Welcome to PACER: Post-Adoption Center for Education and Research.

For over 35 years, PACER has offered peer support, education, and mental health referrals to Northern California’s adoption/constellation community. PACER is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and grassroots volunteer organization run by individuals with a lived adoption experience. With an estimated 6 million adoptees and roughly one third of the US population living with an adoption experience, PACER advocates that adopted individuals’ and first/birth parents’ voices are central to dispelling the myths and misperceptions about adoption and relinquishment. We also understand that healing and recovery from adoption, loss, and relinquishment are lifelong experiences. Overall, PACER advocates for openness, honesty, and transparency in adoption policies, practices, and attitudes.

PACER’s mission is to raise awareness about the lifelong experiences and mental health challenges of adoption and relinquishment to lay people, professionals, and adoption triad/constellation members. Our goal is to enable a safe and supportive community of recovery from the loss, trauma, and grief from adoption and relinquishment and to provide mental health referrals, peer support, and resources for adopted individuals, first/birth parents, and adoptive parents. In addition, PACER offers membership, educational resources, community events, and legislative reform to open California’s closed adoption records. 


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Be on the lookout!

PACER's Facilitators Fall training

f3317688Join us for PACER’s facilitators training at the lovely and beautiful Rush Ranch park in Solano County on October 18th. This training is focused on PACER facilitators and board members but anyone who is curious about PACER and our peer-led support groups is more than welcome to attend. More details about the event are soon to follow.


PACER is spotlighted on Secret Sons & Daughters blog


PACER’s president April Topfer was recently interviewed for the Secret Sons & Daughters blog. Secret Sons & Daughters tell stories – what they refer to as “adoptee tales” – because they are the truths and half-truths told to the sons and daughters given up for adoption in the decades after World War II.


Read the interview on Secret Sons & Daughters website here

PACT conference

Spring Training: The Heart of Adoption is Love


An all day adoption conference for birthparents, adoptive parents, foster parents,adoptees, siblings, extended family, professionals and advocates.

Register here

Solano Conference 2014

Foster & Kinship Care Education, Solano College

“Soaring to New Heights”

Courtyard Marriott, Fairfield

Register here

35th Annual American Adoption Congress conference: Building Bridges for Change

Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco–Union Square

Keynote Speakers will be Leslie Pat Mackinnon, Lisa Marie Rollins, Zara Phillips, Dr. John Raible, and Rickie Solinger

Films include: Closure, Father Unknown, and Unlocking the Heart of Adoption

Register here

Kinship Families Matter! Kinship Conference
Kinship Families Matter! Kinship Conference

Kinship Families Matter! Kinship Conference

Lincoln Child Center, Family Support Services of the Bay Area, Alameda County Social Services Agency, Casey Family Programs, Legal Assistance for Seniors, and Las Positas College are hosting a Kinship Conference on Saturday, May 31st for relative caregivers needing support, resources, information or appreciation.

This is a free event for caregivers and their children, ages 0-17.

Saturday May 31 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Lakeside Park Garden Center – 666 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland(Off Grand Ave., enter at Fairyland)

Parking is $5 per vehicle in the Fairyland lot. Street parking is available on Grand Avenue and adjacent streets. From the 19th St. BART station, take AC Transit bus line 12, 58L or NL along Grand Avenue.

The hosts ask that those who plan on attending RSVP by calling  (510) 273-4700, extension 4157#. Registration ends May 23rd.

The day will feature:    •    Workshops for caregivers and teenagers     •    A day of fun activities for youth ages 6-12    •    Childcare for 0-5 year old    •    Delicious lunch and snacks for all    •    Raffle prizes    •    Resources, advocacy and information    •    Networking opportunities

Join the fun at Camp ALWAYS 2014–The Award-winning adoptive family camp, designed and implemented by Adopt A Special Kid (AASK). The camp provides families who have adopted from foster care with respite, education, social-networking and recreational opportunities.

Find information here

Pact Family Camp

A Gathering for Adoptive Families With Children of Color 

Putting It All Together: Adoption, Race & Family

Granlibakken Conference Center 725 Granlibakken Road, Tahoe City CA 96145

Register here


Alliance for Study of Adoption and Culture Fifth International Conference

Adoption: Crossing Boundaries

Florida State University, Tallahassee

Keynote Speakers will be Jackie Kay and Laura Briggs

More information here

Adoption Initiative: The 8th Biennial Adoption Conference

The Sleeping Giants in Adoption:
Power, Privilege, Politics, and Class

St. John’s University, Queens Campus, NY

More information here

KAAN conference


DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis – Park Place

1500 Park Place Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

More information here


28th ARC Summer Intensives:

Adoption on the Edge

The ARC Summer Intensives Conference is a two-day event for professionals, parents (birth, adoptive, foster, etc), adult adopted people, and extended family.

Full conference brochure here

40th Annual NACAC: North American Council on Adoptable Children conference

Kansas City, Missouri

Register here

Concerned United Birthparents Annual Retreat

Safety Harbor, FL

Find more information here

Adopt Salon Conference 2014

Jeanette Yoffe and the Celia Center

at Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, CA

Register here

“Let’s Talk Adoption” Conference

Coordinated by Concerned Persons for Adoption

at Rutgers University

Register here


Meet the People Behind PACER

Please click on the picture above to look at who is behind PACER.


History of PACER

Please click on the picture above to read about PACER’s history.