Monthly Meetings

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.

Upcoming Meetings


“Closure Documentary”
Monday, April 21, 2014 at 7pm

A documentary about a trans-racial adoptee who finds her birth mother, and meets the rest of a family who didn’t know she existed, including her birth father.   A story about identity, the complexities of trans-racial adoption, and most importantly, CLOSURE.


“Healthy Openness in Adoption”
Monday, May 19, 2014 at 7pm

Exploring issues, expectations and the realities of Open Adoption we will examine common themes and how to manage them effectively and with empathy. Our aim will be to further an understanding of the potential effects and impact of openness on all triad members, from birth family to adoptive family to adopted person. With the central focus on the adopted person’s needs, this discussion will include parenting tips for those actively involved in such relationships. Tips for establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries and navigating difficult situations will be provided. Speaker and participants will review methods for sustaining a positive orientation through various developmental stages of an adopted child’s life to benefit, empower and support the adopted person as their awareness and understanding grows and evolves. Bring your questions and your experience and join in what is sure to be a lively dialogue.


“Adoptee Rights to Their Records & Access to their Original Birth Certificates”
Monday, June 16, 2014 at 7pm

In the US, 48 states continue the practice of sealing adopted children’s original birth certificates (the OBC) upon finalization of the adoption. In all but 4 of those states, adult adoptees do not have unrestricted access to their OBC like all other people do at the age of 18. Adoptees have had no voice in a contract to which they have been legally bound….rights to their records were stripped away without their having the chance to object.  Connie Gray and Shirley Dodson will address this issue in this presentation.

Shirley Dodson is a birthgrandmother ,longtime member of AKA, and former Board Member.  She has advocated for this issue for years and has testified before the Texas legislature.

Connie Lynn Gray was adopted from the Texas state foster care system at age nine. At the age of 18, in 1976, she petitioned the court for her original birth certificate and, within two years, reconnected with her siblings and parents. As a search angel,  Connie has been helping adoptees and family members since the late 1970s.  In 2013 she was honored as a Spokeo Search Angel. Connie  is an AKA board member, active in the Texas chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America and the Texas representative for the American Adoption Congress.  She founded “Support Texas Adoptee Rights”


“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 ”
Monday, July 21, 2014 at 7pm

This presentation will explore the gap between what Suzi McCoy knew about working with adoption issues when they came up in her professional counseling career of almost 40 years and what she has learned by living as an adoptive parent of a 14 year old son.  We will touch on attachment styles, teen issues in adoptees, and what it means to be “adoption competent” as a professional.

Suzi McCoy is a single parent of two children, a biological daughter, age 29, who has just graduated from the Medical School at the University of Wisconsin, and a 14 year old son in the 8th grade, whom she adopted at birth.  She has been a member of AKA for about 16 years and is currently serving as the Education Chair.



Past Meetings:

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