The Beacon
AAC Established 1978                           February, 2009  

Five keynote sessions are featured at the   national conference in Cleveland,

Wed., April  22nd through Sun. morning, April 26, 2009


Former state senator

from Maine


Screenwriter, and his biological daughter, SUZANNE PERRYMAN


Recording artist and Emmy award winning producer


Professor of law at

Northwestern University


Filmmaker and New York Times' best selling author







By Wendy Rowney

AAC's Education Chair

and Canadian Liaison

     You can help to spread the word. In order to reach more members of the public, and to educate and engage them on adoption issues, we are looking for volunteers to serve as Media Ambassadors for the AAC.


What Do Media Ambassadors Do?

      Simply put, they volunteer to write a letter to the editor when important adoption issues arise. The motivation for coverage might be a highly contested adoption case (think Madonna), the release of an adoption related movie (think Juno), a new report from the Donaldson Institute, or maybe even access being granted in your state.

Here's How It Works:

      As an adoption event occurs, we will send our Media Ambassadors some information about the event. Each Media Ambassador will then write a short email message and send it to his or her local paper, or another paper that we indicate. We will send you some completed phrases that you can choose to include in your letter to the editor – all you have to do is copy and paste and then add something personal, if you wish. You don’t have to share your own story - you just need to send out the letter right away. Letters to the editor only get published if they arrive at the paper on the day of the event!

     We will help you to locate the email address for the editor of your local paper, send you the address for other papers, and provide you with all the information you will need.

Won’t You Join Us?

      It’s only a few hours a month, at the most, to drop a line to the media, and the rewards are immeasurable. We will be there with you to assist and, who knows, you just might help to educate someone about adoption!

      To become part of the Media Ambassador team, please send an email to Wendy Rowney, AAC Education Chair at:





      This month's featured website is It is a service funded by the state of New Jersey.

     Its mission, according to the website, is to provide "support to all members of the adoption constellation. Our goal is to direct people to appropriate adoption services in New Jersey. The adoption constellation includes anyone whose life is touched by adoption, including those who receive and/or deliver services."

     Staff members answer questions through a toll-free number and email address:

1.877.4ARCHNJ (1.877.427.2465)

     Staff members are available to offer assistance in English and Spanish. It operates a lending library, and maintains a list of waiting children.

     NJARCH is the acronym for the phrase, "New Jersey Adoption Resource Clearing House."






Register on-line for national conference

     Attendees can register for the 30th annual conference on the AAC's website:

The conference is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22nd through Sunday morning, April 26th, at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Cleveland.

     This national conference, Transforming Families, Connecting Lives, is being sponsored jointly by the AAC and Adoption Network Cleveland,

Conference brochure available on-line

    To preview the nearly 70 workshops, complete conference schedule, hotel facilities, and details of the keynote sessions, please go to:

Books sought for book room in Cleveland

    The ever-popular Book Room seeks books to feature during the five-day conference. Many of the books in our Book Room are hard to find at popular book stores or online.

     Want to exhibit your books for others to see? Please email AAC’s Book Room Coordinator, Pat Lubarsky, at for further information regarding book orders and author signings.







     Since the introduction of The Beacon in September of 2008, the AAC now offers members two ways to receive news of the AAC. The Decree, the quarterly print newsletter, has been serving members for more than two decades. The Beacon is delivered via email to members during the first week of each month.

     To make these publications truly reflective of the membership, The Beacon and The Decree welcome and encourage submissions from members. Cindy Wolfe Boynton became editor of The Decree late last year. The first issue she is producing as editor appears in April. Boynton would like to introduce a section for Letters to the Editor.

     Boynton described what she envisioned for the letters' section:
"If you have an adoption-related issue or opinion you’d like to share via a letter, please send it to Letters will be limited to one per person, per issue; roughly 200 words; and edited for length and clarity. We hope all AAC members will take advantage of this new opportunity to share their voices. Please be sure to write 'Letter' in the subject line."

     Boynton continued:

"The Decree is meant to represent all members of the AAC, and to offer insights into all aspects of adoption. We encourage your feedback, ideas and participation, to create a publication that reaches out to, and educates us all."

     The AAC's electronic newsletter, The Beacon, seeks brief news items and short articles. A news item for the column, Around the American Adoption Congress, ideally contains 50-75 words. A short article may contain 300-500 words. The deadline is the 15th of each month for the next month's issue.

     Submissions for The Beacon may be emailed to: Please send messages to the attention of Joan Schumack, The Beacon's content editor. Schumack, who also serves as the AAC's Communications Chair, can be contacted directly at



The American Adoption Congress comprises individuals, families and organizations committed to adoption reform. We represent those whose lives are touched by adoption or other loss of family continuity. We promote honesty, openness and respect for family connections in adoption, foster care, and assisted reproduction. We provide education for our members and professional communities about the lifelong process of adoption. We advocate legislation that will grant every individual access to information about his or her family and heritage.