Event Description

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Teen Connections Program: What to know before you go!


You can’t spell AWESOME without ME

(Taylor Swift, American Singer-Songwriter)

In this full-day workshop, we will explore and discuss important questions through digital art, music, and movie clips.  Who am I?  What makes me unique?  What are the strengths and challenges of being an adoptive family?  How can we better understand self-esteem, relationships, race, culture, and connection?  Teens will create an artistic digital image as a way of addressing and exploring some of these questions.  If your teen chooses, they can have their digital artwork presented in a slideshow at the close of the day.


Saturday, November 14, 2020 Program

8:15 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.  Registration, Resource Fair, and Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.  Welcome and Introduction (Sue Hollar)

9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Julie Lopez, Keynote Address: Relinquishment    Hurts…Adoption Has NOTHING to Do With It.

10:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m. Ice-Breakers and Let’s Connect

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 am Adoption in the Movies, Music, and Art

Group will watch movie clips, listen to music, and discuss art that represents the concept of identity.  Discussions will focus on adoption, relationships, self-esteem, and connection.

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Introduction of Photo Lap Pro App and Instructions

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.  Lunch (During lunch teens will be with their parents and are to return on-time to their assigned room at 1 pm.)

1:00 p.m. 4:20 p.m. –Creation of Self Portrait, discussion activities, and slide show

Facilitators for 6th - 8th grade: 

Kristen Reighard, Adult Adopted Person, and Seth Solondz, MSW, LCSW

Facilitators for 9th - 12th grade: 

Lilly Trone, Adult Adopted Person, and Cynthia Cubbage, LCSW-C, LICSW, Barker's Director of Family and Post Adoption Services


Important: One week before the conference, we will send all registered participants more detailed instructions on what to bring the day of the conference.   Please send a cell phone or tablet with your teen to participate in the activity for the day.  Please dress comfortably because there will be activities that require some movement.   See you there!

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(Group photo: Attendees from Barker's 25th Annual Teen Conference with keynote speaker, director, and screenwriter, Sean Anders)

Are you a birth parent, adult adoptee, adoptive parent, or adoption professional? View information for Barker's 26th Annual Adoption & Foster Care Conference here

The Barker Adoption Foundation has been supporting families for 75 years and was one of the very first adoption agencies in the country to offer post-adoption services, including counseling, support groups, search and reunion services, parent and professional training and education, and kids groups and teen programs. In this 75th year of making a difference in the community, we are extremely proud to once again host our Annual Adoption & Foster Care Conference, which brings together hundreds of adult adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoption professionals from around the region and the country.

Event Type: 
Special Events
Audience Type: 
Prospective Parent Project Wait No Longer-Older Child Adoption from Foster CareProspective Parent International AdoptionProspective Parent Domestic AdoptionAdoptive ParentBirth ParentAdult AdopteeChild or Teen AdopteeProfessional

Date and Location

Event Date: 
Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 8:15am to 4:30pm
Time Zone: 
The Universities at Shady Grove
Address 1: 
9630 Gudelsky Drive
Postal Code: 

Event Contact

Kathleen Porter

Registration Information

Registration is required?: 
Registration is Open?: