Adoption Professionals → General

Level 101 - Exploring Adoption: Counseling Expectant Parents

Created by birth parents and experienced professionals, Exploring Adoption is a FREE training course from NCFA that combines recent research, best practices, and personal stories to educate and equip those serving today’s expectant and birth parent population.

Too many people involved with expectant and birth parents simply don’t have an accurate or comprehensive understanding of the history of adoption, the experiences of birth parents, and modern day adoption practices.

Exploring Adoption aims to fill this education gap by bringing together the expertise of trusted professionals, evidence-based research, and the lived experiences of birth parents in a free informational course, so that whatever they decide, it’s a fully-informed decision.

Janelle Ison, MBA – Adoption Education Manager, National Council For Adoption
Webinar length: 90 minutes

After completing this course, professionals will be able to:
• Recall the history of private domestic adoption and the current status of adoption.
• Identify individuals or groups from whom birth parents often report feeling perceived stigma.
• Recall examples of common misconceptions about adoption and those who choose to place their child(ren) for adoption.
• Demonstrate using unstigmatized language that accurately reflects the option of adoption.
• Describe standards of good practice when exploring the adoption option with clients.
• Provide general information about adoption and the legal process.
• Recall commonly used adoption terminology that will assist in explaining the adoption process to the client.
• Recall the history of private domestic adoption and its relationship to current attitudes and practices regarding adoption.
• Identify the key differences between a closed, semi-open, and open adoption.
• Describe the role that grief and loss play in adoption and the need for post-adoption counseling.
• Ability to access a list of referral sources for adoption services.
Course level: Beginning

Cost to register: FREE

National Council For Adoption, #1804, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 04/13/2023 – 04/13/2026. Social workers completing this course receive 1.5 continuing education credits.

This webinar does not offer credit for NJ or NY social workers. For more information on receiving CE credit please visit the FAQ tab. For additional information on the instructor please visit

Recorded on 6/27/23.
  • Course Introduction
  • Exploring Adoption Program Introduction
  • Meet the Birth Parents
  • Level 101 Course Introduction
  • Module 1: History of Private Domestic Adoption
  • Module 2: Stigma and Bias Towards Birth Parents and Adoption
  • Feelings of Shame
  • Reflection and Media Perceptions
  • Importance of Correcting Misconceptions
  • Language Matching Activity
  • Module 3: Understanding the Private Domestic Adoption Process
  • Glossary of Adoption Terminology
  • Standards of Good Practice
  • Typical Private Domestic Adoption Process Handout
  • Module 4: Changes and Modern Practices in Private Domestic Adoption
  • Level of Contact
  • Activity: Relationship Continuum
  • Relationship Continuum
  • Grief and Loss in Adoption
  • Grief in Adoption
  • Post-Adoption Services
  • Need for Post-Placement Counseling
  • Module 5: Adoption Information and Resources
  • Private Adoption Laws and State-Specific Resources Resource
  • Course Evaluation and Post-Test
  • Training Evaluation
  • Post-Test
Completion rules
  • All units must be completed
  • Leads to a certificate with a duration: Forever