By Deirdre Graham, Community Outreach Manager
FIA’s Get Acquainted Workshop — what is it all about?
The Get Acquainted Workshop (GAW) is an in-depth educational opportunity for folks interested in learning more about becoming adoptive parents. It’s a chance to learn all about the adoption process firsthand with our agency and to ask all of your adoption questions. The GAW is required for all prospective adoptive families who wish to work with Friends in Adoption, and is often the beginning of the relationship between our agency and you!
Let’s break it down.
Who: The GAW is right for you if:
- you are considering adopting a child domestically
- you are in the process of choosing adoption agencies
- you want to learn more about your options in adoption!
~You will also have the opportunity to meet our wonderful FIA team and hear directly from birth parents who have placed through FIA and adoptive parents who have grown their families with us.~
What: a day and half long workshop devoted to learning all about domestic adoption and FIA’s compassionate, and unique services. The cost of the workshop is $395 per family unit — this covers all meetings, meals, and materials.
Where/When: The GAW’s are mostly held in the Albany/Saratoga area. FIA offers a few GAW’s per year (3 or 4) with limited space and availability, and they always fill up, so make sure to plan and register in advance. Please check out the GAW page on our website for the details and location of our next upcoming workshop!
Why: Before you make a decision about whether FIA is right for you, we feel it’s important for you to understand who we are, how we work, what we expect from prospective adoptive parents, and how we view the adoption process. There is so much to talk about!
Highlights of the GAW
- Friends in Adoption believes it is of the utmost importance to listen to the voices of the adoption circle: adoptive parents, birth parents, and adopted people. At the GAW, participants have the very special opportunity to hear directly from birth parents who have placed their children through our agency, as well as adoptive families who have worked with FIA.
- Enjoy sessions and learning opportunities to unpack the adoption process at FIA: precisely how we support and work with prospective adoptive families and pregnant individuals choosing adoption.
- The GAW also delves into topics such as openness in adoption, visible adoption and what it means to be RESILIENT in adoption.
- Throughout our time we will explore, in-depth, FIA’s core values and how it directly relates to the experiences of preadoptive families: Openness, Empowerment, Inclusiveness and Lifelong Support.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet the wonderful FIA team, my hardworking colleagues! The GAW is a great time to ask any and all questions you may have regarding adoption and our agency.
The Get Acquainted Workshop is an excellent opportunity for just that: for you to become acquainted with our agency and for us to get to know you. Adoption is inherently complex, nuanced, and deeply personal. The GAW allows you to expand your knowledge and understanding about adoption, while getting an intimate view of our process as an agency.
We recognize that your journeys to parenthood are entirely unique and specific to your personal life experiences. We know that your path to parenthood did not begin when you walked through our doors or picked up the phone to call us. While adoption is certainly a beautiful process built on love and trust, it is equally important to acknowledge the grief and loss that affect everyone in the adoption circle. FIA is committed to addressing the complex realities of adoption in a meaningful way, and to provide lifelong support for everyone we are privileged to work with. Above all, the GAW is a safe space to learn more about adoption with the support, respect and empathy of professionals.
Adoption education is something very important to us at FIA, and the GAW is the perfect place to begin your lifelong relationship with our agency! We look forward to seeing you there!
Testimonials from past GAW attendees over the years:
“It’s much different being able to meet with an agency in person. We really appreciated the availability of the staff to answer all of our questions and listen to our concerns. The GAW gave us the space we needed to move ahead with adoption. We are so excited to be part of the FIA family!”
“The first evening was a very nice introduction to the workshop. I liked having the dinner with everyone together. It definitely helped break the ice! As a single parent, it made me feel more at ease. The workshop is heavy, but I felt welcomed and supported throughout the time.”
“Thank you FIA! We learned so much from the GAW; more than we thought we would! As of today we are officially signed up with the agency and we are just thrilled!”
“I am incredibly grateful for the brave birth parents who shared their stories with us. This was my favorite part of the day and so important for me to hear as a preadoptive parent.”