By Marci Purcell
On the heels of AKA and Adoption Network Cleveland's collaboration for our 2020 conference this past fall, the two groups came together once again for a DNA Discovery Panel Event. The panel, which served as AKA's large group quarterly meeting, was facilitated by Traci Onders and featured a number of people impacted by commercial testing DNA discoveries, including our very own Dawn Williamson-Scott, AKA former president and active member. Dawn, a wealth of information on many things adoption related, has been cofacilitating our DNA Discovery Peer Support Group from it's inception in September 2020. The group meets on the second Thursday of the month.
In advance of the DNA event, Traci Onders, search specialist from ANC gave a written interview with Severance Magazine. Traci speaks eloquently about the complexities of using DNA as a search tool in finding biological family. AKA, and our long history serving the adoption community, is also mentioned in the article. During the event, the folks at AKA expressed gratitude for the invitation to work with Adoption Network Cleveland, again and hope more opportunities arise in the future.
If you are at all connected to or impacted by a DNA discovery, whether through a formal adoption search, misattributed parentage, unexpected family finding, or donor conception, please reach out to AKA. We would love to support you at our monthly DNA Discovery group, the second Thursday of the month, 7pm, central time. The meetings are held over Zoom. RSVP to email@example.com.
For Immediate Release:
September 28, 2020
Pandemic Inspires Nonprofits Across States to Create Innovative Adoption Conference
Austin, TX - Adoption Knowledge Affiliates (AKA) and Adoption Network Cleveland (ANC) have joined forces to present “Journeys of Discovery: Navigating the Intersections of Adoption.” The virtual event, scheduled for Friday & Saturday, Oct 23-24, 2020. delivers two full days of powerful content with conference keynotes, Sharon Kaplan Rozsia and Nikki & Torrey Carroll, and our key plenary ethics panel, featuring UT Austin’s Monica Faulkner with an array of highly qualified panelists. Following the Keynotes are two afternoons and evenings packed with dynamic presentations from local and state thought-leaders, advocates, and experts from their respective fields related to adoption and foster care. Evening programming includes a Saturday night streaming of Hot Dogs at The Eiffel Tower, by Maggie Gallant, followed by a Q&A with the Austin playwright. Texas legislator, Rep. Gina Calanni, will also be recognized for her adoption advocacy. This event offers content from national experts, as well as information specific to Texas. The target audience is the wider adoption and foster care community, along with professionals and advocates. Attendees receive knowledge, skills, support, and networking opportunities.
AKA and ANC have contracted with Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition New York (AFFCNY) to create the virtual conference platform. Three organizations from different parts of the country working in collaboration, all as a direct result of the pandemic. Both ANC and AKA had in-person conferences canceled due to safety concerns in the spring. This innovative virtual conference celebrates the resourcefulness of nonprofits and their commitment to meeting the needs of the community. All three organizations have discovered a way to bring the support they are committed to providing to their membership and communities in a cost-effective, accessible way, not before considered by these nonprofits. If you would like to volunteer or sponsor the conference email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Adoption Knowledge Affiliates
Adoption Knowledge Affiliates (AKA) is a unique non-profit serving Central Texas since 1992. AKA provides support and education to adopted people, birth / first families, prospective and current adoptive and foster parents, and adoption professionals. We offer peer support, search assistance, educational programs, resources, and an annual conference with top-tier adoption professionals. In 2020, we expanded our services to include those with unexpected commercial DNA results. Whether it be due to adoption, donor conception, or other circumstance. we are ready to provide the same level of support as we have these past 30 years.
About Adoption Network Cleveland
Adoption Network Cleveland: The Ohio Family Connection is an innovative non-profit organization with over 30 years of experience serving the adoption and foster care communities. Our organization fulfills otherwise unmet needs for information, advocacy, education and support for adult adoptees, birthparents and birth family; adoptive, kinship and foster families; youth in foster care and foster alumni; and related professionals. More recently, the organization has expanded its services to use its expertise in adoption search, reunion with birth family, and peer support networks to assist those who have been donor-conceived or have misattributed parentage. Adoption Network Cleveland is a member of Greater Cleveland Community Shares.