Roots Matter: The Importance of Connection in Adoption, Foster & Kinship Care

March 24th & 25th, 2023

The 23rd California Adoption Conference will take place on March 24th & 25th, 2023 as a virtual conference. We had over 400 attendees from across the United States and even a few international attendees at our 2021 conference and look forward to drawing an even wider audience this year.

Request for Proposals now open!
Submission deadline October 31, 2022
2023 Keynote Speakers
March 24th Keynote: Zea Malawa, MD, MPH

Zea Malawa is a Black mother, pediatrician and public health professional committed to improving health outcomes for children of color.  Upon completing her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, she earned a medical doctorate from UCLA and a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley. Currently, Dr. Malawa is the director of Expecting Justice, a public health program that uses systems change and justice-oriented approaches to close the racial gap in birth outcomes; she also sees patients at Mission Neighborhood Health Center in San Francisco, teaches anti-racism at UC Berkeley, and is the Vice Chair of San Francisco's First 5 Commission.

Dr. Malawa will speak on Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Through a Critical Race Lens.
March 25th Keynote: JaeRan Kim, Phd, MSW

JaeRan Kim (she/her) is an Associate Professor at University of Washington Tacoma. She has over 15 years of experience working with foster and adopted children and families and has developed numerous training curricula for child welfare professionals. Dr. Kim’s research is focused on adoption, particularly looking at issues of disabilities, race, and transnational experiences on post-adoption stability and adoptee well-being. Dr. Kim was adopted from South Korea and is the author of the blog Harlow's Monkey which explores transracial and transnational adoption from the adoptee perspective
March 25th Keynote: Susan Branco, Phd, LPC (VA), LCPC (MD), NCC, ACS, BC-TMH

Susan Branco (she/her/ella) is a transracial and transnational adoptee from Colombia. She is an advocate for increased adoption related research and training within counselor education and is passionate about improving mental health outcomes for transracially adopted persons. For fourteen she maintained an independent clinical practice working with persons connected to adoption and foster care. Dr. Branco is a practicing counselor, clinical supervisor, and a tenure track Assistant Professor at St. Bonaventure University. She has multiple peer-reviewed publications related to transracial adoption and clinical training and supervision practices for BIPOC counselors.

Dr. Kim and Dr. Branco will speak from an adoptee-centric perspective on how adoptive/foster parents and professionals can support adoptees in their lifelong journey toward racial, ethnic, cultural and full identities. The title of this interactive presentation is being finalized.
We are looking for workshops that are practical, interactive and offer concrete tools for participants, focused on the suggested topics listed below. 

Suggested Workshop Topics:
-Open Adoption Best Practices
-Adoption, Race and Class
-Mental Health/Trauma/Support
-Older Child Placement
-Parenting Practices, and Strategies
-Public Policy and Adoption/Foster Care
-Specifics about Adopted and Fostered Youth Ages 0 to 5, 6 to 12, and adolescents
-Searching for Birth Family
-LGBTQ Families
-International Adoption
-Preparing to Adopt
-Schools & Adoption/Foster Care
-Social Justice Issues
-Ethics in Adoption
-Workshops for Professionals
-Workshops for Birth/First Parents
-Workshops for Adult Adoptees
-Workshops for BIPOC Adoptive & Foster Parents
For more information email