April Newsletter
(Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training)

 Egg artwork by Caitlin FitzGerald
Quick Links!

by Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

Dad... I Wanna Go Fishin - Trailer
Dad... I Wanna Go Fishin - Trailer
If you haven't seen this film yet you are missing something! It's a fascinating look at the fishing tradition in Provincetown from a personal perspective and really worth checking out.

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Like us on Facebook

Hello Friends and Families:

Things are always very busy here at PACT.  We are ready to work on the ARC program, and we hope you will help us to market the conference by forwarding the ARC Brochure to your colleagues, clients, and friends/family.  The conference is on July 7-8 in Provincetown, MA at the Provincetown Inn on the tippy tip of Cape Cod.


Our conference invites not only professionals in child welfare and mental health, but also educators, attorneys, judges, legislators, pediatricians, primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and pastoral counselors, as well as adult adopted people, birth parents, adoptive parents, and parents by alternative reproductive technologies.


All are welcome!



Have you purchased ad space in our program for ARC in Provincetown on July 7 and 8 yet?


Now is the time (details below).



Have you purchased spots for your staff to upgrade their knowledge on adoption and emotional adoption this summer at ARC on July 7 and 8?


CEUs are available for LICSW/LCSW, LMFT, and LMHC.


*Send two or more staff members for a discounted rate!*



Have you booked your parent time away for a couple of days to refresh your knowledge on adoption and to lounge by the sea?




Best conference site ever and a damn good conference as well!


PACT & ARC Invite You to Join Us at the 28th Annual ARCeology Summer Intensives


28th ARC Summer Intensives:
Adoption on the Edge
July 7-8, 2014


The ARC Summer Intensives Conference is a two-day event for professionals, parents (birth, adoptive, foster, etc), adult adopted people, and extended family.  This year, we will look at the aspects of adoption conversation that have built a "story" over time for the individuals and for the entire system of adoption through some certain heroism and hard work.  


As ever, we will use narrative therapy, digital stories, performance, and movies to discuss the many emotional and psychological elements that can make adoption a challenge and a joy for all involved.


The Intensives (so called because we work hard all day in a gentle setting) are jointly presented by the Adoption Resource Center (ARC) and Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training (PACT), with the support of the Bay-Paul Foundation (for financial and moral support) and Riverside Community Care.  We thank them for their support of this annual conference!


Click Here for Full Brochure 


For more information,

email [email protected] or call (617) 547-0909



Register by completing the Registration panel of the brochure and mailing or faxing along with payment to PACT/PCC
Register by completing the online registration form and either mailing a check to PACT/PCC or providing credit card information over the phone. 






July 7-8, 2014

At the Provincetown Inn

Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA


Do you have a business or would you yourself like to sponsor an amazing conference in Provincetown in July 2014?  


If you or someone close to you is adopted or a member of any form of complex blended family, you can make a difference by helping to sponsor the ARC conference and expanding the understanding of professionals and those who live in the world of adoption.


The conference brochure is available here, or you can request a hardcopy by emailing [email protected].


Please help us to produce this amazing Families of Adoption Conference.  You can help to educate and enlighten, thereby lightening the lives of many!


Click Here for ARC Program Ad Order Form (deadline extended!)


Contact us at [email protected]

220 Concord Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02138





What's been going on here at PACT: 
  • The New York adoption therapy class ended with a great discussion, and the Boston class is wrapping up soon.  We have great feedback and ideas for next year (new dates and details will be included in the summer newsletters).
  • Work goes on here... Emily is amazing and has revamped certain systems so that they work more efficiently.  She gets me where I'm going and fully prepared (a feat), and I've been "going" a lot this month.
  • I did a training for an incredible group of adoptive parents in New Jersey who have been meeting for over twenty years.
  • I went to the ASAC conference in Tallahassee and presented.  The conference was great (as ever), but I bemoaned the poor gathering space at the hotel - so many great people but so little time or space to meet.


  • I spoke at the American Adoption Congress in San Francisco.  Great conference and great hotel space.  Lots of small meetings, chats, meals, and discussions around some great keynotes and workshops.  Rickie Sollinger was incredible and a great fit with what John Raible and Lisa Marie had to say!
  • I'm almost finished with a great but gnarly project for Department of Mental Health.  How to put everything anyone should know about adoption on a 2-sided  8.5x11 sheet of paper!!!   I think I've done it to the best of my ability!!
  • We are working hard on the gap years in our Commonwealth's Access to Original Birth Certificates law. 


I started working on this about 35 years ago and it is sort of amazing that we only have a portion of it done...how do you say something is a civil and human right and then grant it only to select people?  People born before 1974 and after 2008 have access to their original birth certificates and those in between don't?  This must be corrected.  Call your agencies and legislators in Massachusetts and ask them to sign on to correct this gap.  They can call 617-547-0909 or write to us via [email protected] and we will call upon them when the time is right.


  • I spoke to a group of FRUA parents with children from Russia and Ukraine at the Watertown Public Library.  Excellent group of eager parents.
  • I spent a second day in court as expert witness on a child custody case in Lowell.
  • I spent time with DMH workers and parents consulting on difficult cases in Boston, Canton, and Westborough.
  • Went to the Riverside/Guidance Center Gala at Charles Hotel.  It was magnificent and wonderful and raised quite a bit of money for the care of children and families.
  • I missed the Sibling Connections Tenth Anniversary, but Kelly Flynn Lane assures me that it was so superb it will be repeated every year! 




  • Working with the fabulous Darlene Allen at Adoption Rhode Island to think carefully about how to educate more people to serve the underserved populations in adoption nationwide.
  • Lovely working with Nancy Yen and exchanging thoughts and ideas regarding clients we share.  True also of cases with Melissa St. John, Lynette Ingram Cassel, and Wendy Schmidt.
  • Hoping to expand Riverside scope of post adoption services in the next fiscal year.  Need $50K in funding to do it....any ideas??
  • Table Talk Google Hangouts are going well.  Did a great hangout with Jenna Cook last week, and it will be in next Gazillion Voices Magazine.
  • Did a training on Kinship Issues with Boston DMH office.  Well received and much needed I am told.
  • Crate Escape has a Ten Year Anniversary this week.  Dr. Dublin has been with them since he was a baby (I was going to say "little baby", but he was never little).




What people seem to need this month:

  • Parents of young adult adopted people are concerned about their ability to launch - this is partially due to the economy and true of many young adults, but also part of the post traumatic stress they may have suffered prior to adoption and the fact that it causes a lag in emotional development.
  • Parents who are working with us to contact birth parents or siblings and to begin the slow and careful move toward an open relationship.
  • Parents concerned about the complex identity issues their internationally adopted or transracial adopted children are encountering now that they are teens. (Not that they didn't encounter issues prior to teen years, but they are keenly aware now).
  • Parents concerned that preteen and teen adopteds are searching internet and finding birth family.  How to contain and make this safe but allow them to have further information at a time when they are searching.  What to do if they find things that are difficult.

I've been writing a bit to support things that I'm concerned about.  Please call your Senators and Congressman and be sure they are NOT supporting CHIFF.  It sounds innocuous, but it means to indirectly increase numbers of children for adoption internationally.  What we want are good, legal, ethical adoptions - not just adoptions for the sake of: Reflecting on CHIFF 


We also have a Department of Children and Families where people work hard with not enough resources, not enough training, and not enough funds.  I have some thoughts about that as well: Improving DCF


Emily and I are happy that we have accepted a great new intern for the next fiscal year:


Deirdre Jiminez comes to us from her studies at Simmons Graduate School of Social Work, and she has several years experience prior to that at McLean Hospital in Belmont.  She is a seasoned and wise intern, and we are very lucky to have her with us.  She will begin at our summer conference!  Welcome Deirdre!



We are trying to fill up the summer program at ARC and then we will begin on the trainings for next year!!


We are also eager to reach out to some populations that are not being seen.  Grandparents and other relatives of adopted and donor children often need some training in order to be sensitive and supportive of their complex families.  We encourage these family members to consult with us at PACT to better understand the joys and challenges inherent in complex blended families.  To schedule a consult, email [email protected] or call 617-547-0909.  For more information, click here.


Our colleague, Phyllis Lowinger, LCSW, is facilitating a group for grandparents and other relatives of adopted and donor kids in New York.  She is an expert in infertility and the road to adoption.  If you are in NYC and want to consult with her, you can contact her at [email protected] and 212-666-3400.  For more information on her group, click here.


So I'm finishing up two articles.  I hear that the pediatric textbook that I wrote a chapter in for Dr. Lisa Albers Prock is coming out soon.  Glad to have worked with the amazing Dr. Lisa on this much-needed project and kudos to her for working so hard to herd the cats
 who did the chapters!!!


I'm looking forward to writing and writing in Truro thanks to the wonderful Bay and Paul Foundation.  And thanks also to the Varon/McElroy Family Fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County for supporting our summer ARC conference.  Who else wants to underwrite us??

Upper West Side NYC office is available for rent Mondays (possibly one other day) as of May.  
If interested in details, please email: [email protected] or call (212) 666-3400
Phyllis Lowinger, LCSW

-- "I believe the only true way to guarantee that children are where they are supposed to be is by doing open adoptions both internationally and domestically. Mediation and education should be done, and clear understanding by sending and receiving parents and countries/states so that ALL adoptions are ethical, legal and in the very best interest of each and every child." Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao


Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training
220 Concord Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-0909
617-547-0909 [email protected]