Adoption Professionals → Birth Family Relationships

Contemporary Realities in Search and Reunion

The landscape of search and reunion in adoption has changed dramatically in recent years, with easier access to genetic information, genealogical records, and the ability for global online communication. Therefore, adoption professionals must be equipped with current expertise and strategies for supporting adopted individuals, birth parents, and adoptive families through the search and reunion process. In this course, NCFA staff moderates a panel discussion with staff from NCFA member agency Holt International. The discussion centers on the current dynamics of search and reunion across domestic and international adoption, and provides clinical guidance to professionals as they prepare and support all of those involved in this process.

Nancy Crouch, LCPC – Domestic Program Director, Holt

Pam Shepard, LCSW – Supervisor of Clinical Services, Holt

Steve Kalb, LMSW – Director of Post Adoption Services, Holt

Course length: 60 minutes

After attending this course, professionals will be able to:
• Describe the concept of search and reunion and recognize the changing dynamics of search and reunion in recent years, as they relate to domestic and intercountry adoption.
• Give examples of how the ease of connecting and communicating online has impacted search and reunion and contrast the benefits and challenges of utilizing online mediums.
• Demonstrate how adoption professionals can take a proactive approach in discussing openness and search and reunion with families.
• Give guidance and rationale on when search is helpful for those involved, and what challenges adopted individuals and their families should be aware of.
• Identify critical steps in preparing adopted individuals, adoptive families and/or birth parents for these meetings, and identify appropriate responses for ties when an individual does not want to connect.

Course level: Beginning, Intermediate

Cost to register: $15
If you are a NCFA member, look for your discount code in the membership portal.


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 continuing education credit.

This course 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 instructors please visit,, and

Recorded on June 22, 2021.
  • Contemporary Realities in Search and Reunion - Video
  • Contemporary Realities in Seach and Reunion - Post-Test
  • Contemporary Realities in Search and Reunion - Evaluation
Completion rules
  • All units must be completed
  • Leads to a certificate with a duration: Forever