April, 2010     Volume 6, Number 3
I have 2 pieces of good news about April 15th and money for you!
  1. You still have time to make the early bird special date for our Family Stories: Creating and Parenting Children through Adoption and Donor Origins  workshop for parents, parents-to-be and professionals on May 1, 2010 in Montclair, NJ if you sign up here by April 15th. 
  2. Find some great news about adoption and taxes below, courtesy of the newly passed healthcare bill and the Adoption Tax Credit. 
5 Great reasons to attend Family Stories: Creating and Parenting Children through Adoption and Donor Origins on May 1, 2010 or to find another way to devote time to this topic.
    1. You want to learn about the life cycle issues and ages and stages children go through in understanding their family stories. You will have the opportunity to hear both professional and personal perspectives on this as speakers include experts in the fields of adoption and reproductive counseling; all adoption triad members; and donor/surrogacy parents and kids.
    2. You want to learn how to talk to your own child about his or her family story. In addition to the many tools and methods that will be presented, you will have an opportunity to learn how to process your own feelings about talking to your child about his story. While many books and even magazine articles address the developmental content and even offer specific responses to children's typical questions; taking some time to process your own feelings about communicating with your child will make a major difference in both your comfort level and your effectiveness as a parent with your child.  

      In response to an article I just wrote for Adoptive Families Magazine called Budding Curiosity: Talking about Adoption Ages 3 to 5 one mom wrote: 
      "I too enjoyed the article, but quite frankly, I'm terrified about explaining all this to my child. He's not quite two yet, so I have a little time. But I just don't want to say the wrong thing. I'm going to be doing a lot of praying over the years."  Posted on the Adoptive Families Magazine's web site by: Michelle at 10:13pm March 28, 2010.  

      Spoken like a true mom! How you feel about telling your child is really the heart of the matter.  What you choose to say, the topics you avoid and the topics you are repetitive about; and your tone are all communication. Your child will take how you feel about their adoption or donor conception very personally and incorporate that into his understanding of his story and in essence this will greatly impact his sense of identity and self-esteem. 

      Giving yourself some time to process your own feelings about talking to your child about his family story is essential.
      In fact, most parents will find themselves processing the telling at each stage of development; and in relation to various aspects of their child's story or personality.  You may find that you do this by your self, with your partner, with other parents in a support group or informally, with a therapist, and/or by coming to a workshop like Family Stories and devoting some time to learning and thinking all about this.
    3. You want a Pediatrician's insights into what information to gather from birth parents or donors before an adoption or donor reproduction cycle; and/or how you as parents can work with your doctors when there are unknown or anxiety producing aspects to your children's medical histories.
    4. Dr. Jane Aronson, internationally known as "the Orphan Doctor" will discuss what life is like in the orphanage from the child's perspective and how understanding this helps you to parent your child.
    5. A thought-provoking keynote on Understanding the Influences of Nature and Nurture will be presented by Dr. Sangita Jindal.  This will include cutting edge research on genes and epigenetics as discussed in a recent Time Magazine cover article Why Your DNA Isn't Your Destiny and in an Atlantic Monthly article called "The Orchid Gene".  All of this is fascinating and I know that at least for me, requires a scientific mind like Dr. Jindal's to understand it.  I am just thrilled that she has agreed to help us relate this complex material to family lives in ways that we can use to understand and optimally parent our children.

A bonus for the adoption part of the audience is that the "the orchid hypothesis" actually gives adoption an additional purpose.  I just saw the movie The Blind Side (2009) and it is a beautiful example of the orchid hypothesis and being a "real parent." For those of you who have seen the movie, Sandra Bullock's "Leanne" character is so amazingly entitled to parent her son "Michael" that I think she could be the poster Adoptive Mom on the topic of claiming your adopted child as your own and feeling fully entitled to be his parent....and then some which is wonderful too! 

From preschoolers to teens; and adoption to donor to surrogacy, our plan is to cover it all at the Family Stories: Creating and Parenting Children through Adoption and Donor Origins  workshop for which you can register here.

Good news for adoptive families from the health care bill just signed into law March, 2010.  Included in the bill were favorable changes to the Adoption Tax Credit.  Joint Council for International Children's Services summarize the changes as follows: 

  • The maximum credit was increased from $12,150 to $13,170
  • The credit is extended through December, 2011.
  • The credit was made refundable.  If a family has no tax liability,  the IRS will refund the amount due.  

Read the bill's text yourself click here.  (The Adoption Tax Credit is mentioned on page 903 of the 906 page bill.) 


While the tax credit provides a very valuable benefit to adoptive families, it is also  complicated so you may benefit from the TAX COURSE at Adoption Learning Partners. This will help you to determine your eligibility for the adoption tax credit; see how the adoption tax credit works with different types of adoptions and financial situations; and learn how to create a system for tracking and documenting expenses.

Spring Workshop Highlights  
Spring Group News
  • NEW Lifebook group - In Pennington once a month on a Tuesday morning.  Get some professional advise and have some fun with this project too. To sign up Contact: info@iaccenter.com, call 609-737-8750
  • New Teen Group in Montclair just about ready to start. Contact IAC Center Counselor Bridget Devine at bdevinemsw@gmail.com or 973-534-6680 for a screening interview.
  • Pennington Adoptive Mom's daytime group needs some new members! This is a wonderful group of mom's and yet as well all know, moms are very busy people. So to make this work we need a few more of you to join.  Dads with daytime availability are welcome too. Group typically meets the third Friday of the month from 11:30 TO 1.  Contact JMantellMSW@iaccenter.com or 609-737-8750.
See the IAC Center Calendar for other workshops, group with openings and FYI special events.  
See the IAC Center Calendar for other workshops, group with openings and FYI special events.  
Enjoy this beautiful Spring and know that
 IAC Center is here for you at all points along the way in your journey,  



IAC Center Director
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.