Pact Camp

Webinar:Culturally Relevant and Sensitive Adoption Language & Rituals

Start time/date: Mar  13, 2019 11:00 AM
End time/date: Mar  13, 2019 12:30 PM
Place: Webinar
Call-In Instructions Will Be Emailed After Registration


Culturally Relevant and Sensitive Adoption Language & Rituals

Preschoolers are very concrete thinkers. They are just beginning to learn about things like “same and different” and are beginning to apply their new ideas and understandings to everything, including friends and family. When a child learns that another child was adopted by his or her parents, they usually process it as just another piece of information. When they notice racial features and differences, they are simply categorizing as they are learning to do with shapes and colors. Being careful to use respectful adoption, race and identity language can set the stage for these kids to view their own identity - or their classmate’s – in a positive way. Appropriate for pre-adoptive and adoptive parents as well as professionals.

  • Summary Words and rituals are important methods of human communication through which we tell our stories and underscore our values. Words not only convey facts, they also evoke feelings. When outsiders to the experience of adoption use words that seem to place meaning or be biased regarding adoption, those who have first-hand experience can take offense or feel uncertain as to whether or not that outsider is an ally to them. How adoptive parents and other important adults talk with children about adoption, or their birth family, can have a big impact and demonstrate the underlying narrative that children will internalize about themselves and their identity. We will address the use of terms like “child of our own”, “lucky”, “grateful”, “our birth mother,” and offer sensitive and inclusive alternatives you can use within your own family and when speaking or educating your community about adoption. Similarly, we will suggest rituals that can provide a meaningful bridge out of the secrecy and shame that too often have underscored adoption. Rituals celebrated with openness, love, and pride send a powerful message of validation to adopted people and their loved ones. This webinar is applicable to all members of the adoption constellation and adoption professionals.
  • Educational objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize the importance and impact of using adoption sensitive language. 
  2. Identify specific rituals that can be incorporated into important days and holidays.
  3. Compile a list of sensitive language that can be shared with extended family members and with anyone else who spends an extended amount of time with their child(ren).
  4. Hear from adult adoptees about the importance of appropriate language and rituals.
  5. Instructor: Katie Stickles-Wynen, MSW ACSW #34328

    Position: Adoption Social Worker

    Experience: Katie is a transracial/international Colombian adoptee who has worked with the adoption community since 2006. One-on-one and in group settings, Katie has worked with adoptees ranging from age 5-75, and both transracial and same-race adoptive parents. Katie leads the Adult Adoptees of Color support group in the East Bay and supports adult adoptee programming for the annual Pact Family Camps.

Pricing Description:

$35 per person non-member

Special pricing Pact member receive 65% discount.

Please choose carefully when registering for Pact events. Pact is not in a position to refund workshop or event registration fees.