  • How abandonment, neglect, abuse and other trauma experienced by these children impacts the development of attachment and trust
  • Characteristics of Families with successful Older Child adoptions
  • Strategies, Approaches and Tools to help the child and the family

 

International Adoption Workshop: Transitioning and Adjusting Children at Home

This workshop is for you if you are a pre-adoptive parent, a new adoptive parent working on transitioning your child to home, or an adoption professional. Some adoption agencies will accept this workshop as partial fulfillment of your home study requirements (certificates will be issued).

An IAC Center Counselor and an occupational therapist will discuss issues and identify specific strategies for easing the transition when adopting younger or older children internationally.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • How to help your child with the initial transition from an orphanage or foster care situation to their new home life.
  • The three phases of adjustment and development of trust all children go through: the honeymoon, the testing phase, and the settling in.
  • How to make this transitional period less stressful for your child and yourselves.
  • Tips for dealing with being a trans-racial and/or trans-cultural family.
  • Parenting strategies uniquely designed for children who have had foster and/or orphanage care.
  • Challenges for IA Children & what you can do at home/school.
  • Signs that indicate specialized services are needed

 

 

What to Do During the Wait

This workshop is for you if you are waiting to adopt, or if you are an adoption professional working with clients who are waiting.  The emotional and practical issues typically experienced during the wait for a child through adoption will be discussed; along with pragmatic suggestions for using the time productively. 

 

In this workshop you will learn:

  • How to manage your anxiety
  • How to prepare for parenting
  • Effective ways to build coping skills and resilience
  • Tips to improve client-agency or attorney communication during this stressful time

 

 

Family Stories: Creating and Parenting Children through Adoption or Donor Origins

If you are a parent, parent-to-be or a professional looking for insight into adoptive and donor family formation; and on how to talk to children at the different ages and stages of their understanding of their family adoption stories or their donor origins, this workshop is for you. NASW CE credits for 6 hours will be available upon request. Separate tracks for adoption and donor origin issues will be offered. You can follow one track or mix and match. In this workshop you will learn about:

  • How to talk to kids about adoption
  • How to talk to kids about donor conception
  • Tools to help your child develop healthy self-esteem
  • Pediatrician Views on Adoption and Donor Origins
  • The impact of the Internet: Pre and Post Family Building through Adoption or Donor options

 

 

How to Talk to Children about Adoption: Infancy to Age 6

This workshop is for both adoptive parents of young children and pre-adoptive parents who would like to begin learning about adoptive parenting, in preparation and to meet the home study requirement.
In this workshop you will learn:

  • How to begin talking about adoption.
  • What your child can understand at these early ages.
  • How to help answer your child's earliest questions about adoption.
  • How to create a safe, open family atmosphere in which adoption can be discussed.
  • Helpful resources and books for children and parents.

 

How to Talk to Children about Adoption: Ages 6 to 12

This workshop is for adoptive parents and for any professionals who work with children in this age group.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • What issues are hard for children these ages to put into words.
  • What children think about and how to explore these issues with an adopted child.
  • How to help a child answer questions about adoption, and deal with peer or school issues.
  • How to keep family communication about adoption open and safe.
  • Helpful resources and books for children and parents.

 

Teens and Adoption

Adoption as shown in popular media (television, movies) is used as a catalyst for a discussion about identity amongst adopted teens.   Self-esteem, self awareness, physical and personality differences, and what it means to belong are key themes of this discussion.  This workshop has been developed and will be presented by a fellow adoptee, IAC Center Counselor Beverly Andres, MSW.

 

 

 

How to make an Adoption Lifebook

This workshop is for parents in all stages of adoption; from pre-adopt to post-adopt, and is equally applicable to U.S. and international adoption. An Adoption Lifebook begins with the child’s birth and can serve as a tool so that you and your child can discuss the specific circumstances surrounding your child’s birth and adoption. 

You will learn:

  • The basics about creating an Adoption Lifebook for your child.
  • The difference between a “baby” book vs. a “travel” book vs. an Adoption Lifebook
  • Sample language that can be used in a Lifebook
  • Discussion of tools to help make creation of a Lifebook a reality

 

 

Children’s and Parent's Life Book Workshop

This workshop is for children ages 6 to 12 and their parents. Children will create their own life books with the help of an IAC Center counselor, their peers and parental help at home. This is different than any Lifebook parents may have created for their child. This is the adopted child’s chance to tell his/her own story as he or she understands it.

While the children meet with one IAC Center Counselor, parents meet with another IAC Center Counselor to learn more about the kinds of adoption and developmental issues that their children are typically dealing with at these ages. Parents will also be guided in how to help their child with the Lifebook at home.

The goals of this workshop are to:

  • Support self-expression
  • Identify the key adoption issues for children ages 6 to 12
  • Give parents unique insight into what their own child understands about being adopted at this particular point in their development
  • Learn what to include in the current Lifebook and what to anticipate and to add as their child gets older
  • Encourage continued exploration and family communication about adoption topics

 

 

W.I.S.E. Up! Workshop

The W.I.S.E. Up! Workshop is for pre-adoptive and adoptive parents, as well as adopted children ages 6-11. Parents meet with one IAC Center Counselor while children meet with a second IAC Center Counselor and then the 2 groups meet together.

This workshop is designed to help adopted children and their parents learn tools and strategies for handling awkward moments in social situations, adoption related teasing, inappropriate comments and questions, and to decide the most comfortable way to communicate about their adoption story with

The goals of this workshop are:

  • To teach children and parents specific tools and strategies to deal with difficult adoption related situations.
  • By learning these tools, children will feel empowered to deal with social situations and a greater sense of self esteem.
  • For parents to learn how to help their children talk with them about these issues.
  • To provide a common language and set of tools for families to improve communication and effectiveness in dealing with difficult social situations.

   Hamilton Square, NJ  

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