All meetings are held at the Settlement Home, 1607 Colony Creek Dr, Bldg. B, Austin, TX on the third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by discussion groups for birth families, adopted people, and adoptive/prospective adoptive parents. If you have a topic that you would like to see presented at a future meeting, please let us know. To submit a proposal to present at a monthly educational meeting click here.
Monday, September 21, 2015 7pm
The “Honeymoon Period” in Open Adoption Relationships by Erin Smith
Birthparents can easily get caught up in the intense emotions surrounding placing their baby in the home of a family that may have become like family to them during the pregnancy. Adoptive parents also attach to the birth parents during the pregnancy in a way that shifts after placement. Learning to manage open adoption expectations- in light of the complications of intense grief and adoptive family adjustments- can be challenging. We will hear from birth mothers participating in open adoption relationships, including the evolution of those relationships over time and the emotional impact it has had on the birth families.
Erin Smith is Director of Adoption Services at Adoption Advocates, Inc. Being an adoptee herself, she is able to share her personal experience of the adoption journey as she counsels birth mothers. Erin earned her bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in Anthropology, International Studies, and Spanish. Much of her undergraduate research was done in the field of adoption. She knows first hand what a blessing adoption can be as she was internationally adopted, her sister was domestically adopted, and her parents were directors of an orphanage in Mexico facilitating the adoption process there for 6 years. Working in this field is something about which she is truly passionate.
Monday, October 19, 2015 7pm
Adoptee Sibling Legislation
Join us for our August meeting to hear the gripping story of the passing of House Bill 1781. This new law assists biological siblings adopted into different families to maintain contact thoughout their pre and post adoption experience. Carl Gustasfon will share his family’s compelling story of hardship and triumph in this area of adoption law reform.
This topic will appeal to those members of the triad currently adopting, families with minor adopted children, birthparents who have relinquished multiple children to adoption and want to know their biological children’s rights, and adoptees curious about current adoption law and recent changes to adoption law.
November 13-14, 2015
AKA’s 23rd Annual Conference “Finding the WE between You and Me”
This is a weekend full of innovative adoption education for all triad members and adoption professionals. The full schedule and registration are available on our conference page: http://adoptionknowledge.org/aka/conference/
No November Educational Meeting
December 21, 2015 6pm
Annual Holiday Potluck
July 2015 - ‘An Adoptee Roared’ and ‘Four Birthmothers’ Jean Strauss Documentaries
June 2015 – Trauma Doesn’t Tell Time by Robyn Gobbel, LCSW
May 2015- The Nature of Grief and Loss and How We Can Learn from It by Candyce Ossefort-Russell, LPC-S
April 2015 – Supporting Adoptees in Their Journey of Self Acceptance
March 2015 – Genetic Genealogy with Randy Whited
February 2015 – Book Sharing
January 2015 – A Simple Piece of Paper Documentary by Jean Strauss
October 2014 - October 20, 2014 ”Making Sense of Sensory Processing Issues-What You Need to Know” Tammy Santoro
September, 2014 - September 15, 2014 “What’s it Like to Have Biological Siblings Who Grow Up in a Separate Home?” Panel of Presenters
August 2014 – August 18, 2014 “Doing Their Best When Out of Your Nest; Helping Adopted and Foster Teens Prepare for Adult Living” with Janet Legler Luft LMSW
July 2014 – July 21, 2014 “What I Thought I Knew About Adoption as a Mental Health Professional of 40 Years And What I Have Come to Learn as an Adoptive Parent of 14 Years ” with Suzi McCoy
June 2014 – June 16, 2014 “Adoptee Rights to Their Records & Access to their Original Birth Certificates” with Shirley Dodson and Connie Gray
May 2014 – May 19, 2014 “Healthy Openness in Adoption” with Michelle Crawford, LPC
April 2014 – March 21, 2014 “Closure Ducumentary”
March 2014 – March 17, 2014 “Let’s Make a Lifebook…A Mini Workshop with Glitter, Glue and Guidance from the Adoption Guru” with Janie Cravens, LCSW
February 2014 – February 20, 2014 “Human Connections: They Power of Play” with Suzette Lamb, LPC-S
January 2014 – January 20, 2014 “Authenticity, Identity and the Adopted Individual” with Doug Feldt
November 2013 – November 8-9, 2013 AKA Conference “Chapters in Adoption: Telling Our Stories” with Keynote Speaker Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP
October 2013 – September 21, 2013 “Birthmother Stories” with Janet Mulcahy and Sheri Williams
September 2013 – September 16, 2013 “Back to the Books” Roundtable Book Review
August 2013 – August 19, 2013 “Race and Adoption” Panel with Families with Children from China
July 2013 – July 15, 2013 Lecture Video – Adoption & Addiction: Remembered not Recalled by Paul Sunderland
June 2013 – June 17, 2013 “The Father’s Perspective” A Panel of Adoptive Fathers
May 2013 – May 20, 2013 Unlocking the Heart of Adoption
April 2013 – April 15, 2013 “Greatest Lessons Learned/Greatest Lessons Needed” (with extended discussion group time)
March 2013 – March 18, 2013 “Trust-Based Relational Intervention: How To Empower, Correct, and Connect With Your Adoptive Child” by Katie Ludtke, MA, LMFT-A
February 2013 – February 18, 2013 “Martha McCutchan’s Adoption Story” by Martha McCutchan and Family
January 2013 – January 21, 2013 “Changed by Adoption: Stories from the Adoption Triad” by Janie McMahan
November 2012 – November 2-3, 2012, AKA Annual Conference with Keynote Speaker, Sherry Eldridge
October 2012 – October 15, 2012 “Openness in Adoption Panel” by Patricia Cody, PhD, MSW and a panel of adoptive parents representing the various paths to adoptions (private adoption, international adoption and adoption of children from foster care)
September 2012 – September 17, 2013 “Openness in Adoption” by Patricia Cody, PhD, MSW
August 2012 – August 20, 2012 “The Myth of the Five Stages of Grief & the New Science of Loss” presented by Suzi McCoy, M.S., LPC
July 2012 – July 16, 2012 “Teenage Adoption” presented by Sally Fussell, LCSW.
June 2012 – June 18, 2012 “A Birth Father’s Story” presented by the birth father (a member).
May 2012 – May 21, 2012 “The Hero’s Journey from the Primal Wound to Wholeness: The Development of the Self in Adoptees” presented by Michelle Bohls, LMFT.
April 2012 – April 16, 2012 “How to Talk about the Hard Truths of Adoption” presented by Robyn Gobbel, LCSW
March 2012 – March 19, 2012 Viewing and discussion of the movie First Person Plural.
February 2012 – February 20, 2012 “Nature vs Nurture” with Kathryn Paige Harden.
January 2012 – January 16, 2012 “20 Years With AKA – How Does AKA Serve the Core Issues of the Triad?” presented by a panel of AKA members