Families going through the adoption process face unique challenges. Navigating the emotional, logistical and legal impacts can be tough for all family members. Depending on their role within the family, adoption may trigger feelings of loss, rejection, guilt, grief and shame. The adopted child may have a hard time adjusting to their new circumstances and may experience symptoms of trauma, PTSD or develop an attachment disorder. A therapist who specializes in adoption issues will be well-versed in the issues that adoptive families face. Seeing a qualified professional, even before concerns arise, can help adoptive (and foster) families to ease the transition during this exciting time.
Local Experts in Adoption Issues
I have been through the Foster and adoptive therapy training through Portland State University. I offer special packages to pre adoptive families who need a mental health screening.
I am an adoptive parent of a teenager through an open adoption and am a sister through foster care. I have produced documentary work about adoptive identity from the perspective of birthparents, adoptees, adoptive parents and adoption professionals. I previously served on the board of the Northwest Adoptive Families Association and have presented at conferences on the topic of adoptive identity.
I completed the Adoption and Foster certification through PSU in Jan. 2018. The certification process included specialized trainings in attachment, trauma, fetal alcohol effects, and life story work.
The adoption umbrella can cover a lot of ground. My work has been primarily with adoptive parents and birthparents, and I have particular experience navigating the rich, challenging and sometimes fraught relationships involved in open adoptions.
I specialize in foster and adoptive family issues as well as help adults heal and make sense of their childhood adoption story. I completed my graduate internships with the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center and Forward Stride where I provided Equine-Assisted Therapy to children in foster and adoptive families. Currently I am attending a certificate program in foster and adoptive family therapy.
I work with adopted and foster children, teens, and adults. I am an adoptee myself and have specialized training to serve this community from my participation in Portland State University's Foster and Adoption Therapy Certificate Program.
If you are an adoptee, were carried by a surrogate or conceived with a donor egg or sperm, I am honored to provide you with a compassionate place to explore how your conception, birth or adoption relates to your identity as an individual and within your family and community. I also support adoptive and birth parents, donors and surrogates.
I'm certified in therapy with foster & adoptive families. My experience includes supporting early trauma, attachment, grief & loss, child development, and complex family stories. I'm familiar with all types of adoption, often work with prospective adoptive parents, support transracial families, provide search & reunion support, and help navigate post-adoption resources in private sessions & groups
Eight years experience in preparing, placing, and supporting adoptive children and families.
Experience working with children in foster care transitioning into adoptive homes and helping adoptive families navigate this transition by working through complex thoughts and feelings which arise to complete the tasks of clarification (what has happened to me), integration (membership in multiple families, making meaning of roles), and actualization (visualizing a lifelong sense of belonging).
Neurobehavioral conditions such as ODD, FAS, FASD, ad FAE are often times a part of the adoption story for a family. In these instances, there can often times be feelings of anger, grief and loss for both the adoptive parents and the adopted child. Working through these very real issues that adoption can bring, improves the ability to parent and/or support a child who is struggling.
I do not consider myself an expert in adoption, but I have worked with many families pre and post adoption, as well as helping children with attachment issues.
I worked as an adoption social worker for 12 years, and also have 3 children through foster care, so I understand both personally and professionally the challenges of adoptive parenting. I also have been certified as an expert in attachment theory and have worked with many children with attachment issues and Reactive Attachment DisorI der.
I have received advanced training in therapy with foster and adoptive families and enjoy working with adopted adolescents and their families.
I did my training at the Rudd Adoption Research Program at UMass Amherst under the mentorship of Dr. Harold Grotevant. I have published articles in this area and presented on adoption in national and international conferences. I was the Program Coordinator for the Adoption Mentoring Partnership at UMass. I further received supervision and training related to clinical work specific to adoption.
Adoption can be a wonderful experience, but also a very frustrating one. Having adopted five children, all at different ages and for different reasons, I've walked this road you are on (or a similar one). I have also taken extra classes on Attachment and have 30 years of experience with the foster care system that many are involved with prior to adoption.