Lifelong Learning

Adoption is a lifelong journey—there is always more to learn. Ready to deepen your understanding of the complex intersections of adoption, family, and race? Pact is here for you. Prospective adopters, adoptive parents and  first/birth parents and their extended family members, adult adoptees, community members, and adoption professionals are all welcome and encouraged to participate in our education programs. Our webinars and conferences draw on 30+ years of experience pioneering an honest, child-centered, anti-racist approach to adoption, as well as the latest emerging research.

Webinars

Expand your knowledge from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office, anywhere in the United States. All webinars (both live and pre-recorded) cost $38.50 each. A 20% discount is available for Pact members. Join Pact today.

Live Webinars: Looking for an interactive experience? Live webinars allow you to participate in discussion and pose questions to Pact experts and guest speakers. See Events to browse and register for upcoming webinars.

Pre-Recorded Content:

 

What you want to know, when you need to know it. All the webinars listed below are available for viewing within 24 hours of purchase.

Voices of the Triad: Adoptees

Do you want to deepen your knowledge of adoption by learning from the foremost experts? Pact firmly believes that adopted people—not adoptive parents—are the first, most important voices to hear from about the experience of being adopted. In this webinar, adopted adults of color share parts of their lifelong adoption journey.

Target audience: All triad members and professionals.

Subject categories: Adoptee Voices/Adoptee Identity, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Katie Wynen
2022

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Voices of the Triad: Young Adoptees
Learn from the foremost experts on the experience of being adopted: adopted people themselves Watch a short film featuring adoptees ages 10 to 17 speak about their experiences with and thoughts on race, first/birth families, adoption and more. The film is followed by a facilitated conversation about the evolution of feelings in youth and adults.

Target audience: All triad members and professionals.

Subject categories: Adoptee Voices/Adoptee Identity, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander
2022

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Voices of the Triad: First/Birth Parents
In the world of adoption, first/birth parents are often talked about or spoken for, but rarely heard from directly about their lived experiences. In this webinar, you can hear from a panel of first/birth parents as they discuss the many complexities of adoption from their own perspective.

Target audience: All triad members and professionals.

Subject categories: First/Birth Parents, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander
2022

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Voices of the Triad: Adoptive Parents
Learn from the voices of experience! Hear adoptive parents share things they wish they had understood earlier. Topics include: handling your own fears; understanding how children experience adoption; why the words we use matter; talking about our child’s birth and first/birth parents; responding to difficult behaviors in children (and ourselves); anticipating children’s questions; and adjusting our parenting expectations.

Target audience: Adoptive parents.

Subject categories: Adoptive Parenting, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2022

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Should We or Shouldn’t We? Considering Open Adoption
Many, perhaps most, adoptions now begin with the possibility of some amount of openness and contact between birth and adoptive parents. How do you determine what’s right for you and your child? This webinar will address common concerns and questions, and help you distinguish between your own needs, desires, and fears and those of your child.

Target audience: Prospective adoptive parents and expectant parents.

Subject categories: Preparing to Adopt, Open Adoption, Adoptive Parenting

Lead Speaker: Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander
2021

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Dear Expectant Parent Letter
In this webinar, we outline the process of creating your Dear Expectant Parent(s) letter to introduce yourself to expectant parents considering an adoption plan. Our approach reflects Pact’s ethical, non-coercive approach to adoption. We’ll help you create an honest, authentic profile, not manipulative marketing material.

Target audience: Prospective adoptive parents.

Subject categories: Open Adoption, Preparing to Adopt

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2021

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Invisible Adoptions
Adoptive parents of color raising children who look like them have choices about when or even whether to talk to their children about their adoption history. Sometimes parents worry that telling a child they are adopted will lead to feelings of insecurity or disconnectedness. This webinar unpacks those concerns, and the unintended repercussions that silence and secrecy can have.

Target audience: Current or prospective adoptive parents of color with same-race families.

Lead Speaker: Malaika Parker
2018

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Blended Families: A Conversation
Adopted youth who grow up in blended families (with both adopted and non-adopted children) are sometimes at risk for feeling less connected than their non-adopted siblings. Hear an adoptive parent, a non-adopted sibling, and an adoptee share their experiences of living in blended families—what was rewarding and what was challenging.

Target audience: All triad members and professionals.

Subject categories: Siblings, Talking About Adoption, Adoptive Parenting

Lead Speaker: Malaika Parker
2022

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Sibling Connections in Adoption
Adoptees can have many different types of sibling relationships, all of which are important to them. Adoptive parents and adoption professionals need to be aware of different ways they can support sibling connections and help the adoptee manage both feelings and relationship challenges. Join world-renowned researcher Ruth McRoy to improve your understanding and learn strategies for supporting adoptee sibling relationships.

Target audience: pre-adoptive parents, adoptive parents, birth/first parents and adoption professionals.

Subject categories: Siblings, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Ruth McCoy
2018

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Adoption… It’s Complicated! Raising Awareness for Service Providers
Does your organization provide counseling to women facing unplanned pregnancies? Do you feel confident about how to support women and families considering an adoption plan? Or those whose children have already been placed into adoption or foster care? This webinar draws on both first-hand personal experiences of birth parents, and the latest research, to help you discuss adoption with honesty, balance, and compassion.

Target audience: Professionals working with pregnant people and birth parents.

Subject categories: Talking About Adoption, Ethics in Adoption

Lead Speaker: Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander
2019

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Real Talk About Child Welfare Reform and the Calls to Abolish It
This webinar captures a candid and critical discussion of child welfare reform that seeks to radically imagine a different way forward for families within an anti-racist and abolitionist context.

Target audience: Adoption professionals.

Subject categories: Ethics in Adoption

Lead Speaker: Christina Feliciana
2021

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Newborns, Money, and Desperate Competition: Ethical Challenges in Infant Adoption
As the landscape of adoption providers continues to be heavily dominated by for-profit entities and “do-it-yourself” online matching services, foregrounding ethics in voluntary infant placement and adoption become all the more critical. This webinar raises questions about current practices in voluntary placements.

Target audience: All triad members and professionals.

Subject categories: Ethics in Adoption

Lead Speaker: Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander
2021

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Working with Pre- and Post-Adoptive Parents of Color: Insights for Professionals
This webinar focuses on talking about adoption and foster care in communities of color. Learn strategies for supporting adoptive and foster parents of color throughout the adoption journey, from preparation through separation.

Target audience: Adoption professionals.

Subject categories: Preparing to Adopt, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Malaika Parker
2021

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What to Expect: At the Hospital
Hear practical and ethical advice about what to expect when pre-adopters have been matched with expectant parents in an adoption plan and are invited to the hospital when a child is being placed for adoption. We will focus on how to manage the complex time when first/birth parent(s) are making the legal and emotional decision about whether to move forward with placing that child for adoption and address questions about when to arrive, who makes medical choices, feeding choices, breast-feeding, naming, gifts, goodbyes, and contact after birth.

Target audience: Prospective adoptive parents and expectant parents.

Subject categories: Preparing to Adopt, Talking About Adoption, Adoptive Parenting

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2020

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Life After Placement: Navigating Openness for First/Birth Parents
Led by therapists specializing in adoption and first/birth family issues, this workshop offers compassionate support and concrete guidance to first/birth parents and family members as they navigate the experience of having their children placed in adoption.

Target audience: First/birth parents and family members.

Subject categories: First/Birth Parents, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2021

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Living Open Adoption: Practical Guidance for Making It Work
To better serve the needs of adopted children, open adoption was created as an alternative to the challenges of closed adoption—but open adoption brings new challenges, for both adoptive and birth parents. With the three simple shifts covered in this webinar, you can develop a new mindset and strategy to guide you in your open adoption parenting. Practical tips and examples for managing open relationships are included.

Target audience: Adoptive parents and first/birth parents.

Subject categories: Open Adoption, Adoptive Parenting

Lead Speaker: Lori Holden
2019

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Art of Attachment: Using Sensory Strategies as a Key to Connection
Attachment is the cornerstone of connection, healing, and harmony in an adoptive family. This webinar with Dr. Laura Anderson explains how children with trauma histories and/or attachment disruptions can have differing brain and body chemistry, including differently developed sensory integration systems, and suggest strategies for fostering connection.

Target audience: Adoptive parents, professionals.

Subject categories: Attachment, Trauma-Informed Parenting

Lead Speaker: Laura Anderson
2019

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Introducing the Adoption Conversation
Learn how to start conversations about adoption with your kids, and introducing new concepts without going over your child’s head. Topics include: understanding how children understand and experience adoption, why the words we use matter, why beginning with a child’s birth makes sense, how to talk about first/birth parents, and answering and anticipating children’s questions, whether they ask them or not.

Target audience: Adoptive parents.

Subject categories: Talking About Adoption, Adoptive Parenting

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2020

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Attachment: Welcoming Baby
Are you preparing to welcome a newborn or young child into your family? This webinar covers a continuum of age-specific attachment issues and introduces strategies that promote secure attachment for adopted children from infancy through toddlerhood.

Target audience: Adoptive parents.

Subject categories: Attachment, Preparing to Adopt, Trauma-Informed Parenting

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2021

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Adoptive-Sensitive Language and Rituals
Are you doing everything you can to make adopted children and adults welcome in your family and community? The language we use and the rituals we perform communicate our values. Words and rituals send powerful messages to children and adults, underscoring what we consider important. Learn about adoption-sensitive language and the impact it can have, and why adoptive families may choose to modify their rituals or create new ones.

Target audience: All triad members and professionals.

Subject categories: Adoption Rituals and Holiday Celebrations, Ethics in Adoption, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Katie Wynen
2021

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Talking With Children about Adoption
It’s critically important that you become comfortable talking about all the complexities of adoption with adopted children—the sorrows as well as the joys. Learn developmentally-appropriate strategies for talking with children about adoption, first families, and loss.

Target audience: Prospective and current adoptive parents, expectant parents, first/birth parents.

Subject categories: Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Malaika Parker
2021

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Parents of Color: Talking to Children about Race and Racism
Adoptive parents of color join in a practical discussion about how to talk to children of color about race. Topics covered include developmental milestones, cultural context, social narratives, and strategies for maintaining joy and pride despite it all. Parents share strategies they like for support their children.

Target audience: Adoptive parents of color.

Subject categories: Race and Adoption

Lead Speaker: Malaika Parker
2021

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Challenging Class Privilege in Adoption
An uncomfortable truth in adoption is that privileges are extended or denied based on class. For many families of color who built their families through adoption or foster care, the class dynamics reveal intersections of oppression. This webinar takes on this seldom-discussed reality, starting a difficult, important conversation about how we can challenge these dynamics and build connections across class.

Target audience: All triad members and professionals.

Subject categories: Race and Adoption, Ethics in Adoption

Lead Speaker: Malaika Parker
2020

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Transracial Adoption for Parents of Color
Transracial adoption for parents of color is becoming more common. Learn from adoptive parents of color parenting across race: the steps they took to prepare themselves for transracial adoption, the experience of parenting their children at different ages and stages, and the continued work they do to support their child’s race and cultural heritage in conjunction with their own.

Target audience: Prospective adoptive parents of color considering transracial adoption.

Subject categories: Transracial Adoption, Race and Adoption

Lead Speaker: Malaika Parker
2020

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Transracial Adoption: A Developmental Approach
Are you planning a transracial adoption, or are you already parenting across racial lines? This webinar is for white parents working to educate themselves about race and racism, which includes understanding white privilege and interrogating your own whiteness. We explore how these issues play out in adoptive families where children and parents do not share the same racial identity.

Target audience: Prospective or current transracial adoptive parents.

Subject categories: Transracial Adoption, Adoptive Parenting, Trauma-Informed Parenting, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Katie Wynen
2020

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Dear White People: Antiracist Adoptive Parenting
This webinar is for white adoptive parents ready to interrogate their own racism, talk about race with their children, and do something about racism now.

Target audience: White adoptive parents.

Subject categories: Race and Adoption, Ethics in Adoption, Transracial Adoption

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2021

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Adoption, Race & Schools
Our children spend more time at school than almost anywhere else. Inevitably, they will encounter racism and adoptism. How can you get support to address these issues, and how can you educate your child’s teachers? Topics covered include the challenges and opportunities that arise in virtual learning environments.

Target audience: Adoptive parents.

Subject categories: Adoption and Schools, Race and Adoption, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Malaika Parker
2020

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Interpreting Adopted Youth Behaviors
Parenting an adopted child is both the same as and incredibly different than parenting a child born to you. When children exhibit challenging behaviors, parents can often become confused as they wonder whether the behaviors have deeper meaning in the context of adoption. Join us for an exploration of research-based insights and practical guidance for adoptive parents. We will address specific parenting theories and their applicability to adoptive family life, with a focus on positive and effective discipline methods.

Target audience: Adoptive parents and professionals.

Subject categories: Trauma-Informed Parenting, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2022

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What to Expect 2-5: Adopted Pre-Schoolers
What is your little one thinking and feeling about adoption? Preschoolers are very concrete thinkers. They are just beginning to learn about things like “same and different” and to apply their new understanding to everything, including friends and family. Each stage of their development will challenge you to grow along with them!

Target audience: Adoptive parents, first/birth parents.

Subject categories: Adoptive Parenting

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2019

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What to Expect 6-9: Adopted School-Age Kids
Learn how children at this age use their developing conceptual skills to figure out how and why adoption happened to them. Having differences in family structure and/or racial identification pointed out can make elementary school kids uncomfortable. Practical advice about how to navigate new peer relationships and school challenges will be addressed.

Target audience: Adoptive parents, first/birth parents.

Subject categories: Adoptive Parenting, Adoption and Schools

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2020

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What to Expect 10-12: Adopted Tweens
Learn how adopted tweens are developing new analytical abilities, and beginning to explore new ideas, identities, and world views. They are getting messages from media and peers that they should begin to separate from their family, but most of them are not emotionally ready to do so. Understanding what is happening, and why, really does help!

Target audience: Adoptive parents, first/birth parents.

Subject categories: Adoptive Parenting

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2019

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What to Expect 13-18: Adopted Teens
Parenting teens can require deep wells of patience, and challenge you to suspend judgement and listen closely. Explore how adoption and racial identity formation add to the mix of issues that teens and their parents are navigating. Topics covered include general identity formation, adoption identity, and racial identity.

Target audience: Adoptive parents, first/birth parents.

Subject categories: Adoptive Parenting

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2019

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Adolescent Brain Development: Understanding Tweens and Teens
Adolescence is hard and complicated for everyone, and even more so for adopted teens of color. Learn how to understand the many changes taking place in the brains, bodies, and emotions of your beloved, frustrating tweens and teens so you can help your adopted child navigate these changes and the intersections with their experiences of race, adoption, foster care, and/or trauma.

Target audience: Foster or adoptive parents of tweens and teens of color (ages 10-19).

Subject categories: Adoptive Parenting, Trauma-Informed Parenting, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Beth Hall
2022

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Impact of Digital and Social Media in Adoption
This panel discussion of social media and its intersections with adoption covers topics including search and reunion for adoptees, self-esteem and portrayals of adoption online, and internet safety issues. We explore how parents can be curious about and supportive of their children’s social media interactions.

Target audience: Adoptive parents.

Subject categories: Ethics in Adoption, Adoption and Schools, Talking About Adoption

Lead Speaker: Jamie Nunez
2020

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Integrating the Shadow: Inner Work for Adult Adoptees
Our “inner shadow” is the part of ourselves that we hide or suppress or avoid. This webinar discusses common shadow aspects for adult adoptees, the need for a keenly-developed inner shadow witness, and ways of integrating our inner shadows through awareness of personal narratives, patterns and relational habits.

Target audience: Adult adoptees.

Subject categories: Search and Reunion, Adoptee Voices/Adoptee Identity

Lead Speaker: Jemma Elliott
2020

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Join Pact today to receive a member discount on both recorded and live webinars.

Conferences & Trainings

Pact sponsors two important conferences held annually in the San Francisco Bay Area:

California Adoption Conference

Co-sponsored by six Bay Area non-profit organizations, the California Adoption Conference is a two-day, comprehensive conference with numerous workshops and resources of interest to birth parents, prospective and current adoptive parents, foster parents, adult adoptees, former foster youth, non-adopted siblings, extended family, social workers, therapists, psychologists, teachers, and allies. Each day includes a keynote address followed by concurrent workshops that allow participants to find the learning opportunities that meet their needs. Topics include open adoption, transracial adoption, attachment, and searching for first/birth family. Speakers include birth/first parents, adopted adults, adoptive parents, adoption researchers, and activists.

 

Adoptive Parents of Color Collaborative (APCC) Convening:

Organized by Pact’s Adoptive Parents of Color Collaborative (APCC), this daylong educational and community-building event is created by and for adoptive parents of color (people of color who have adopted children). Adult programming focuses on the intersections of adoption, parenting, race, and child development, while simultaneous youth programming provides age-appropriate activities.

Trainings: Pact can design and deliver customized educational programming for organizations; contact education@pactadopt.org for more information.

Register for upcoming conferences on our Events page. Join Pact today to receive a member discount on conference fees.