April, 2009     Volume 5, Number 24

Happy Spring!

Newsflash: Our popular Domestic Adoption: Communicating with Birthparents Workshop  will be held on Saturday May 16, 2009 in the Pennington office.  This is our best in-depth opportunity for you to learn more about the birth parent perspective before, during and after the adoption.  We believe that this will help you in preparing for the domestic adoption process; talking to your child about adoption and specifically birth parents; and understanding your choices in open adoption.  
In March we held the Family Stories: How to Talk to Children About Adoption and Donor Origins Workshop and here are the five top reasons I loved it!  

1.   We brought together families formed through adoption and through donor origins and in this way were able to reinforce exactly what we want the children to know: Families are formed in different ways.

2.    The audience loved hearing the personal perspectives of our panelists including:
  • Parents through adoption, donor egg and donor sperm
  • A Birth parent
  • Two teens sharing their perspectives on their adoption and donor origin stories respectively
  • An adult adoptee
3.   Collaborating with Judy Kottick, LCSW of www.jkfertilitycounseling.com and exploring the similarities and differences in talking to children about adoption and
donor origins.

4.    The IAC Center Counselors:  Lauren Scheiner moderating the panel on talking to kids from ages 7 to 12 about adoption; Sasha Martone speaking about transracial family adoption issues and how to use lifebooks with children; and Beverly Andres' creative perspective on using movies and other impromptu opportunities to communicate with children and teens about their sense of identity and other feelings related to adoption.

5.  And most of all I loved that by the end of the day many of the parents shared   their own feelings and experiences, and in this way connected the most important dot.  Parents can learn the developmental and psychological information about the ages and stages that children go through in understanding their family stories; and even some of the better verbal responses to children's questions at workshops; by reading books or even from magazine articles these days.  But, the reality is that talking to kids about their origins is difficult primarily because it touches on the parents' own issues.  In making this connection, I believe that these parents are really on their way to more effectively communicating with their children about their family stories.
Children will pick up their parents' tone; the aspects of their story that their parents avoid or focus a lot on; and basically how their parents feel about adoption and specifically about their birth parents.  Children take their parents' feelings very seriously.  At the IAC Centers, we believe that helping parents with their feelings about adoption is the first and most critical step toward helping the children understand their stories; building self-esteem and confidence in their identities; and towards building all different kinds of happy families.

In response to the amazing energy at this conference, I created a Life Cycle Adoption Issues At A Glance Chart to further the dialogue and understanding amongst all adoption triad members.  My hope is that this chart simply serves to stimulate your thinking about adoption and the way it touches your own life and the lives of those you love; as well as talking points to promote further discussion about adoption in your own family, in IAC Center Groups and with whomever else you discuss these topics.  Toward that goal, let's start the dialogue now.  Please send any comments, reactions and points of view about  this to me at JMantellMSW@iaccenter.com  While I cannot promise a response to every email, I will with your permission create a composite of all of the responses for the next newsletter.     

We are here for you at all points along the way in your journey,

IAC Center Director
Articles, Books and Videos

Upcoming IAC Center Workshops

To sign up contact IAC Center at 609-737-8750 or follow the links above to locate registration links.

Groups with Openings

  • NEW Pre-adopt Groups starting in Pennington and Red Bank, New Jersey. 
  • A North Jersey Pre-adopt Group will be starting as soon as we have enough members.
  • NEW Children's Groups forming for the fall in Pennington and openings in Children's Group in Monmouth County
  • Daytime Parent's Group in Pennington has openings
  • NEW Teens Group forming and NEW Parents of Teens Group forming.  Interviews for these groups are being held now so that we can create a teen group that works.
Contact supportgroups@iaccenter.com to sign up or if you would like more information. Please contact us now even for Fall groups as we need to match the participants and determine whether we have the right mix, or need to form additional groups.

If you were at the IAC Center Holiday Party you met Jun, a local woman  who was serving the most delicious pears and wearing beautiful clothing from her country.  Now Jun is inviting families to her house for an authentic Korean lunch. 

Jun has extended an invitation for you to join her on:

Date:  May 17th
Time: 11:30am
Place:  at her home in Ringoes

Jun is a lovely, sincere and generous woman and we believe that you will find this to be a wonderful opportunity to learn about either your child's birth culture or this culture if you do not have a personal relationship to it.
Please note:  this event it not limited to families formed through adoption from Korea. Jun welcomes anyone interested in that culture.

RSVP - please contact Emily at emorgan@iaccenter.com 


Counseling offers a non-biased overview of family building options to facilitate individuals and couples in making timely decisions that are mindful of long term implications. Using a life-long short-term counseling model, counseling is available throughout the adoption life cycle for all adoption triad members.