Adoption Search and Reunion: A Clinical Perspective

Friday, April 24, 2020
The Crestview Country Club 
Agawam, MA

8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
6 CE Contact Hours
Marie Dolfi, LCSW Course Description

Adoption searches and reunions of adoptees and birth parents are complex and emotional, often leaving both parties feeling overwhelmed. This training will discuss the reasons an individual chooses a search and reunion, key factors of successful reunion relationships, and the clinician’s role in the process. Participants will be provided with insightful therapeutic techniques for working with adoption triad members, a review of the impact of secrets, trauma, and genetic sexual attraction, and illustrations of the complexity of reunion relationships and family dynamics through case examples, a documentary, and video clips.

Learning Objectives 

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

1) Identify a minimum of three reasons that individuals want a reunion with their relative.
2) Explain how relinquishment trauma can negatively impact birth parents and adoptees.
3) Define genetic sexual attraction (GSA) and list four actions that will decrease the likelihood of relatives acting on GSA.
4) List four issues that complicate integrating newly found relatives into existing family relationships.
5) List five key factors of successful adoption reunion relationships.
6)  Assist clients in identifying, analyzing, and preparing for the complexities of adoption reunions, including relinquishment trauma.

Marie Dolfi, LCSW, is an adoption speaker, advocate, adoption support group leader, a board member for adoption organizations, and has studied relinquishment and adoption issues extensively for over twenty five years. She counsels adoption triad members in her private practice and counts them among her greatest teachers.
Schedule and Course Outline
Friday, April 24, 2020
The Crestview Country Club, Agawam, Massachusetts

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Registration and Coffee
8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Societal Views and Adoption Practice Impact on Reunions
  • A Clinician’s Perspective on Adoption Reunions
  • Relinquishment Trauma
  • Reasons Individuals Search & Triggers to Search 
  • Preparation for Searches & Reunions
  • Adoption Secrets and Their Impact
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM Break & Refreshments
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
  • Initial Contacts with Relatives
  • DNA testing
  • Stages of Adoption Reunions
  • Reasons for Intense Reunions
  • Genetic Sexual Attraction
  • Reunions and Family Relationships
  • Secret Reunion Relationships 
  • Secondary Rejection
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM Lunch at the Crestview, included with your registration
1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
  • Clinical Issues
  • Core Issues of Adoption-Loss, Grief, Identity, Shame
  • Boundary Problems and Issues with Rejection
  • Trauma Therapies
  • Therapy with Family Members
  • Adoption Groups
  • Keys to Successful Reunion Relationships
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM Break and Refreshments
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
  • "First Person Plural" - a documentary
3:45 PM - 4:00 PM Questions and Answers