Adopt Salon Conference Presenters

Adopt Salon Conference: Mending the Losses, Becoming Whole Again ….To Register Buy Tickets Here!

Presenters Bios…

 

  •  Marcy Axness, Ph.D. is a leading authority in the fields of early human development, adoption, prenatal psychology, and interpersonal neurobiology. Using her experience as an adoptee and mother as a narrative foundation, Marcy is a popular international writer and speaker on parenting, society and the needs of children. One of the world’s few experts in the primal issues in adoption, Dr. Axness is a graduate professor of prenatal development and has a private practice counseling parents and “pre-parents.” She is the author of the new book Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers, and considers that her greatest qualification is also her greatest blessing — being the mother of Ian and Eve, both flourishing in
    their twenties. 

 

 

 

  • Angela GeeAngela Gee, MA, M.F.T. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in clinical practice in Pasadena and Beverly Hills. She focuses on the unique needs of those within the adoption community, including adoptive families and adoptees through the lifespan. Her work focuses on issues surrounding adoptee identity development and transracially adoptive families. Angela’s co-curated film series on the adoption experience with Vista Del Mar elicited an open and vital dialogue for the members of the adoption triad. As a Chinese-American adoptee and adoptive parent in a transracial family, her personal history informs her professional practice.

 

 

 

  • Carra GreenbergCarra Greenberg, J.D. is an adult adoptee and attorney. She graduated magna cum laude from New York Law School, where she specialized in family and social justice law. Carra has been actively involved in the adoption community and has extensive experience guiding families through the adoption process. Carra is an advocate of adoptee rights and a member of the Family Law Section of the California State Bar.

 

 

 

  • Daniel Heimpel is the founding member and journalist-gone-rogue of Fostering Media Connection. Heimpel’s first brush with the foster care system was in 2006, while a volunteer coach for an unlikely lacrosse team in South Central Los Angeles. One of his favorite players was a 16-year-old named Chris who had some anger issues. Heimpel asked Chris what his parents had to say about his misdirected rage, and he replied: “I don’t have any parents, I live in a group home.” Soon after, Heimpel visited Chris’ group home deep in South Central L.A. and wrote a story about the realities of being a foster kid in urban Los Angeles for the LA Weekly. Before long Heimpel was mentoring Chris and another young man in the system, all the while covering foster care with increasing intensity. Heimpel has written and produced stories about foster care for the Los Angeles Daily News, Newsweek, the Seattle Times, the Huffington Post, Current TV and the San Jose Mercury News, and other publications. This coverage has garnered Heimpel journalism awards from the Children’s Advocacy Institute, The Los Angeles Press Club and the Child Welfare League of America. As FMC’s project director and founder, Heimpel is working to recruit an “army of journalists” who he hopes will cover foster care with the same intensity as he does.

 

 

 

  •   Craig Hyman is an adult adoptee who honors a lifelong calling to service in the areas of adoption education, healing and spiritual growth. He is an Adoption Life Coach for adoptees, biological parents, adoptive parents, their families and significant others; and specializes in the areas of general adoptions issues, search, reunion and post-reunion complexities. Craig facilitates the Male Adoptee Issues workshop and Spiritual Perspectives Panel for the annual AAC conference as well as other national conferences. He lives in San Diego.

 

 

 

  • Mimi JanesMimi Janes is a birthmother and has been reunited with two daughters lost to adoption. She has been involved with Concerned United Birthparents (CUB), Inc. since 1986, & is a former President of CUB. For over 20 years, Mimi facilitated the Los Angeles CUB Support Group, made up of birthparents, adoptees, adoptive parents and others dealing with the lifelong issues surrounding adoption loss and reunion. She has been a speaker at adoption conferences and appeared on TV (Starting Over, The Other Side, Channel 9 News). Mimi is a strong proponent of open adoption records for both adoptees and birthparents and feels it is a basic human and civil right that all adoptees have access to their original birth certificate.

 

 

 

  •  Lesli Johnson, M.A., M.F.T. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice with offices in Beverly Hills and Pasadena, California.  Her practice includes adults, adolescents, couples and families. Lesli is dedicated to helping her clients connect the dots of their story in order to achieve understanding, clarity, emotional resilience and a general sense of well being. She utilizes attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology, mind-body connection and mindfulness practices in her work with her clients. As an adoptee adopted in infancy, Lesli is passionate about her work with the adoption community and works with all members of the adoption constellation.  She facilitates on-going adoption support groups and works with educators and other therapist advocating adoption awareness. 

 

 

 

  • Sheila KamenSheila Kamen, Psy.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a mother through adoption. Adoption is near to her heart and she works with all members of the adoption constellation in her private practice. Sheila has provided training and education on topics related to foster care and adoption at a variety of agencies throughout Southern California, including Enki Youth and Family Services, Kinship Center, Children’s Bureau, St. Johns Well Child & Family Centers and the California School of Professional Psychology. She is dedicated to adoption awareness and passionate about providing support to those touched by adoption.

 

 

 

  •  Carol Lieber Wilkins, M.A., M.F.T. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice with offices in West Los Angeles and Calabasas, California. A specialist in the field of reproductive medicine, adoption and family building options since 1986, Carole was a founding member of Resolve of Greater Los Angeles, served on the Board of Directors for several years and continues to be an active member. Carole has lectured locally and nationally on many subjects related to infertility. She has been the keynote speaker at several Resolve symposia, and a presenter at the professional meetings of the American Psychological Association, The American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Organon Nurses Symposia, and Kaiser Hospitals. Additionally, Carole is a Mental Health Advisor on the Board of Directors of Parents via Egg Donation. She is also an active member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine Mental Health Professional Group, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a professional member of AFA. Her own experience creating a family through adoption and ovum donation deepens her understanding of the challenges others face when exploring these complex family building options.

 

 

 

  •  Sally Maslansky, M.A., M.F.T. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice holding licenses in North Carolina and California. Sally works with adults, couples, adolescents and families. She works privately with families on Mindful Parenting Skills as well as teaching Mindful Parenting Classes. As an adoptive mother, Sally has a real interest in well-being of adoptive families and helping adoptees of all ages make sense of their lives. She is a strong advocate for children with learning differences and sits on the Board of the Hill Center in Durham, NC. Sally is a long-time student of Dr. Dan Siegel and has had the honor and privilege of studying mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Jack Kornfield. In her practice and work with clients, Sally embraces Interpersonal Neurobiology, “Mindsight,” attachment theory, and mindful awareness practices.

 

 

 

  •  Patrick McMahon is a frequent speaker at national conferences, classes, and seminars, as well as the author of Becoming Patrick, a memoir about reconnecting to his family of origin. Applying his skills as a photographer, artist, and musician, he has developed expressive arts workshops and “Exploring Our Roots,” a multimedia arts event illuminating the complexities of adoption in our culture. He also created a line of greeting cards for those involved in adoption, and advocated for adoption education and reform. Patrick also facilitates an adoption support group in San Diego, where he currently resides.

 

 

 

  • Adam PertmanAdam Pertman is one of our country’s leading experts on adoption. He is the Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national nonprofit that is the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. Pertman – a Pulitzer-nominated former journalist – is also Associate Editor of Adoption Quarterly, the premier research journal dealing with adoption and foster care. He is the author of two new books, Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families – and America (which has been reviewed as “the most important book ever written on the subject”) and Gay and Lesbian Adoption: A New Dimension in Family Diversity. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Pertman has received numerous awards for his work and appears regularly in the media, including on Oprah, the Today show, the New York Times, and National Public Radio.

 

 

 

  • Marlou RussellMarlou Russell, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Santa Monica, California. She specializes in adoption issues and strives to help people better understand themselves.  Marlou is an adoptee, adopted at birth, who searched and found her birth family in her 30’s and continues to have positive reunion relationships. She is the author of Adoption Wisdom: A guide to the Issues and Feelings of Adoption. Her book validates the feelings of all people involved in adoption, prepares those who are considering adoption, and educates people about the lifelong impact of adoption. She speaks, writes, and consults on adoption issues for birth parents, adoptive families, and adoptees. 

 

 

 

  • Nancy VerrierNancy Verrier, M.A. is an adoptive mother and psychotherapist in Lafayette, California and specializes in adoption issues. She is an international speaker on the effects of separation trauma and genetic confusion in adopted children and adults. She is the author of The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child which has become a classic in adoption literature.  Nancy received two awards for the publication of this book: the Book of the Year Award from the Council for Equal Rights in Adoption in 1993, and the Emma Vilardi Humanitarian Award from the American Adoption Congress.  Nancy’s second book, Coming Home to Self, has also received critical acclaim. Nancy states “the purpose of this book is to take adoptees and those in relationship with them to the next step in healing.”  

 

  •  Jeanette Yoffe, M.A., M.F.T is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has specialized for the past 10 years in the treatment of children with serious psychological problems secondary to histories of abuse, neglect, and /or multiple placements. Jeanette’s desire to become a child therapist derived from her own experience of being adopted and moving through the foster care system. Her personal experience has informed her education and provided insight into the unique stresses involved with these issues. She wrote and performed a one woman show in 1998, titled “What’s Your Name, Who’s Your Daddy?” about her personal story living in foster care system and being adopted at the age of 7. She has a private practice in West Los Angeles and runs a monthly support group for the Adoption Triad called Adopt Salon.


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