Creating an Adoption Informed Community

2020 Annual Conference

Creating an Adoption Informed Community:

An Online Conference for Parents and Professionals
February 29, 2020 | 9:00am-1:30pm

How do we create a community that understands the strengths and needs of adoptees and adoptive families? This online conference focuses on four tenets of a strong adoption-informed community: education, medical care, representation in the arts, and networking and connection among adoptees and their families.

Four specialized leaders in medicine, education, representation in the arts, and social relationships will help attendees understand how these themes impact the adoption community. In addition to providing guidance and tangible action steps for adoptees, adoptive families, and adoption professionals, they’ll be available to answer your questions and help you better understand the meaning of adoption-informed environments.

Join us for a digital conference that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. In addition to live-conference access, you will receive a recording to watch and review at any time, and to catch anything you may have missed. Learn more about our amazing speakers and their presentations below!

Adoptee & POC Representation in the Arts—How to Build an #OwnVoices Library for Adoptive Families and Professionals

Transracial adoption narratives are all over the place in the media, but are often one-dimensional in the exploration of this complex adoptee experience. In this session, participants will understand the ways transracial adoptees are using the arts to build a more nuanced and diverse cannon of adoptee literature, theater, and more. Why is important for your child to see themselves reflected in media? How can you build a more culturally relevant library for you and your child? — these are just some of the questions this session will cover. This session will be followed by a Q & A with Mariama J. Lockington, adoptee, author, and non-profit educator.

Mariam J LockingtonMariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, author, and nonprofit educator. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore shortalls and flower leggings every day to school. Her debut middle grade novel For Black Girls Like Me (FSG 2019) is a Junior Library Guild selection and has earned five starred reviews from Shelf Awareness, Publisher’s Weekly, BookPage, School Library Journal, and Booklist. Her second middle grade novel In the Key Of Us is forthcoming in 2021. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Buzzfeed News Reader, Bodega Magazine, and Prelude Magazine, and she is the author of the poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter (Damaged Goods Press, 2016). Mariama is a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Alum, a Voices of Our Nation Arts Alum, a Literary Death Match Champion and she holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and a Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry from San Francisco State University. Mariama calls many places home, but currently lives in Kentucky with her partner and her little sausage dog, Henry.

Mariam J LockingtonMariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, author, and nonprofit educator. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore shortalls and flower leggings every day to school. Her debut middle grade novel For Black Girls Like Me (FSG 2019) is a Junior Library Guild selection and has earned five starred reviews from Shelf Awareness, Publisher’s Weekly, BookPage, School Library Journal, and Booklist. Her second middle grade novel In the Key Of Us is forthcoming in 2021. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Buzzfeed News Reader, Bodega Magazine, and Prelude Magazine, and she is the author of the poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter (Damaged Goods Press, 2016). Mariama is a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Alum, a Voices of Our Nation Arts Alum, a Literary Death Match Champion and she holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and a Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry from San Francisco State University. Mariama calls many places home, but currently lives in Kentucky with her partner and her little sausage dog, Henry.

International and Domestic Adoption Medicine 101: Medical, Developmental and Mental Health Screening for the Child with Early Adversity

Why is adoption-competency important when you take your child to the doctor? How does the medical field consider the adoptee population, and why? In this session, we will define the internationally adopted, foster care and domestically adopted populations. Participants will learn about current national recommendations for health screening for adoptees; discuss common medical conditions within the adoptee population, and how adoptive parents can best handle referrals and treatment. Participants will learn home program ideas and school recommendations to support adoptees.

Dr. Eckerle will discuss common pediatric therapeutic and psychological screenings and interventions for adoptees. She will touch on further referrals, explain our comprehensive assessment program and ways for pediatricians to collaborate to expand their networks to ensure that adopted children can access needed services. We will also present case examples with the potential for audience response participation to answer multiple-choice questions.

Judith K Eckerle, MD

Judith K. Eckerle, MD is the Medical Director of the Adoption Medicine Clinic (AMC) at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Eckerle helps families pre and post adoption with consultation, referral and clinical services. She was trained at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Weill Cornell Medical Center (NY, NY) and the University of Minnesota’s Center for NeuroBehavioral Development. She is active personally and professionally in adoption, foster care, FASD education and global advocacy for children. She was adopted at 6 months and grew up in Minnesota.

Judith K Eckerle, MD
Judith K. Eckerle, MD is the Medical Director of the Adoption Medicine Clinic (AMC) at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Eckerle helps families pre and post adoption with consultation, referral and clinical services. She was trained at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Weill Cornell Medical Center (NY, NY) and the University of Minnesota’s Center for NeuroBehavioral Development. She is active personally and professionally in adoption, foster care, FASD education and global advocacy for children. She was adopted at 6 months and grew up in Minnesota.

Creating and Maintaining Social Connections: An Integrated Approach for Adoptive Families

This interactive webinar will explore best practices in creating community support systems for adoptive families of all types. A focus on action steps your family can take in finding the best in person and online support groups for your families, along with how to maintain your families connections to them, will be discussed. This webinar will also explore the importance of connecting your families to other adoptive families, and advise you on what to do if your child is hesitant in forming connections with other adoptees. A special focus on the difference between types of connections will be offered, along with an explanation of how to help adoptees from specific cultural, racial, and economic backgrounds feel more connected to their social worlds. This session will be followed by a Q & A with Tony Hynes, adoptee, author, and advocate.

Tony HynesTony was adopted by his parents Mary and Janet in the mid 1990s. His family faced a custody battle with his birth family, who felt Mary and Janet, two white women, were not the right people to raise him. Tony writes about his experiences growing up as both a transracial adoptee and as a child growing up in a same sex headed household in his memoir “The Son With Two Moms.” Today, Tony is an advocate for families like his, and serves on the Board of Directors for Rainbow Families, an organization devoted to promoting the rights of LGBTQ Families everywhere. He also has been invited to be a speaker at several conferences on adoption throughout the nation, especially those involving transracial adoptions. In the fall of 2016 Tony was awarded a full scholarship to begin his PhD studies in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County where he has begun work on his dissertation, which focuses on racial connectedness among transracial adoptees. Tony co-facilitates the Transracial Adoption Group (TAG) at FamilyWorks Together along with Master Clinical Trainer, Erica Moltz, MA, NCC.

Tony Hynes
Tony was adopted by his parents Mary and Janet in the mid 1990s. His family faced a custody battle with his birth family, who felt Mary and Janet, two white women, were not the right people to raise him. Tony writes about his experiences growing up as both a transracial adoptee and as a child growing up in a same sex headed household in his memoir “The Son With Two Moms.” Today, Tony is an advocate for families like his, and serves on the Board of Directors for Rainbow Families, an organization devoted to promoting the rights of LGBTQ Families everywhere. He also has been invited to be a speaker at several conferences on adoption throughout the nation, especially those involving transracial adoptions. In the fall of 2016 Tony was awarded a full scholarship to begin his PhD studies in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County where he has begun work on his dissertation, which focuses on racial connectedness among transracial adoptees. Tony co-facilitates the Transracial Adoption Group (TAG) at FamilyWorks Together along with Master Clinical Trainer, Ercica Moltz, MA, NCC.

Adoption Competent Schools: Creating Adoption-Competent Learning Environments

In this one hour highly engaging workshop, participants will understand the components of an adoption-competent school. The importance of being adoption-competent and how this is good for all students will be discussed. In addition, participants will be provided with specific strategies for advocating for their adopted children in schools. This session will be followed by a Q & A with Dr. Melissa Sadin, educator, administrator and adoptive parent.

Melissa Sadin Melissa Sadin, EDd
Ducks & Lions: Trauma Sensitive Resources
Attachment & Trauma Network, Program Director
Unity Charter School, Director of Special Education

Dr. Sadin has served as a special education teacher and a building administrator. She is currently working as a director of special education. Publicly, Dr. Sadin has served on her local School Board, and on the Board of Directors of the Attachment & Trauma Network. She also serves as the director of the Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools Program for the Attachment & Trauma Network. She has conducted research on the perceptions of teachers working to create trauma-informed classrooms. As an adoptive mother, Dr. Sadin provides firsthand understanding in her work with adoptive parents at conferences and in other formal and informal settings. Her first book, “Teachers’ Guide to Trauma” is a best seller. Her next two books in the series, “Gifted children & Trauma” and “Resiliency & the Arts” have recently been released. Dr. Sadin has produced numerous webinars on children with attachment trauma in schools. She has presented at over 20 conferences nation-wide and has served as general session keynote in many national conferences.