Values Statement for Conference Planners

The California Adoption Conference (CAC) is organized by a diverse group of non-profit organizations who are involved in pre- and post-adoption and foster care services for all members of the adoption triad including first/birth parents, adoptees and foster alum, adoptive and foster parents as well as extended family members, and the helping professionals who support them. The CAC Conference Planners have determined certain core values that define our approach to education for the conference as follows:

  • Adoption and foster care are lifetime journeys that do not end with placement; therefore, lifetime support is needed;
  • Voices that have been underrepresented or marginalized in adoption, especially those of people who are/were adopted or in foster care, and first/birth families should be elevated and heard;
  • Adoption providers should never discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, physical or mental disability, veteran status or marital status. The CAC requires that programming offered not promote discrimination in adoption;
  • People of color are underserved in adoption. Adopted people deserve to know their full heritage and this is often easier when placements with parents of matching race occur; transracial adoption works best when parents acknowledge the pervasive power of race with honesty and integrity;
  • We support the right of adopted people to obtain copies of their original birth certificates;
  • Based on field research, open adoption is generally considered best practice in child welfare. Adoption professionals should help adoptive families preserve lifelong connections to the birth/first families in voluntary and child welfare placements as much as is possible;
  • Adoption is complicated, and should never be promoted as an unqualified good nor evil, as all aspects of the experience should be validated and recognized. In particular, we seek to insure that the inherent loss and challenges are not minimized as they sometimes are by the media or profit-seeking adoption service providers;
  • Adoption providers should approach all placement interactions with foremost care and concern for the well-being of the adopted (or fostered) person. Non-profit adoption providers are more likely to be able to keep monetary and clinical issues separate to ensure that adoption is truly child-centered. For this reason, CAC does not include sponsors who are for-profit entities.

Conference Planning Committee

Pact, An Adoption Alliance
is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve adopted children of color. In every case, the child is always our primary client. In order to best serve children’s needs, we provide not only adoptive placement but lifelong education, support, and community for adoptees and their families on issues of adoption and race. Pact has been committed to adoption education for twenty years.

Family Builders
provides services for fostering, adoption, and other forms of permanency to meet the needs of children and older youth in the foster care system. Family Builders advocates to make the adoption process accessible to all potential families, including single parents and LGBT families. Family Builders supports this conference with funds planning assistance, and volunteers.

Adopt International
is a non-profit adoption agency licensed throughout California and Hawaii. We are committed to building forever families through Domestic and International Adoption. Our staff is here to guide and support you throughout the entire adoption process. Adopt has organized all of the volunteers at the conference as well as planning assistance.

Our Family Coalition
advances equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) families with children through support, education, and advocacy. Our Family Coalition cultivates community-based leadership among LGBTQ families and strong partnerships with our allies in California, to advance social justice and make our nation a more respectful and inclusive place for all.

Seneca Family of Agencies
helps children and families through the most difficult times of their lives. Seneca is driven by the fundamental belief that children and families do not themselves fail, but rather are failed by systems unable to meet their complex needs. Guided by our core agency values of love, compassion, joy, hope, courage, respect and curiosity, Seneca refuses to fail the young people and families we serve.

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