Strengthening the well-being of families formed through adoption

Strengthening the well-being of families formed through adoption

Strengthening the well-being of families formed through adoptionStrengthening the well-being of families formed through adoption

We provide counseling for all members of the adoption triad; education and consultation for mental health professionals, educators and the community.

“The unique issues that adoptive families face are not pathological; their foundation is in the very nature of adoption.”

What is Touched By Adoption?

We feel that Trauma and Resilience is a powerful description of the adoptees’ journey. They experience the trauma of loss and separation from their birth families while demonstrating resilience as they face the challenges of discovering their identity.

Touched By Adoption (TBA) was established in 2006 in response to the realization that there was a great need to provide pre and post adoptive counseling and education for parents, educators and mental health professionals.

TBA's primary focus is providing adoption-competent counseling for families which have been created by adoption.  TBA works with families and adoptees ages 14 and older as they cope with the specific challenges they face.  Our groups are one of the most powerful ways to connect with people who truly understand.

During the past 13 years, TBA has conducted adoption-focused staff trainings for several pre-schools including Earthplace, Christ & Holy Trinity Nursery School and The Conservative Synagogue in Westport, as well as school systems in Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Eagle Hill of Greenwich and Villa Maria in Stamford.  TBA has conducted trainings for The Connecticut Society of Psychoanalytical Psychologists, Reproductive Medicine Associates in Norwalk, The Adoptive Parents Committee and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Connecticut.

TBA sponsors an annual educational forum for the adoption community which featured internationally recognized adoption experts such as Sherrie Eldridge, Betty Jean Lifton and Debbie Riley. Our 2013 forum was entitled Inside the Minds & Hearts of Birth Parents: A Panel Discussion.  Our 2014 forum, Adoption: A Life-long Journey, Voices of Adult Adoptees.  It featured Beneath My Father’s Sky, a play written and performed by Zara Phillips and was followed by a discussion with adult adoptees.  Our 2017 forum entitled, An Adoptee's Journey to Identity, featured Nancy Verrier, MFT, author of The Primal Wound and Thomas Ahern, MA, adult adoptee and advocate for adoptees' rights.  Our 2018 fourm entitled, Healing the Dark Side of Adoption, featured Thomas Ahern, Senior Vice President of Business Developement of CALO Programs.  and Rob Gent, Chief Clinical Officer of CALO Programs.  In 2019, we featured Katie Naftzger, LICSW , author of Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent's Guide to Navigating the Teen Years.  She lead attendees through the teen years with a wisdom born from her extensive research, her years as a therapist for adopted teens and their families, and her own lived experience as a person who was adopted from Korea.

TBA has written articles which focus on the unique challenges adoptive families face; these have been published in The Adoptive Families magazine, The Connecticut Parents magazine, Country Kids and The Minute Man. 

Our Founders

Both Susan and Risa have earned their Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.  Collectively they have more than 40 years of experience in the field of adoption.  Their professional affiliations include The National Association of Social Workers, The Connecticut Council on Adoption and The Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology.

Both Risa and Susan share a passion for group work and co-facilitate all of the groups.


Susan Baron, LCSW

“Prior to the formation of TBA, I worked with families adopting domestically and internationally.  I developed adoption programs and presented at numerous adoption seminars.  My focus is working with individuals and families as they cope with the challenges of adoption.”


Risa Werner, LCSW

“I am a bio-adoptive parent.  My knowledge about infertility and adoption and my life experience enhance my ability to connect with our clients in a unique and powerful way.  My focus is on program development and community outreach.”

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Touched By Adoption

The SonderCenter, 1506 Post Road, 2nd Floor, Fairfield, CT 06824

Email: Phone: 203-502-1629