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Beyond Culture Camp: A Guide for Parents

Estimated: 1 1/2 Hours

All parents want their children to grow up with a healthy sense of self. Yet for transracially formed adoptive families, the notion that this will naturally develop cannot be taken for granted. For these families, adoption is an obvious component of who they are. They may face questions from perfect strangers about being adopted, whether they invite the discussion or not. Society's persistent race-based stereotypes will likely impact these adopted persons in ways that their parents may not have personally experienced or even anticipated.

In a first of its kind study, Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption, more than 450 adult adoptees were surveyed to better understand the complex and inter-related impacts of being adopted and being raised by parents of a different ethnicity. Respondents reflected back on their childhood, adolescence and adulthood, giving powerful insights as to what helped them gain a positive sense of self and what hindered that development.

The webinar features Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, reviewing key findings from the study, ending with practical recommendations for adoptive parents on how to promote a healthy sense of self in their transracially placed children. Following this review, transracially placed adult adoptees Tara Leaman and Aaron Stigger give their personal perspectives on the topic as well as address common questions.

1. Review of key findings of the study.

2. Personal perspectives on the topic from adults adopted transracially.

3. Practical recommendations for adoptive parents on how to promote a healthy sense of self in their transracially placed children.

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Session Leader:

Tara Linh Leaman

Tara is an African Vietnamese American transethnic adoptee, and knows well the challenges and successes of claiming more than one transformative experience. She is the Co-Founder and Vice President of AmerAsians Building Bridges consulting, which provides training and resources that enrich the lives of members of the adoption constellation and their allies. Her writings and presentations include The Power of Ambiguity, published in Adoption Today, and a keynote given at the National Press Club in Washington, DC entitled "Adoption in the Media: Why Context Matters." She has worked internationally and nationally advancing social change, including service as deputy director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, a teacher in Johannesburg, South Africa, and currently serves on the board of Holt International Children's Services, one of the nation's oldest and largest child welfare agencies, and Holt International Foundation of China. Tara is a graduate of Cornell University and Georgetown University Law Center, and resides in the People's Republic of Brooklyn. Please feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Session Leader:

Adam Pertman

Adam is the author of Adoption Nation and associate editor of Adoption Quarterly. Adam has contributed to many articles on adoption-related issues and has delivered hundreds of keynote addresses and trainings.

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