We know that adoption is a lifelong journey, and parents often need a compassionate, knowledgeable thought partner and advisor along the way. Pact's team of professionals offers consultations to adoptive parents across the country. In person or by phone, we are available to help you address a variety of topics related to adoption and race, in one- to two-hour consultations. Whether you are considering contacting your child's first/birth families, looking for the right words to talk to your child about their adoption story, or trying to understand what is going on when your child erupts with anger and pain for no apparent reason, we are available for practical, to-the-point consultations.


Schedule a Consultation

Note: these consultations are only available to Pact members. You can join today

Consultations are available with:


Schedule a Consultation

Depending on your needs, you can schedule either a one-time consultation ($120/hour), or a package of five consultations ($500 for 5 hours, to be used at your own pace). For either option, please complete the paperwork below. If you have questions, please contact us at consult@pactadopt.org or (510) 243-9460.

We will review your paperwork and determine which team member(s) can most effectively address your concerns. If you would like to request a consultation with a specific team member, you may do so on your form. If you are purchasing the 5-hour package, we may suggest that different team members work with you at different stages, though you may request to work with one person throughout.

Please Note: On occasion, our available slots for consultations are filled and we cannot take new requests. In that circumstance we will offer you the option to go on a waitlist, or provide referrals to another professional depending on your needs and the nature of your consultation.

Consulation Fees:

Individual consultations: $120/hour
Package: $500 for 5 hours (to be used at your own pace)

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Beth Hall, Director, is a nationally acclaimed author and speaker who offers consultations to adoptive parents across the country. Working with adoptive families for more than twenty years, and drawing on her own experience as an adoptive parent and non-adopted sibling to her adopted sister, she works with parents to address their fears about their children's behaviors and learn how they can best approach conversations about adoption and race with their children. Beth's style is easygoing and honest and gets directly to the heart of the matter. She is a believer in behavior as the language of children and is especially good at helping parents distinguish between their own fears and the needs of the children so that they can create parenting action plans that are effective and practical. Drawing on decades of experience working with the foster/adoption triad, she is particularly skilled at:

  • Helping adoptive parents to be brave in their approach to parenting, which often results in an amazing closeness between parents and children, even when relations have been sorely challenged.
  • Educating white parents in how to support their children of color as they make sense of race. Learn from an experienced adoptive parent and professional who combines real-life stories with practical strategies that will help you create solutions and plans for your own family.
  • Avoiding cookie-cutter approaches to building a positive triad relationship. Beth helps parents consider how to open, create and/or maintain relationships with their child's birth family members without confusing the child or succumbing to fear, while managing complex individuals and relationships.

"We are so grateful to have Pact in our lives. You have helped us realize that it is critically important for our son that we do everything possible to support him in his exploration of his adoption (including birth family) and racial identity. You and the entire staff are incredible - the resources, services, and love you provide to this community are beyond measure. Thank you, truly, for all that you do."

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Katie Stickles-Wynen, MSW, Pre-Placement Adoption Specialist, is a transracial/international adoptee (adopted from Colombia by white parents) who has worked with the adoption community (specifically with adoptees and pre-adoptive/adoptive parents) since 2006. With adoptive parents, Katie creates space for them to share their joys and fears while also guiding them to understand the complexities of adoption and what the experience means for their children, now and in the future. One-on-one and in group settings, Katie has worked with adoptees ranging from age 5-55 and draws on her own experience as an adoptee to connect with them and create a safe space to share, connect, and explore feelings around adoption and race. Katie has experience working with both transracial (parents adopting across racial lines) and same-race (parents who share their adopted children's racial identity) families and has expertise in the following areas:

  • Helping pre-adoptive parents through the process and understanding that adoption is complex and not easy.
  • Holding space for all members of the triad to share their experiences and be heard and valued.
  • Working with adoptees of all ages and at all different stages of their adoption journey and for many, their racial identity journey.
  • Running groups and workshops for youth and adults.

"Katie, thanks so much for your help and support. You are so great at holding space and making everyone feel included and heard. It really helped us grow and think about new ideas and approaches we hadn't been brave enough to consider before."

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Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander, LMFT, First/Birth Family Specialist, is a licensed psychotherapist with a special interest in helping adoptive parents strengthen relationships with their children's first/birth families. Along with her professional training, Susan brings to this work her own experience as both a transracial adoptee and a first/birth mother. She has provided these consultations at Pact Camp and is now available throughout the year. Eight years providing treatment and consultations for the foster/adoption triads have taught her that:

  • Adoptive parents can open closed adoptions with first/birth families in a sensitive way that puts their children's needs first.
  • Youth who have been in foster care almost always seek to reunite with their first/birth families, even when there has been abuse or neglect.
  • Adoptive parents can create physically and emotionally safe opportunities for their children to have relationships with first/birth families who are experiencing substance use, mental health symptoms, and other concerning life circumstances.
  • Adoptive parents can build and maintain relationships with first/birth families in other countries for their children's benefit.

Susan understands the underlying fear and worry that can accompany big turning points like these. She will hear your concerns, and will still ask you to be brave for the sake of your children's long-term trust and connection to YOU.

Hi Susan...[We] spent yesterday with my son's birth mother in the country of his birth. It was amazing. Hard. A little bit sad. Fun and uplifting...She and I continued a commitment to working together to support him, and I am more committed than ever to have him get there regularly...Although everyone else outside the adoption world insisted he was "too young", I so see the wisdom in making this relationship more "real" now so that as he ages into some of the complicated implications, there will already be a flow...Thank you so very much for your encouragement when I was scared. I am so very grateful to have taken the "risk." ~ From an adoptive parent


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