Guest Author - Brandii Lacey
Attending adoption workshops and conferences are great ways to become educated about many aspects of adoption. Single adoption workshops are shorter versions of conferences, and usually focus on one or two key topics. They are often sponsored by adoption agencies.
Adoption conferences offer multiple workshops focusing on many adoption topics. They are usually sponsored by adoption organizations, and feature morning and afternoon sessions. From adoption agencies to social workers to adoption attorneys, there are usually a wide range of adoption professionals for you to meet.
Taking some extra time to research prior to attending a workshop or conference will help you find the best ones for your needs. These questions can help you start researching upcoming adoption conferences.
Goals: What goals do you hope to accomplish by attending an adoption workshop or conference? Are you just starting to research adoption? Or, do you have a specific concern or question you’d like more detailed information on?
Travel: How far can you travel to attend an adoption conference? Does the conference offer any discounts at nearby hotels (or at the actual hotel if that’s where it takes place).
Registration Deadline and Payments: When is the registration deadline? Can you get an “early bird” discount for paying early?
Topics: What types of workshops are offered? Are question and answer sessions included in the workshops?
Speakers: Who is presenting the topics? How much experience do they have in adoption? Are they speaking because they are passionate about adoption, or do they simply want to promote a book? It’s not uncommon for speakers to have published books and other materials on adoption. However, you want to be sure you’ll a good amount of information for the workshop itself, without having to purchase said book to learn more (unless you want to, that is).
Materials: What materials does the conference provide? Should I bring my own notebook and pen? (I highly suggest this, even if something is provided by the conference, as you’ll be taking a good amount of notes).
Any adoption professionals or organizations that wish to list their upcoming adoption conference may do so on the Adoption forum. Look for the “2010-2011 Adoption Conference” thread at the top of the forum.