Pact Camp

Webinar: Birth/First Parent Voices

Start time/date: Nov  14, 2018 11:00 AM
End time/date: Nov  14, 2018 12:30 PM
Place: Webinar
Call-In Instructions Will Be Emailed After Registration



Birth/First Parent Voices

Nationwide, the adoption discussion is too often missing the perspective of first/birth parent voices and instead dominated by the voices of adoptive parents. This bias masks the fact that every adoptee has two sets of parents, birth and adoptive. When first/birth voices are missing, the message is sent to adoptees that their origin, the beginning of their life story and the connection to their first heritage and family is not important, not worthy, or perhaps is even something to be ashamed of, or overcome.


Designed for pre-adoptive and adoptive parents, this workshop will help you examine your fears, feelings, and preconceptions. Hear from several birth/first parents about how they are processing and managing their own adoption experiences. You will hear about different adoption scenarios including open adoptions with ongoing contact and adoptions where contact is challenging. We will offer insight into creative ways to maintain connection with first/birth parents who have engaged in unsafe behaviors. This webinar is appropriate for all members of the adoption triad and adoption professionals.



What we will cover:

  • Who are today’s birth/first parents
  • Respectful language
  • Open vs. closed adoptions
  • Adoptive parent roles
  • Birth/first parent roles
  • Special Challenges
    • Unresponsive birth/first parents
    • Siblings – How to deal with differences
    • Strained Relationships – What if it isn’t going well?
    • Financial Inequity – Money, the green-eyed monster


Educational objectives:


  1. Compare the different types of situations and reasons that lead parents to place children for adoption in domestic infant adoptions and child welfare adoptions through hearing the personal stories of first/birth parents.
  2. Identify some of the most common myths about first/birth parents and how those myths negatively impact the adopted person and the potential for positive connection with the first/birth families of adopted children.
  3. Describe the benefits of open adoption through the eyes of the adopted person as well as the first/birth families.
  4. Learn how to address special challenges in open adoption relationships between child(ren)’s first/birth family and adoptive or foster family.
  5. Give three examples of positive ways to maintain connection between child/ren and their first/birth family.


Instructor: Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander, MA, LMFT #47992

Position: First/Birth Family Specialist

Experience: Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander, LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in the adoption and foster care triads. She is both a first/birth mother, as well as a transracial adoptee. Susan has been providing individual and family therapy to all members of the foster / adoption constellation since 2008 in private practice and agency settings. She has delivered workshops and keynotes addresses to adoption professionals and adoptive families at regional, state, and national conferences on adoption. She is the First/Birth Family Specialist at Pact, where she focuses on the needs of expectant parents considering adoption, and first/birth families who have placed children for adoption. 


Pricing Description:

$35 per person non-member

Special pricing Pact member receive 65% discount.

Please choose carefully when registering for Pact events. Pact is not in a position to refund workshop or event registration fees.