November 16, 2010

Learn and Share

My friend Cynthia is helping organize an open adoption symposium called Opening Adoption: Realities, Possibilities & Challenges this coming September in at the University of Richmond in Virginia.  A whole conference devoted to the philosophy and practice of openness--be still my heart!

They've just issued the official call for proposals, so if you've ever considered pulling together a panel or workshop, now's your chance. Here are some of their suggested topics:
  • Opening of conversation about adoption in the community and the family
  • Legislative advocacy – how to, what are obstacles, what does current practice do to inform legislative change related to past adoptions
  • Best practices in adoption policies, laws and processes;
  • The impact of openness or a lack of openness has had on individuals and families
  • Preparing for openness (for families hoping to adopt or for women/men planning a placement)
  • Negotiating boundaries in search/reunion, open adoption, closed adoption, etc…
  • How to offer more/better post adoption services related to openness
  • Siblings and open adoption
  • Managing openness in families with children by birth and children by adoption
  • How does the current thinking around openness change things for those in closed adoptions
  • Opening adoptions later on in life
  • The internet and openness in adoption
  • Openness as it relates to sperm/egg donors
  • Openness in adoption as it relates to the developmental stages of a child
  • International adoption and openness
  • Managing obstacles to openness (personal/emotional, familial, cultural, legal, safety, etc.)
  • What sets up open adoptions for success? What doesn’t?
  • How can placing parents and families hoping to adopt best prepare for openness?
  • Negotiating boundaries in search/reunion, open adoption, closed adoption, etc…
  • What kinds of post adoption services best prepare families for success?
  • Moving from a closed system/adoption to an open system/adoption
  • Post adoption contact agreements – pros/cons; what works and what doesn’t work
  • Gender and openness – what if any differences are there for men and women – talking about adoption, managing relationships, etc…
I'm hoping to be there, thanks to the magic of frequent flier miles (if I can get past my revulsion at what might now face me at TSA security checkpoint--ugh). We should make sure to do an Open Adoption Bloggers lunch table or something, don't you think?


A Life Being Lived said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Life Being Lived said...

WOW!! This is great. I would love to participate in some capacity. I don't know exactly what but would really like to!

Erin said...

I've thought about going since I saw it was in VA where both my sister and my dad live. I think it will depend on the topics end up being discussed. I also passed on the conference information to our adoption agency director because it is completely up her alley :)

katjamichelle said...

I so want to go to this. I am now going to price flights, toying with the idea of making it a pit stop to or from a visit, and even considering a proposal (which I will more than likely chicken out of actually submitting)

mhbenes said...

This is amazing. I hope I get to attend, even though I live in MA.

cynthia said...

Thanks for posting, Heather! And yes- please feel free to submit proposals, all of you! We'll be looking for facilitators of groups as well as panel presenters. James Gritter and Adam Pertman are going to be our keynoters, and Dawn is a confirmed presenter, too- come attend, even if you don't want to present. And YES, Heather, we must do a lunch table at least- i'd even love to have everyone over to my house... this is a total dream come true for me. :)

Mama C/Catherine said...

I am not seeing a suggestion around transracial adoption and open adoption-which has many many facets. Can you tell me when the dates are--and I'll think more about what I have to offer?

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