December, 2011     Volume 7,  Number 3



Photo by Marc Steiner
Photo by Marc Steiner

Wishing you a happy holiday season!


This time of year IAC Center Counselors and I find ourselves reflecting on how thankful we are to do the work we do. Every day we see our clients moving from disappointment, uncertainty and/or distress toward greater happiness, personal fulfillment and new and achievable goals.


No matter how difficult it can be at times, inevitably with hard work, honest self-appraisal, professional guidance, counseling, education, support and/or advocacy progress can be made and dreams can be realized.


I am sure you noticed the adorable picture of two-year-old Max playing amidst the pumpkins on the top of this page. Before he was born and adopted by his parents, Susan and Mary, I had the pleasure of knowing them and helping them with their anxiety about whether they would EVER become parents.


Some of you may have difficulty even looking at this picture and may feel some mixture of longing, envy or anxiety about whether you will EVER become parents. That is one of the most awful worries you will EVER have. Yet if you want to become parents, IAC Center Counselors  are here to help you reach your goal, in whatever way is right for your family. And once you have your kids, we are there for you then  too.


People whose lives have been touched by infertility, third party reproduction or adoption understand on the deepest level that families are really about relationships even though genes are important determinants of some traits and talents. Anything that helps the general population grasp this broader view of family is good for all kids whose lives are touched by family diversity.


Adoption got a nod from the untimely death of Steve Jobs. Many people did not know that Steven Jobs was adopted as a baby until the avalanche of biographical information poured out at time of his death. And those who read his biography will hear him state clearly "they were my parents" about his adoptive parents. Those of us whose lives are touched by adoption or third party reproduction know this is how the kids feel, yet it is wonderful for a figure of his stature to state this for the rest of the world; and it goes without saying that he is a wonderful role model for the kids. IAC Center updated our Famous Adoptees Handout to include him. You may want to share this with someone you know.


Also below, we share some interesting trends we're finding in our work, new plans for the IAC Center as well as some amazing books and deals that might be interesting to you or someone you love.


Best wishes to all for a Happy Holiday Season!



IAC Center Director


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Recent Trends in our work with infertility and adoption


  • Back-to-school resulted in a great number of adopted children or their parents coming in for counseling. Subliminally the transition from summer to a school schedule, or to a new school, stirred anxiety, sometimes anger and body memories or associations to earlier transitions, losses and separations. In age-appropriate ways these children will need to learn to manage and understand the feelings they are susceptible to due to the early loss. With hard work in therapy and most often family involvement this can be done.   
  • A New Openness For Donor Kids About Their Biology: NPR  In the past, sperm and egg donation has been shrouded in secrecy, and many children conceived this way were not told about their biological history. Now there is a lot more talk about helping children to understand their donor origins amongst parents through donor conceptions, and those considering this option. Similar to adoption, the children will want to know where they get certain traits or talents from, medical history and so on.....And most importantly that their feelings and questions about their genetic and historical identity are real and can be validated.   
  • Couples having difficulty getting on the same page, taking U-Turns, Dual Tracking, Back Tracking - family building is more complex than ever. As a result, many of our clients feel so differently from their partners. Some even feel they have been waiting so long to become parents that they are questioning the methods that they originally chose and sometimes even whether they want to become parents. Sadness, anger, confusion and marital stress may accompany these most difficult of decisions. How the two of you deal with this family building crisis can impact your relationship and your identity both immediately and in the future. Not dealing constructively can create resentment in your relationship. This can be likened to creating potholes in a foundation, holes that inevitably will be fallen into in the future, so we strongly encourage those of you in this position to get some counseling now.   
  • Big lecture workshops are out, and smaller, more experiential workshops are in - IAC Center clients and some fertility clinics, adoption agencies; support and professional groups are asking us to do smaller, more in-depth and customized workshops. Smaller, longer workshops give participants a more experiential, in-depth learning opportunity and plenty of time to get their questions addressed. Most popular so far:

We would be happy to do a customized workshop for you at your location or ours. See IAC Center Workshop Descriptions or come up with your own idea, and we will create the workshop just for your group.



NEW Plans - For the first time IAC Center is:


Amazing Books & Book Deals: Get some for yourself or as gifts!

  • Educate friends and family about adoption: The new adoption book "In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You To Know About Adoption. A Guide for Relatives and Friends" is a frank and friendly introduction to adoption for grandparents and siblings, close friends, colleagues, teachers and caregivers. Full of relevant insights and useful information, "In On It" offers advice and anecdotes that helps readers understand the adoption process and sensitive issues adoptive families deal with. Through Monday, December 12, parents and families can receive discounted pricing on single and multiple book packages. See  You may want to buy one for everyone you know, and they accommodate by offering a bulk rate!    
  • Patricia Irwin Johnston, well-regarded infertility and adoption educator and owner of Perspectives Press has announced that they are going out of business on December 31st. Prices on all of their books have been sliced by more than half until they are gone! They have books for adults on infertility, treatment, reproductive health, childfree living, adoption, and parenting as well as our books for children on adoption and donor insemination. SEE:  
  • Single Mother's By Choice (SMC) is selling DVD's/from their 30th Anniversary conference held in Brooklyn NY In October of 2011. While these will appeal to singles this may also appeal to you if your family is touched by third party reproduction or adoption as you will be able to learn from:   
    • A DVD of a panel with Grown Children of single mother's through adoption and donor origins - The opportunity to hear grown children of donor origins has rarely been available, so this will appeal to both singles and couples.
    • A DVD of panel on Looking for Genetic Roots:  All children have questions about their genetic heritage.  About: Donor Sibs: Wendy and Ryan Kramer; Birth-families: Joni Mantell; Research: Rosanna Hertz
    • DVD of a talk by Jane Mattes, Founder and Director of SMC: What We Have Learned - The Past 30 Years. How does growing up in  SMC family impact children  
  • New Kids Books & Relaxation Programs for Adults coming in the next newsletter.

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.