Many adoptive and pre-adoptive parents seek out the wide array of workshops at the annual New England Adoption Conference. And, as always, the 35th conference will have plenty to interest them, whether their children are tots or teens.
At this year's April 5 conference, however, there will be more workshops and information aimed at other groups affected by adoption, too.
"We're trying to reach out more and more to the other triad members - birth families and adopted people," said Nancy Harper, who is in her first year as executive director of the Adoption Community of New England, which sponsors the conference. Both groups will be part of panel discussions, for example. "We're hearing from birth families that they'd like to hear from and see adoptees at the workshops and vice versa."
The four workshop periods during the day-long conference feature adoption experts and advocates from across the country.
This year, more than 20 of the workshops will provide prospective adoptive parents with credit toward the new 10 hours of training mandated by the U.S. Government's Hague Treaty on Intercountry Adoptions. Some of the qualifying workshops include "Medical Issues in Intercountry Adoption," "Birth Families in Intercountry Adoption Do Matter," "Grief and Loss Behaviors in Adopted Children," and "Complex Neurodevelopmental Profiles."
Harper anticipates the conference will attract more than the usual number of attendees because of the convenience of the Hague-qualified workshops.
While many of the presenters will be returning from past years, the conference will also feature many new workshops.
"Adoption has influence through one's whole life, whether for an adopted person, a birth parent, an adoptive family or an extended family. It has a long-lasting impact, and this conference is for all those touched by adoption. We definitely have something for everyone," she said.
CONFERENCE DETAILS & REGISTRATION:
The 35th Annual New England Adoption Conference will be held
on Saturday, April 5, at Westborough's Mill Pond School on Old Hickory Path.
Check-in begins at 8 a.m., with a cash breakfast bar.
Keynote speaker Jayne Schooler will be featured after an 8:30 a.m. Adoption Community of New England Annual Meeting.
Workshops will run through 4:30 p.m.
The bookstore will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Again, there will be a vendor area. Stop by the Bay State Parent booth.
Registration can be done online through April 2.
The cost is $150 (ACONE members pay $90).
To register, visit Adoption Community of New England's Web site, www.adoptioncommunityofne.org.
Walk-in registration will be permitted on April 5th as space permits.