Thriving Adoptees - Let's Thrive

The Impact of Infertility With Erika Schmitt Director of Adoption and Permanency Services

Episode Summary

There are a host of often unrecognised impacts of infertility on adopters. Bringing these into the light helps us process them and move on. Then we're in a better place to help our children. Erika shares enlightening insights into this fascinating area to get us thinking, learning and thriving.

Episode Notes

As Director of Adoption and Permanency Services, Erika is responsible for overseeing all functions of the full service Infant Adoption Program, State Wide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) program, and county foster care placement services. She is a Management Team member at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center, maintains all financial aspects of the program and is involved in strategic planning. Erika also works directly with clients providing infertility and pre-adoption counseling sessions and running a monthly infertility support group.  Erika was integral in starting up the SWAN program and county foster care placement services at The Children’s Home, beginning in 2012.  She also recently began expanding the program’s Counseling Services, which now includes counseling for donor conceived individuals, recipient parents, and those using artificial reproductive technology to conceive. 

Erika also serves as a trainer for the REACH training collaborative, training prospective foster and adoptive families on topics such as Parenting, Resources, Grief and Loss, Child Development, and Cultural Humility.  She also trains families adopting through The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh’s infant adoption program on open adoption and has presented at seminars on open adoption and hospital adoption policy, as well as at SWAN statewide conferences.  Erika was also co-author to an article published for the North American Council on Adoptable Children’s (NACAC) publication, Adoptalk, titled Innovative Family Preparation: Thinking Outside the Box for the Whole Family. 

Erika has been at The Children’s Home since 2006, working as a birthparent counselor, birthparent counseling services supervisor, and manager of the SWAN Program.  Prior to her position at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh, Erika worked for over 4 years as a Psychiatric Specialty Counselor for an adolescent drug and alcohol research program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and remained on staff as a Behavioral Health Counselor, conducting diagnostic interviews and performing program management duties on a casual basis until May of 2018. She earned both a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Social Work through The University of Pittsburgh and obtained her social work license in 2006.

Here's a bit about the Home from their website

At The Children's Home & Lemieux Family Center, we're investing in a family today to secure a child's tomorrow.

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