The Connecting Hearts Adoption Conference is being held on April 14th at the Courtyard by Marriott in Walla Walla from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Presenters are coming from Washington, Idaho, and Utah. They are from various parts of the adoption community and come to share their journeys and unique experiences with others. The event will provide an abundance of information including financial options for adoption, how to create efficient adoptive parent profiles, and post-placement support for birth parents. The goal is to have an uplifting, positive place for members of the adoption community and for others to share in the practical side of the joys of adoption.

The creator of the conference and adoption advocate, Hannah Rickords, is a senior at College Place High School and plans to attend Brigham Young University-Idaho. She has always been open about being adopted, but she has received lots of negativity on social media. Many people refer to adoptive parents as “baby snatchers” or accuse them of being equal to human traffickers. Others speak about adoption as being a horrifically traumatic experience when, more often than not, adoption is an amazing situation. It only took Rickords one day to decide whether or not she wanted her senior project to be this conference. She says, “It’s important that in this age, when ethics of adoption are changing, that we as [a] society change our view of adoption. Until relatively recently, adoption has been a shameful thing….Though there are still unfortunate situations that absolutely need to be acknowledged, we should take the good and bad experiences in adoption and figure out what did and did not work so those entering their adoption journeys now can be prepared and best suited for what is coming their way.”

To learn more about the Connecting Hearts Adoption Conference, you can visit the Facebook page.