Pact Camp

Webinar: Adoption Sensitive Language & Rituals

Start time/date: Sept  22, 2021 11:00 AM
End time/date: Sept  22, 2021 12:30 PM
Place: Webinar
Call-In Instructions Will Be Emailed After Registration

Adoption Sensitive Language & Rituals


Words and rituals are important methods of human communication through which we tell our stories and underscore our values. Words not only convey facts; they also evoke feelings. When outsiders to the experience of adoption use words that seem to place meaning or be biased regarding adoption, those who have first-hand experience can take offense or feel uncertain as to whether that outsider is an ally to them. How adoptive parents, first/birth parents, and other important adults talk with children about adoption, can have a big impact and demonstrate the underlying narrative that children will internalize about themselves and their identity.


In this webinar, we’ll address the use of terms like “child of our own”, “lucky”, “grateful”, and “our birth mother,” and offer sensitive and inclusive alternatives to use with your own family and when speaking to or educating your community about adoption. As a way to underscore the language of support, we’ll suggest rituals that can provide a meaningful bridge out of the secrecy and shame that have too often been associated with adoption. Rituals celebrated with openness, love and pride send a powerful message of validation to adopted people and their loved ones. This webinar is applicable to all members of the adoption constellation and adoption professionals.


Participants will be able to…

  • Recognize the importance and impact of using adoption sensitive language.
  • Identify specific rituals that can be incorporated into important days and holidays.
  • Compile a list of sensitive adoption language that can be shared with extended family members and with anyone else who spends an extended amount of time with their child(ren).
  • Hear from adult adoptees about the importance of appropriate language and rituals.



Katie Wynen, M.S.W., is Pact’s adoption social worker and LGBTQ advocate. A transracial, international, Colombian adoptee, Katie holds a master’s degree in social work from Simmons College and has worked with members of the adoption constellation since 2006. Katie studied under Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao in Boston before moving to California and joining the Pact staff where she works in adoption placement, facilitates groups, works with adopted tweens and teens of color and provides adoption education nationwide. Katie is an Angels in Adoption 2019 Recipient from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Pricing Description:

$36 per person non-member

Special price Pact members receive 25% discount.

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