Pavao Consulting & Coaching
August 2013

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PACT (Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training)

Full Time Executive Assistant/

Marketing Coordinator in Cambridge, MA. Job Description job



Quite the summer! 

A rainy June and a very hot July so far.

What's happening at 220 Concord, you ask?


We spent early June working up to the Conference: 

The return of the ARC conference, and it's 27th year


Great thanks to Riverside, and to Bay/Paul Foundation for supporting the work of the conference and of my writing.  


I was able to spend 3 weeks writing in Truro, hosting the presenters, and running the Conference. We had a smaller turn out for the conference than in times past, but the evaluations were very good and the conference was a definite success.

"Very much appreciated the point of view/perspective of all parties involved. 
As an adoptive parent I felt my needs addressed as much as my sons."


"It is wonderful to be in a community with so many human beings committed to doing better for children and families." 


This year the title was:

T r a n s i t i o n s , T r u s t , T rauma , a n d T r u t h

Post Adoption: What we know and what we need to know to strengthen families and children


The movie was Mother and Child, and the post movie panel discussion was deep and difficult, but very powerful for all that entered into it.

Our great team of presenters included four from Riverside (six if you count Mary and I!) that had moved along with the ending of CFFC. 
Other presenters joined from Italy, NY, Western MA, Philadelphia - and beyond. In attendance we had social workers, psychologists, educators, and others from schools, agencies, private practice as well as parents by birth and by adoption and adult adopted people, and pre adoptive parents.    
I have been told that my book, The Family of Adoption, is a best seller in Hungary! And I'm invited to Budapest in September to speak.  


I am lining up lots of keynotes and speaking engagements for the fall. Going to Grand Rapids and New York, and DC so far.


Nearly two years have passed since Mary Limerick came on board at CFFC to help us with closing.  I was happy to have her stay on with the launch of Pavao Consulting and Coaching, PACT and Riverside AACT.  Now Mary is in need of a position that will allow her to continue her education and farther her career!

Mary will stay connected and has been great about getting us organized for a transition.  Many of you have known Mary and I know you will want to wish her well. Click here to read job description


Our Vlog work was on hold while on the Cape Conferencing. But we will get back to that very soon.

NEW! Certification in Adoption Therapy

Course Fall 2013-2014

Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao 

Boston and New York 

The Certificate Program in Adoption Therapy provides non-credit

bearing advanced education and training for mental health

professionals, in specialized theories and practices for working with all

members of the adoptive triad, including birth mothers and fathers;

adoptive mothers and fathers; and the adopted persons. The

continuum of care from foster care (or orphanage) to kinship,

guardianship or adoption is an important foundation of understanding

necessary to be competent in working with families and children in the

world of adoption. 


For more information please contact: 
Mary Limerick [email protected]  




New York 

 Click Here for NY Adoption Class Information 

 Click Here NY Class Outline  

Advanced Consultation/Supervision 

in Adoption and Complex Blended Families

Pre-Registration Required

Full six-session course $2000.00

(Some Scholarships at $1,800.00)

MC/Visa or check accepted

MC/VISA or Check accepted

Additional for CEU's

The Launch of "Gazillion Voices" - The LGA Magazine  Click Here
Welcome to Land of Gazillion Adoptees. We are devoted to doing our small part in the important endeavor of highlighting the expertise, accomplishments, programs, projects, and stories of the thousands of Minnesota adoptees and their counterparts living elsewhere in the US and beyond. Our aims is to be "adoptee-centric" by: challenging the adoption status quo; challenging the traditional adoption narrative; challenging adoptees; and being challenged by all, be the challengers be adoptees or otherwise.



 Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl the United States Supreme Court upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) 


I'm very shocked at the "Whoop Whoop" (which seems racist), and cheering of many of the adoption groups on FaceBook. I don't think that they realize the bigger picture of this decision regarding Baby Veronica and the ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act).  

I don't know enough about the detailed particulars of this one case, but the child spent about 27 months with prospective adopting parents and then was moved to her birth father and has spent the most recent nearly 24 months with him. Are you saying the court now wants to remove her and transfer her once again? 

It appears that the professionals did not do their job ethically early on if the birthfather, his family, and his tribe were not addressed as soon as possible after the birth of the child. From what I have read, they did not spell the father's name correctly in the beginning, and so they didn't see that he was registered as a Cherokee. I don't know enough to say that the child is 'better off' staying with the loving parents who have cared for her since soon after her birth or with her father and his extended family/tribe who cherish her and fought for her and are forever connected to her. I do, however, know that the ruling by the Supremes is not a good one.   

Do you realize (whether you would be for or against this decision) that the Justices have now stated that children should simply be moved back and forth between families until courts can make final decisions? Do you know what all of that waiting and insecurity of the adults, and moves of the child does to a child's core? I know we are quite used to moving children in state care and internationally in order to be adopted at age 6 weeks, 18 months, 5 years, 11 years...Can't we do things in the right manner from the beginning in the best interest of the child and not of the 'business of adoption'. Is anyone thinking about not just now, but the whole lifespan of this child? 

Adoption should be ethical, caring, and right in order to stand the test of time.  Baby Veronica will be 18-year old Roni some day and will read the FaceBook notes, the Supreme Court judgment and will know that her life is made more traumatized and fragile because the people in charge could not do the right thing from the start, go by the law, and make swift decisions in the child's best interest.

I think this is probably a very joyous day for the adoptive parents and for some adoptive parents in general, but I believe most adoptive parents really care deeply about their children and their children's first families, and they will know that this is not cause for whooping and celebrating. This is a very mixed experience for most of the parties involved, and most especially the child who has no voice.

On Tuesday, June 25, 2013 The Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 in favor of the adoptive parents of "Baby Veronica" in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl and reversed the decision of the South Carolina state court that removed the child from the adoptive parents' home at the age of 27 months and placed her with her biological father, a member of the Cherokee tribe, whom she had never met, The Supreme Court's decision held that the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) that the state court relied upon in its decision do not apply to the facts of this case. Specifically, the Court found that ICWA "was designed primarily to counteract the unwarranted removal of Indian children from Indian families. But the ICWA's primary goal is not implicated when an Indian child's adoption is voluntary and lawfully initiated by a non-Indian parent with sole custodial rights." The Court stated that the biological father abandoned the child before birth and never had "continued custody" (legal or physical) of the child so there was no relationship that could be discontinued by terminating the biological Indian father's rights to the child.The Court also held that ICWA's adoption placement preferences for Indian families do not apply in this case, because the biological father and extended family did not seek to adopt the child.


Please take a moment to read  Jacqueline Keeler's excellent piece. I agree with Keeler that Indian Trubes need to do more to make "it clear enough to non-native Americans that Tribes are political nation states that predate the United States...They are more than simply a self-identified minority group."


Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

Pavao Consulting and Coaching
220 Concord Avenue 
Cambridge, MA 02138
617 547 0909 
[email protected]