with Amy Barker D'Alessandro, LMHC
for a better understanding of the layers of complexity & lifelong impact of adoption
Adult Adoptees are some of the most
amazing, accomplished, and inspiring
people in our society, but sadly, there is a vast
over-representation of Adoptees in
mental health services, drug & rehab facilities, and the prison system. Many Adoptees seek help only for depression & anxiety unaware
of deeper, core adoption issues
that may exist.
International & Transracial Adoptees have additionally complex issues to face.
It's time Adoptees were given tools for the healing journey long before crisis forces them to search for answers.
You, as an Adoptee, need connection &
direction to put the pieces together
and to make sense of your story.
Here's a good place to start.
Birth Parents are typically the invisible ones in the adoption story. Certainly this isn't the case in all adoptions, and openness in adoption has come a long way in helping reduce the trauma of separation through ongoing contact. However, secrecy, shame, stigma, & misinformation are still widely prevalent, especially in closed adoptions, and have left many Birth Parents and their families feeling isolated with no way to process
losing a child.
Birth Mothers in particular are physically impacted by baby loss and many suffer throughout their lives from repressed grief.
No matter the circumstances of your loss to adoption, you deserve to heal.
As a Birth Parent, you need support & validation from others who "get it" and
a safe place to share your experiences.
Welcome to your Safe Place.
With all the joy & beauty adoption can bring to a family, it also comes with a level of
grief, loss, & complexity
that is vital for Adoptive Parents,
siblings, & extended family to understand.
Children adopted from foster care & international countries, as well as others with trauma histories, need time for nurturing & healing before they
can truly bond with new caregivers.
Even babies adopted at birth experience a traumatic loss of the Birth Mother they bonded with in utero. Evidence-informed models of how to parent traumatized children have proven successful especially where traditional
parenting methods have failed.
As a family impacted by adoption,
you need specialized education,
on-going support, access to resources, &
partners in the process.
Look no further for assistance.
What is Adoption Savvy?
Welcome to Adoption Savvy! My name is Amy Barker D'Alessandro, LMHC.
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington state specializing in Adoption & Trauma.
I am also an Adult Adoptee from a closed adoption in longterm reunion,
and I am also a Birth Mother of a grown son of an open adoption.
Personally & professionally, I have extensive experience with the lifelong journey of adoption.
I founded Adoption Savvy to address the needs of all members
of the adoption community and those close to them for:
At Adoption Savvy you can find adoption competent in-person & online services for
Counseling, Coaching, Consulting, Speaking & Supervision as well as
an easily accessible Resource Hub for the best unbiased, written, video & online resources.
Thank you for taking the time & initiative to become Adoption Savvy!
Amy Barker D'Alessandro, LMHC
advocacy & reform
Adult Adoptee. Birth Mother. Adoption Savvy.
What you need to know
And some of the long-standing societal beliefs & assumptions about adoption have created a terrible bind for those struggling
with the reality of painful & difficult adoption issues.
7 million Adoptees are currently living in the US
(and even greater numbers of Birth Parents),
and those numbers are growing every day.
We all need a better grasp of the true experience & needs
of Adoptees, Birth Parents, and their families.
Did you know that many states still deny Adult Adoptees
access to their own original birth certificates?
We are in desperate need of Adoption Reform in our country, and it will start with an awareness & understanding of the many inherent issues in adoption, and it should come
from the voices of those most closely impacted.
We need only to listen.
With the emergence of the
internet, social media, &
DNA testing, reunions in adoption are becoming more commonplace. However, they are not necessarily becoming any less difficult, entangled, or intense, leaving many feeling completely overwhelmed after reconnecting.
If you are searching or embarking upon a reunion,
preparation is key,
and so is an understanding
of the many possible outcomes.
Let's get ready.
Becoming an Adoption Savvy Professional
Adoptees are 4 times more
likely to attempt suicide
than the general public. They are also at greater risk for addictions & sexual abuse as well as
diagnoses like ADHD & PTSD.
If you are working with someone impacted by adoption, (and you might already be but don't
even know it) you must become informed of the many
layered, conflicting issues surrounding adoption or you are just treating the symptoms.
We can help.
Get Help & Get Savvy!
If you or someone you know has been impacted by adoption,
there are services and resources available to help.
Our favorite, unbiased written, video, & online resources are linked to all the categories above
or you can access them by clicking here on Savvy Resources or on the Home Page.
If you are in the Seattle-Tacoma or Yakima Valley areas,
available in-person services are listed below.
Just click on the colored buttons above each category for more info.
If you live outside of Seattle or outside Washington state,
some services may still be available to you by phone or online.
Please contact us for more details.
Group Support & Discussion Groups
Adoptive Parent Coaching
Adoption Reunion Facilitation
Workshops, Retreats, & Public Speaking
Professional Consulting & Supervision
I don't know where our family would be today if we hadn't gotten help from Amy D'Alessandro when we did. We've learned a whole new way of parenting and handling our 10 year old adopted daughter from China, and she has made huge strides in emotional regulation, coping behaviors, and social skills. We tell all our friends who have adopted children that there is help available that really works!
Kathi, Adoptive Mother, Age 42
send us a message!
1501 N 200th St
Shoreline, WA 98133
5015 Tieton Ave
Yakima, WA 98908
Seattle Adult Adoptee Group
First Thursday of the Month*
Seattle Birth Mothers Group
Third Wednesday of the Month*
*Group dates and times are subject to change. RSVP required.