September News
Adoption Issue

President's Pick

Amy Winn

WISE ADOPTIVE PARENTING  When Kids Struggle to Adopt Their Parents (Adoption Dynamics Publications, Denver CO, 2018) is as insightful and powerful as Ron Nydam’s landmark ADOPTEES COME OF AGE: Living Within Two Families

 (J0hn Knox Press, Louisville, KY, 1999).

Amazon describes the book thusly: “A guide for adoptive families that find themselves struggling. Gentle yet realistic words bring hope-filled encouragement and down-to-earth insight for parents who may be struggling with the under-belly of adoption. The author, an experienced and empathetic therapist specializing in issues of adoptive development, weaves threads of relinquishment, adoption, and parenting challenges into a practical, honest tapestry rich in worth, love, and belonging. Adoptees and their two sets of parents receive voice and will feel understood and empowered. Families will discover new ways of being together, and caregivers will gain clinical insight in this book, a valuable addition to resources available to all who are touched by relinquishment and adoption.”

What Ron did for adoptees and the worlds understanding of adoptee issues he has now done for adoptive parents. This works goes beyond explanations into real answers for real healing.
Both of Ron’s amazing books can be found on Amazon.


President's Pick

Amy Winn

First time author Erin Mason has crafted a gently sweet book for young children. The author writes: GROWING GRACE) is a glimpse into adoption from the biological mother’s perspective. This is the story of a difficult promise, a purposeful quest, and the heartfelt connection that develops along the way. Erin’s language is clear, her story well crafted and the gorgeous illustrations by Layal Idriss complete this wonderful book.

Available at


New Memoir Examines U.S. Adoption as Public Health Issue

Rudy Owens, MA, MPH

New Memoir Examines U.S. Adoption as Public Health Issue and System that Still Discriminate Against Millions
By Rudy Owens, MA, MPH and Author of You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are (Published May 2018, by BFD Press)
When I began writing my story as an American adoptee, I wrote a mission statement and committed myself to telling a different kind of story with a larger goal of changing how adoptees are treated by law.
That tale would also show how U.S. adoption became a national social-engineering experiment that today remains mired in discriminatory state laws, not equality and fairness.  I mixed the stories of my experience with data and research and employed the methods of an investigative journalist and a public health advocate.
Specifically, I used a “public health lens,” examining adoption’s impacts on the people most impacted by it. I also examined the institution’s historic, social, legal, biological, and religious underpinnings, as well as the political forces that created it and still sustain it.
My resulting memoir, You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are, recounts spending decades of my life seeking my family, records, and ultimately justice. On each leg of what I call a “hero’s journey,” I reveal how my tale sheds light on the adoption system that emerged in the post-World War II decades.
By focusing adoptee rights as a public health issue—which it always has been—I call out numerous ways that adoptees and the public can more clearly see underlying inequities in the U.S. adoption system.


President's Invitation

Amy Winn

Welcome from your President 

We are the premier experts on adoption. All of us. Others may study us but we are the folks living the life, walking the walk of adoption. Birthdays are more super-charged for those of us in the adoption circle. Their significance can be poignant and painful but also great sources for self-examination and focus. Next year the American Adoption Congress (AAC) turns 40, a pretty significant birthday. The Conference Committee and Board of Directors figured we’d put on a totally new kind of conference, worthy of a 40th birthday celebration. 
The theme for this blowout is Honoring our Past Welcoming our Future. With this celebration of our upcoming birthday we are shifting our focus from what has been to what the AAC will become in the future. 

With our 40th Annual Conference next April we honor our past by convening in Washington, DC where our founders brought forth the AAC, an organization dedicated to adoption reform. 

That basic tenant still rules but how could our founders have known the many forks in the road that early path would take? We’ve gone from the simple focus of a mostly white movement to an expanded world view of adoption. Our ranks consist of adoptees of a dizzying variety, of birth/first parents and of adoptive parents in an expanding definitions of what a parent can be. 

We are the experts in adoption. How will we use our expertise to shape the next 40 years? Bring your thoughts and ideas to the conference. We are bringing our planning to you, our members, by devoting time during the conference to have you join us in the planning for the future of the AAC. 

If you come for a walk down memory lane or to learn the latest on DNA, searching, legislation, how to start a support group or just to be around others who understand what adoption means, I guarantee you will find exactly what you need at the 40th Annual American Adoption Congress Conference. 

More Conference Information will be to you by the end of this month. Till then,

Save the Date!
April 3 – 6, 2019
Crystal City Hyatt Regency conveniently located near Reagan National Airport. 

There are many changes coming for the AAC by the end of the year. Would you like to be a part of this expansion of our adoption expertise? We’d love to have your skills, thoughts and passion be a part of this. See more about volunteering for the AAC elsewhere in this issue. Volunteer Coordinator Shawna Hodgson is ready to guide you through the possibilities and get you started. 


New Article

Shawna Hodgson

Greetings AAC friends!
It’s Fall and volunteerism is in the air!        

I joined the AAC board in the spirit of volunteerism and I’m hopeful that many of you will want to join us in creating new and exciting growth within our organization by becoming an AAC volunteer. For me personally, giving my time to promote adoption reform and advocate for those in the adoption community is my way of staying connected to others and a way of doing something that I feel passionately about, creating change!

We all have personal skills, interests, hobbies, and passion that can be used to better our community. I invite you to share yours with us. An organization is only as strong as the people who work together to keep it that way. Let’s work together!

We invite you to consider becoming an AAC volunteer. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available and I will be happy to guide you through the process of choosing which volunteer position you feel most suited for. We may even create something entirely new together. If you only have a few hours per week or month, that is perfectly okay, every little bit helps.
“Volunteer- Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
 -Arthur Ashe
Please reach out and help grow the AAC team be e-mailing me at:

I very much look forward to working with you and thank you for being a part of AAC! 
With gratitude, 
Shawna Hodgson
Volunteer Coordinator


AAC 2018 Conference Book Room

Nancy Feldman

Dear AAC Members, 

With this newsletter, we wanted to bring your attention to the books that were offered for sale at this year’s annual conference held in Albuquerque, NM.  All these books have been written by AAC members. Perhaps you will see something that you were not aware of. They can be ordered on Amazon, and some on Tapestry Books, Inc. Happy reading!
In addition, we would like to set up a group of volunteer book reviewers. Many books are submitted to us, but “alas and alack” there are not enough hours in the day to review them all.  Interested?  Please contact us.
Let us know your special interest with regards to the adoption constellation, i.e.  (check all that apply) 
  • Birth mothers
  • Adoptees
  • Families:  adoptive/biracial/blended
  • Foster care
  • Historical novels
  • LGBT
  • Memoirs
  • Search Angels
  • Search and Reunions 
Thanks to Amazon, we even have a handout about writing a review!
Questions? Suggestions? Please contact Nancy Feldman, co-chair of volunteer Literary Committee, or wannabe librarian, if you will.
503-244-9999 or
Here’s to reading, in whatever form you choose!!

Barton, Elisa M. Confessions of a Lost Mother, 1996.
"’What was it like, giving up a child?” This is the question that prompted the author to examine, for the first time, her true feelings about the child she gave up for adoption some twenty years earlier. In this collection of email letters and posts to mailing lists, the above question and similar ones are discussed by people from all three sides of the adoption triad: birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees. Topics of discussion include searching for one's birth parents or child, the fallacy of "birthmother's choice," abortion and adoption, and ‘The Best Adoption Whorehouse in America.’
“…it is by turns heart wrenching and ecstatic; an incitement to anger and a blanket of comfort.
“This is not just a book for those of an adoption triad, but for anyone interested in the psychology and sociology of family. In a very personal way, this book brings to light what adoption can really be like--and it's not about turning your back and going merrily on your way, which seems to be a favorite phrase of those who counsel pregnant teens.” 

Adoption Issues - September News