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Center for Race and Adoption Focused Therapy

black child with elbow on white woman
adoption focused therapy

In response to our community’s need, Pact launched the Center for Race and Adoption Focused Therapy in 2021, to offer adopted youth of color and their families access to high-quality, adoption-sensitive therapy services.

Finding a therapist who really “gets” the intersections of adoption, race, and parenting is critical to adoptees and their families. We have a team of skilled, licensed therapists of color with personal connections to adoption/foster care and/or professional experience serving adopted and fostered youth.

Currently the program primarily serves youth (including young adults) of color who have been adopted or are in foster or kinship placement, and their families; both individual and family therapy are available. Services are currently available only to California residents; both in-person and telehealth appointments are available.

Therapy Fees

Per-session fees for the Center for Race and Adoption Focused Therapy are charged on a sliding-scale based on family income; discounts are available for Pact members. Fees listed are for one 50-minute individual or family therapy session.

If your family income is below $100,000, please see Needs-Based Scholarships below.

Gross Annual Income*
Members
Non-Members
Over $300K
$247
$252
$250–$299K
$226
$231
$200–$249K
$205
$210
$150–$199K
$184
$189
$120–$149K
$163
$168
$100–$119K
$142
$147

*Gross annual family income includes any Adoption Assistance Program benefits received.

Need-Based Scholarships

 For families whose gross annual income is under $100,000 (including any Adoption Assistance Program benefits received): Our goal is to make CRAFT accessible to adoptive families of all income levels. Pact has a limited pool of funds with which to underwrite the actual cost of therapy sessions and make available the highly-subsidized fees shown below.

Gross Annual Income
Members
Non-Members
$75–$99K
$121
$126
$50–74K
$79
$84
$35–$49K
$58
$63
$20–$34K
$37
$42
Under $20K
$16
$21

To begin the process of applying for a needs-based scholarship, please submit an interest form (click button below). Later in the process, you’ll be asked to submit income documentation verifying your family’s eligibility. If the pool of subsidy funds has been exhausted, you can opt to pay a higher fee or join a wait list for the next available subsidy.

Insurance: If you are insured by Kaiser, they may be willing to provide a “single case agreement” to pay for therapy at Pact. CRAFT is not currently on any other insurance panels, but can provide documentation if you wish to request reimbursement from your insurance provider or health savings plan.

adoption therapy fees

How to get started

After you submit an interest form (click button above), we’ll contact you to learn more about what you are looking for. If you have questions, you can also contact us at CRAFT@pactadopt.org or (510) 243-9460.

Therapy Staff

Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander, LMFT

Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander, LMFT

Agency & Clinical Director, First/Birth Family Advocate

Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander (she/her), LMFT, is a Latina first mother, transracial domestic adoptee, and licensed psychotherapist who specializes in the adoption and foster care triads, providing treatment and consultations since 2009. When Pact became a licensed full-service adoption agency in 2017, Susan was appointed its founding Agency Director and is now the Clinical Director and responsible for launching Pact’s Center for Race and Adoption Focused Therapy in 2021. She is on the ongoing complex journey of reunion with her first families and the daughter she placed for adoption.

Marcus Christmas, LCSW

Marcus Christmas, LCSW

Therapist

Marcus Christmas (he/him) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a graduate of Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research; he identifies as a Black cisgender male and is a proud descendent of The Burlington 37. He specializes in treating early childhood trauma, anxiety, depression, and stress, using a holistic approach incorporating meditation, cognitive and neuroscience strategies.  He has extensive experience working with children in foster care, birth families, and adoptive families (including transracial), and has worked with both closed and open adoptions. He finds it deeply rewarding to help adoptees explore their stories and find their voices.

Carla Felten, LCSW

Carla Felten, LCSW

Therapist

Carla Felten (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems in California, Colorado, and North Carolina. Her passion is supporting foster/adoptive families and she is blessed to have been mentored by adoption professionals who highlighted the need for radically inclusive and anti-racist work in the adoption field. As a biracial Black woman, Carla has experienced the duality of sharing two (competing) cultures and is committed to creating healing, safe spaces for folx to explore their own racial and/or familial identities. Carla’s current focus is working with adolescents and supporting parents/families through their adoption journeys, as well as guiding parents in becoming attachment-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally supportive and responsible.

Little M Vila-Barrett, LMFT

Little M Vila-Barrett, LMFT

Therapist

Little M Vila-Barrett (they/them), LMFT, is a transracial adoptee from Bogota, Colombia, a BIPOC/QBIPOC activist and mental health advocate. Little is an Expressive Arts Therapist, Certified Professional Coach, and member of AAMFT and QAAMFT. Their work focuses on developing and enhancing individuals’ internal strengths, cultural identity, empowerment, and internal decolonization. Little helps people develop their own narrative, explore their unique cultural identities and engage in the lifelong work of adoption healing to facilitate finding an authentic voice and honoring their personal truth. Little was placed into a closed adoption at two years old, and continues to do trauma-healing work and “blood family-blood country” connecting work to unite with the land of their ancestors and their Indigenous culture. Little hopes to provide others with allyship and connection to their roots.

Cynthia Wright, LCSW

Cynthia Wright, LCSW

Therapist

Cynthia Wright (she/her) has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2011 and has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs since 2001, predominantly serving veterans of color and women at a behavioral health clinic in Oakland. Based on her own lived experience as a mixed-race person (African-American, European, Native American) born into the child welfare system in San Francisco, spending time in foster care before being adopted at age seven, she sees strong connections between working with people impacted by adoption and foster care and working with veterans – in both instances, people who have experienced trauma and whose lives have been affected by institutions. Her passion is working with trauma survivors, using the Seeking Safety therapy model that emphasizes coping skills, grounding techniques, and psycho-education.