11/2022: Adoption Professionals


**This is a recording of our We the Experts event on November 12, 2022.**

On this panel four adult adoptee professionals, who have worked or are working at adoption agencies, will share their experiences of:

  • Deciding to work (or not) at an agency
  • Pros and cons of being an adoptee working at an agency
  • Their own adoptee consciousness working within the industry
  • Effecting change from within

Lydia Berkey is an adult transracial adoptee. She graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Social Work a little over three years ago. She has been working as a permanency and adoption caseworker since then. Lydia has a fierce passion for working with transracial adoptees. She advocates and empowers transracial adoptees on their journey of developing a strong racial identity and embracing racial differences. She also works to help White Adoptive Parents understand the importance of shifting to becoming a multiracial family, the importance of racial mirrors, and helping their adoptee navigate racism, identity, and their adoption. Lydia is excited to hear from the other panelists!

Zack Fried is a transracial adoptee, who was placed domestically at birth. Zack is the Executive Director of Adoption STAR, a NYS Authorized, FL and OH Licensed adoption/child welfare agency, and facilitates the agency’s support group for adult adoptees called A.C.E. (Adoption Circle of Experience). In addition to working to manage and grow Adoption STAR’s programs, Zack frequently speaks at conferences and events, virtually or in-person, nationwide. Being an adopted person and working within the world of adoption is an honor, and being able to speak with others about this unique perspective will be a big pleasure!

Katie Wynen is a transracial, international Colombian adoptee who has worked with members of the adoption constellation since 2006. Katie studied under Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao in Boston before moving to Oakland, CA and joining Pact, an Adoption Alliance as their adoption social worker and LGBTQ advocate. At Pact, Katie facilitates adoption placements, leads monthly support groups for Adult Adoptees of Color, works with youth during Pact Camp, and provides adoption education nationwide. Katie has been interviewed about her personal and professional experience and featured on the following podcasts: Yes, we do adopt!, The Fertile Nest, and IVFML by HuffPost. Katie is an Angels in Adoption 2019 Recipient from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. She is excited to share about her experience of working in the adoption field for the last 16 years.

Steve Kalb is an Adult Adoptee from the Midwest. He received his MSW in 2009 and is currently a Ph. D. candidate in Social Work and Social Research focusing on the adoption industry’s depiction of children. Steve worked in post adoption services for over 17 years. During that time, he worked directly with thousands of Adoptees through the Adoptee Camps and birth search counseling. He is an international presenter and trainer for adoptive parents and adoption professionals focused on the value of effective communication through strengthening the Adoptee voice. Steve lives in Eugene, OR, with his wife and 10-year-old daughter. He is honored to be part of this team and finds it fun to inform folk about my experiences working in the adoption industry as an Adoptee.

Jordan Bayer is a transracial/transnational adoptee. She is a Licensed Social Worker in Oklahoma currently working as a full-time therapist. She has a background in community mental/behavioral health, crisis stabilization, and child welfare. Jordan is so excited to be connecting with other Adoptee professionals and adding to the Adoptee narrative in professional spaces.


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