Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Barker's 22nd Annual Adoption & Foster Care Conference:  Connected Lives: A Complex Privilege for the Family of Adoption 

The adoption landscape today is in a state of flux. We find striking permutations on the theme of adoptive parenting and on the role of birth parents. Yet no matter how many variations or rearrangements exist, one principle grows ever clearer through the lens of rigorous clinical research and the rich findings of clinical practice: connected lives usually redound to the health of the child of adoption. Those in what Pavao calls “the family of adoption,” namely, birth parents, adoptive parents, and the child of adoption, have connected lives, whether only in their hearts and minds and souls, or whether through real interaction. All members have unique privileges and responsibilities. The abiding tasks of parents are to love unconditionally and to prepare their children for a world in which they can flourish. As increasingly more birth parents and adoptive parents work together on behalf of a child and embrace their connected lives, they learn what adoption teaches so powerfully: that what makes a family is not only genetic ties, not racial and ethnic similarity, but a shared history of love, caring, and permanency. The adoption ensemble that makes earnest attempts to connect and blend birth parent, child, and adoptive parent is more compelling than the lone voice. A song harder and more complex to learn, to be sure, but infinitely more beautiful and authentic in the end. 

Click here to download the Conference Brochure 

Please join us Saturday, March 19, for the opportunity to:

  • Hear the stories of domestic and international adoptees and the birth and adoptive parents who love them;
  • Listen as birth parents share stories of integration – or attempts at integration -- into adoptive families;
  • Understand why race does matter in adoption and learn strategies that support healthy development in families formed through transracial adoption;
  • Understand the challenges inherent in transitioning from multiple foster homes to permanency in an adoptive home, and the strategies that increase success;
  • Learn ways to strengthen attachment even as the contemporary adoptive family becomes increasingly complex;
  • Exchange ideas on how all members of the adoption constellation can respond to each other’s needs with empathy and respect, and view the connections as a privilege to be embraced.

Our Conference presenters include:

  • Keynote Address: Alison Larkin (pictured to right) - A Barker adoptee, internationally acclaimed comedienne and best-selling author of The English America 
  • Special Guest Presenter: Rhonda M. Roorda, nationally known speaker on transracial adoption and author
  • Closing Address: Closing Address:  Sarah Saffian, Therapist at The Modern Family Center, Spence-Chapin NY (made possible by The Robin B. Allen Memorial Fund)

For descriptions of all Conference sessions, bios for Conference speakers, and to register for the Conference, please visit our 22nd Annual Barker Adoption & Foster Care Conference Page.

Register Now

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Conference is made possible through the generosity of our wonderful sponsors.  We express our deepest gratitude to Chesapeake Management Group, CohnReznick, Gary D. Rappaport, Neighborhood  Development Company, RBC Wealth Management, and a sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Marilyn Regier, Executive Director & CEO