This organization works with adoptive & foster kids to make life better for everyone.  Hats off to great people doing great things.  This is their most current newsletter;

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Adoptees Have Answers
A program funded by the
Minnesota Department of Human Services


Issue 21, February 2012
AHA Community CalendarAHA Support Groups

AHA Online Support Group


In the News

AHA in Adoption Today

Mary Martin Mason On Canadian Radio

Kate Vogl Reports on Conference in Spain

Orphan Train Riders Seeking Heritage

Center for Family Connections News


In the Arts

Deborah Jiang Stein and The unPrison Project

MN History Center Offering on Boarding Schools


Resources and Research

American Adoption Congress Conference

Adoption and Culture Conference

Adoption Initiative Conference

AdopSource Surveys and Upcoming Focus Groups


AHA Community Calendar
Adoptees Have Answers offers an array of online and in person support groups for adult adoptees and fosterees in the Twin Cities, and for middle and high school adoptees in the Minnetonka School District. AHA is also proud to be affilitated with other adoptee support groups in Minnesota locations outside of the Twin Cities. For more information, please go to the AHA website. To learn how to start your own support group, check out our two webinars — How to Start an Adoptee Support Group for Adults and How to Start an Adoptee Support Group for Youthavailable online

REMINDER: AHA Online Support Group

AHA recently launched an online support group open to Minnesota adoptees and fosterees over age 18. Registered members are able to interact with one another 24/7 using the discussion board. Adoptees Julie Hart and Amy Fjellman facilitate the group, ‘live’, the first Tuesday of every month from 6 to 7 p.m. CST and check in with the discussion postings periodically. This is a secure environment that generates anonymous usernames to protect the privacy of its members. If you would like the join the conversation, visit this link to fill out four simple questions: We look forward to meeting you!

Quick Links
AHA Website


AHA Support Groups


Order AHA Webinar CDs


Join AHA Online Support


AHA YouTube


AHA Facebook


AHA Twitter



Please consider helping us continue our work on behalf of adoptees and fosterees by making a donation.





In the News
AHA in Adoption Today MagazineThe Adoptees Have Answers Program is featured in the February issue of Adoption Today magazine. Adoption Today and the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute are now partners. Extra! Extra! Read all about us!


A Birthfather Story

On February 9, a Canadian radio broadcast featured Aziza Sindhu’s interview with a birthfather who movingly descibed the experience of surrendering twins as a teenager. The radio piece was titled The Boy with the Past. Minnesota Adoption Resource Network’s Mary Martin Mason, author of Stepping Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers Speak Out, contributed to the interview. Listen to the half-hour documentary. Click here to read an article on birthfathers written by Mason.


Local Adoptee Author Presents Memoir at Spanish Conference

VOGL WRITES: This past year, Spain has been in the headlines for forced adoptions. Mothers told their baby was stillborn–though they’d heard the cry–and then not allowed to see the body. The child passed off to a couple who’d been waiting to adopt, who were unwilling to ask too many questions because finally, in their arms, a baby they’d so desperately wanted. Local adoptee and author Kate St. Vincent Vogl recently spoke at a conference organized to help these “lost children” of Spain reconnect with their biological families. Read more about this conference sponsored by AFIN (Adopcions, Familias, Infancias), an affiliate of the University of Barcelona.


Article Reports Increased Interest in Records of Orphan Train Riders

A January article in USA Today reports that children and grandchildren of people who rode orphan trains are seeking information about their relatives’ heritage in ever-increasing numbers. Local author, Renee Wendinger, is among those quoted. Renee has written a book documenting the Orphan Train Era, particularly from the perspective of those who rode trains from New York. See orphan train educational webinars available on the AHA website


Center For Family Connections Closes in March

On January 26th, Dr.Joyce Pavao, founder and executive director of the Center for Family Connections in Cambridge, MA, announced that the Center will closing its doors after almost 20 years of delivering cutting edge pre- and post-adoption services. Dr. Pavao will continue to serve her clients well under her new brand, PACT — Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Trainings @ Pavao Consulting and Coaching. She will also be keynoting at several upcoming conferences and seminars. We’re looking forward to much more to come from Dr. Pavao in the future.


In the Arts
Local Author/Adoptee Launches Book and ProjectOn February 3rd, Deborah Jiang Stein read from her new memoir, Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus, at a benefit for the non-profit The unPrison Project. Deborah recounts her own remarkable story to raise awareness and support for incarcerated women, particularly mothers. Held at the Women’s Club of Minneapolis, the benefit was a highly entertaining evening that included thrilling perfomances by singer/songwriter Sheri Hixon and by three dance students from the Perpich Arts High School. Yes, they wore tutus.


The Great Hurt: Understanding Historical Trauma of American Indians

On Monday, March 5, the Minnesota History Center is offering a free performance and workshop. FROM THE MHC WEBSITE: The Great Hurt is a Readers Theatre presenting specific accounts of American Indian boarding school experiences. The workshop was created by Carl Gawboy (Bois Forte Ojibwe), full-time artist/historian and public educator; Cynthia Donner, MSW, Coordinator of the Tribal Sites for The College of St. Scholastica’s Social Work Program in Duluth, MN; and Michelle Robertson, MSW (White Earth Ojibwe), Director of Field Education for The College of St. Scholastica’s Social Work Program in Duluth, MN. Presenters are from a variety of backgrounds. This educational offering with follow-up discussion will run from 10 to 2 PM. Advance registration is required before February 27, 2012.


Resources and Research
American Adoption Congress Conference in AprilRegister now for AAC’s annual conference, “Mile High Expectations–Adoption in 2012,” to be held in Denver, CO, April 26 through April 29. This meaty conference features many workshops for people in the adoption constellation as well as a number of arts offerings and support groups. Don’t miss the early registration deadline!


Adoption and Culture Conference Coming up in March

The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture announces the 4th International Conference on Adoption and Culture, “Mapping Adoption: Histories, Geographies, Literatures, Politics,” March 22-25, 2012 at the Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA. This conference deals with the experiences, institutions, cultural meanings, and political locations of adoption, fostering, assisted reproduction, and various other process of removing children from parental custody. Many prominent Minnesota adoptees will be presenting including Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Kim Park Nelson, Shannon Gibney and Soojim Pate. (Apologies to those I accidentally omitted!) The deadline for reduced rates for registration ($80) and for the hotel is February 28, 2012.


New York Conference Call for Papers

The Adoption Initiative is calling for papers for their 7th biennial adoption conference to be held at St. John’s University in Manhattan, NY, October 18 through 20, 2012. “Best Interests of the Child? Race Religion and Rescue in Adoption” is this year’s theme. Papers can be submitted online.


Local International Adoptee Survey

Local international adoptee organization, AdopSource, is conducting online surveys for teen and adult adoptees and parents of international adoptees. Check out their website to take the survey. Stay tuned for follow-up focus group announcements in late March, April, May and July.



Adoptees Have Answers has received several requests to recommend books this month. This is a reminder that there AHA has a list of recommended reading on the website.




Adoptees Have Answers | 1221 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN | 612-746-5130 or 952-374-7187


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