If you are just getting started with your adoption, and not sure about what type of adoption you want to pursue, then attending a general adoption conference is a good idea. These types of conferences will offer workshops on both domestic and international adoption. They will also feature booths from agencies and social workers that can help answer your questions.
In addition, here are some questions to ask of about the conference:
- Who is the sponsor of the adoption conference? Is it an adoption support group, agency, or church?
While all three may offer perfectly fine conferences, they will all have a different angle in presenting the information.
- Where is the conference, and how much does it cost?
Most conferences are very reasonable to attend. However, if you attend a large conference at a convention center, be sure to find out about parking charges, even on the weekend. Most parking garages only accept cash, so be prepared.
If you are attending a conference out of town, call the sponsor and see if there are any hotel discounts for attendees.
- What are the names of the agencies and other companies that will be attending?
Once you find this out, you can do some research and make a list of the agencies you'd like to speak with personally. This saves you from going from booth to booth to booth, which can get tiresome and overwhelming. It doesn't mean that you should not talk to anyone who isn't on your list, but it does give you a great starting point.
- What type of workshops does the conference offer? Do they offer topics that will further you in your adoption journey?
It's perfectly fine to go to an adoption conference just to be able to talk with many different agencies under one roof. There's nothing wrong with not attending the workshops offered if you don't feel as though you need them.
On the flip side, don't feel bad about only attending the workshops and skipping the booths, especially if you've already narrowed down or chosen your adoption agency.
In general, a successful adoption conference will offer everyone a unique experience that will help them along their adoption journey.