Counseling for individuals and families involved in adoption, surrogacy and reproductive technologies.
What is Origins Therapy?
Because of the various paths to parenthood, families need a new type of emotional support.
Open Adoption & Family Services offers counseling for individuals, couples and families whose lives have been touched by adoption, (private, state and international), surrogacy and reproductive technology. We call this Origins Therapy.
OA&FS has decades of expertise in guiding participants as they navigate complex lifelong relationships. Since 1985, we’ve completed over 1,400 open adoptions. We know how to make open adoptions work, and we’re bringing our uniquely specialized skill set to address these new therapeutic needs brought on by the complexities of building a family in the 21st century. We have learned that as children witness the important people in their lives come together and cultivate a mutually supportive relationship, they are able to integrate the many facets of their identity.
While we believe children have a right to know the truth about their origins (how they joined their family), we also understand that sharing the truth can be daunting or scary for adoptive and intended parents, donors and extended family. We are here to support those who are discovering their own story, those considering sharing their story with their child, and those who are seeking support in their relationships as they relate to adoption and assisted reproductive technology.
We will meet you wherever you are on your journey. Our therapy will provide individuals and families with clarity, openness and honesty through the profound life experiences and choices they are facing. Do you have unresolved issues and emotions regarding your origins? Your child’s origins? Your role in helping others build their family? We can help. Give us a call at 1-800-309-2146 or fill our our online inquiry form.
For each of us, family is our point of origin.
How we integrate our origins greatly contributes to our sense of identity. Equally important is the impact when we have a role in someone else’s origins. Every family has its own story. What’s yours? Is adoption, surrogacy or assisted reproductive technology a part of your story? Origins experiences are unique and deeply emotional. You may not have had anyone in your world to discuss these with. Until now.
In relationships, the most difficult challenges are often rooted in our fears of the unknown.
Counseling offers an enriching opportunity to explore these fears and gain insight in a safe, compassionate, and non-judgmental environment.
The counseling process allows each of us to uncover or revisit parts of our story that are particularly important to us, or our families. This experience gives us a deeper understanding of ourselves and the people that have made us who we are.
At OA&FS, our counseling services are dynamic, and together we will find a therapeutic approach that can lead to your enhanced self-awareness and self-acceptance.
If your story involves adoption
or ART we can help you.
Origins Therapy is designed to strengthen individuals and families in all their forms as they prepare for, transition to, and continue their life journeys. Does your story include any of these roles? If so, we can guide and support you in the following ways.
- Deepen your connection to your child’s adoptive parents.
- Obtain support around a recent change in your life that is impacting your open adoption relationship (i.e. divorce, marriage, financial status, geography).
- Find common interests or activities to do during visits with your child’s birth family.
- Process grief about the placement of your child brought up by a new milestone in your life, (marriage, another child, etc.)
- Connect or reconnect to your child’s adoptive family.
- Deepen your connection to your child’s birthparents.
- Obtain support around a recent change in your lives that is impacting your open adoption relationship (i.e. divorce, marriage, financial status, geography).
- Find common interests or activities to do during visits with your child’s birth family.
- Connect or reconnect to your child’s birth family.
Obtain guidance around setting healthy boundaries within your open adoption relationship.
- Find ways to empower and support your young adult child as they begin to develop their own special connection to their birthparents.
- Cope with your legacy of infertility.
- Find new ways to talk to your child about their birth family and adoption.
- Work through struggles in your relationships with extended birth family members.
- How to bring a “Culture of Openness” to your adoption even when you have little or no contact with the birth family.
- Determine what being adopted means to you.
- Integrate your adoption story into your life.
- Navigate how to have healthy relationships with your birth and adoptive families.
Part of a Closed Adoption
- Process grief surrounding your own adoption.
- Process grief surrounding your decision to plan an adoption for your child.
- Process fear or grief surrounding your child’s desire to connect with his/her birth family.
- Navigate how to have healthy relationships with your birth and adoptive families.
- Integrate your adoption story into your overall identity.
- How to cope with an adoption in which the birth parents aren’t, and may never be, involved or accessible.
Connected to ART
- This includes surrogates, intended parents, embryo, egg and sperm donors, and people born via Alternative Reproductive Technologies, (ART).
- If involved in surrogacy, embryo, egg or sperm donation, guidance around building a relationship with the surrogate or donor.
- If involved in surrogacy, embryo, egg or sperm donation, guidance around building a relationship with the intended parent.
- Support around how to communicate with your child about their origins/conception/birth.
- Processing grief or loss around your story of origin/conception/birth.
- Processing grief or loss around your child’s story.
Get Started with Origins Therapy
- Get the peace of mind that comes from exploring your situation with an empathetic professional.
- Learn more about our services.
- Meet the counseling staff.
- Get rates.
- Call us to schedule your counseling appointment at 1-800-309-2146, or fill out our online inquiry form.
- This line will be answered by a live person Mon.-Fri. from 9 am- 5 pm. If calling outside of these times, please leave a message and we’ll return your call during business hours.
Origins counseling provides support,
compassion, peace of mind.
Seeking support through counseling takes courage. We are honored to offer you a safe, empathetic, unbiased space to explore your thoughts, feelings, experiences and relationships as they relate to your origins.
The goal of our counseling process is to help you discover the wisdom that resides within you. A typical counseling session begins with the counselor asking questions about your past, present and your hopes for the future.
Your counselor will truly listen as you share the stories and experiences that have made you into the person you are today.
- We may offer guidance to help you get to a deeper place in yourself. A place where there is healing and acceptance.
- We may ask you to revisit certain experiences to see if there are opportunities for a different perspective.
- We may provide guidance with mindfulness and grounding exercises at points where you feel particularly sad or overwhelmed.
Counseling can often feel like hard work, and we will take care to go at a pace that is comfortable for you. At the same time, we will encourage you to continue working through the challenging moments because it is through them that there is growth. Your counselor will tailor each session to guide and support you as you explore new pathways for growth as an individual and in your relationships.
Families touched by adoption or assisted reproductive technology will have questions.
Counseling is a way to find answers.
Origins are a critical part of everyone’s story, and each story is unique. Situations can arise that may be difficult to navigate. Let us help you work through these in a way that honors personal identity and preserves important relationships.
Who can benefit from Origins Therapy? Anyone in circumstances such as these.
– My child’s birthparents recently found and contacted my child on Facebook.
– I want to support my child as they seek a connection with their birth family.
– I’m a birthparent who is in the process of reconnecting with the child I placed in an adoption.
– I’m an adoptee in the process of reconnecting with my birth family.
I’m afraid my adoptive parents will feel threatened if I pursue a connection with my birth family.
– I’m preparing to talk with my child about their conception through a sperm/egg donor.
– I’m preparing to talk with my child about our decision to become parents through embryo adoption.
– My child is beginning to ask questions about their sperm/egg donor.
– I’m feeling threatened by my child’s questions about their sperm/egg donor.
– I’m a sperm/egg donor or parent seeking support as we build our relationship with one another and with our child.
– I’m an intended parent wondering if I should build a relationship with my child’s surrogate/carrier.
– I’m feeling threatened by my child’s questions about their surrogate.
– I’m a surrogate or intended parent seeking support as we build our relationship with one another during and/or after the pregnancy.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
– I’m seeking support as I explore my options through assisted reproduction and how they might impact my future child.
Origins Therapy counselors:
Experienced, certified and compassionate.
Katie Stallman, LICSW, CGE
Katie has been a licensed clinician since 1998. She has passionately worked with families formed through adoption and foster care for 20+ years.
Employed for ten years as a counselor with Open Adoption & Family Services and Seattle Regional Supervisor, Katie has a particular interest in relationship building between adoptive and birth families, and how to strengthen attachments between children and their families, no matter how the child entered the family.
She has written several articles on topics related to open adoption, such as grief and loss, and the values and attitudes needed to build healthy open adoption relationships. Katie completed training in 2010 to become a Certified Adoption and Foster Care Therapist. Her vision for families is informed by the work of Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a developmental attachment-based psychologist.
Katie also independently facilitates parenting and relationship workshop (the Bringing Baby Home program ™) specifically for adoptive parents. Katie is thrilled to be part of the OA&FS expansion of clinical services serving families in all their forms.
Jessica Blei, LMFT
Jessica has been a Family Therapist since 2003. For almost as long she has admired Open Adoption and Family Services. She was thrilled to join the team in 2014. Jessica feels that the work of forming new families is sacred and that OA&FS honors every member and every step of the journey. She feels grateful to work for an agency that empowers and supports women and families to make fully informed choices. Every day she is inspired by her coworkers’ and clients’ commitment to working with intention when supporting openness and all the benefits it creates.
Maria Villegas, MSW
Maria has been working in the field of social work and counseling since 2002 and has been a counselor with OA&FS for seven years. She anticipates clinical licensure in spring 2014. Maria received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University and previously worked in the field of crisis intervention and youth mentoring. As part of her OA&FS practice, she enjoys working with families and individuals as they navigate the sometimes complicated dynamics that are part of family life. Her counseling relationship with each client begins by meeting them where they are in their journey. She approaches her clients through the lens of attachment and keeping the best interests of the child in mind. She works with her clients to help them identify what underlying factors may be impacting their current challenges in life. Sometimes the hardest part is identifying what areas of life need action and what areas of life need acceptance. Maria hopes to be able to provide support and reflection as her clients search for clarity in these areas. Maria brings a non-judgmental, compassionate, and “anything-is-possible” attitude to her clients.
Professional services, reasonable rates.
Session Rates (50-minutes/90-minutes)
- $100 / $150 per session with an individual
- $120 / $180 per session with two individuals
- $125 / $187 per session with three or more individuals
The client will be billed at the above rate for each 50 or 90-minute session. Payment is due at the beginning or prior to each session.
We are an out-of-network provider. We can give you appropriate documentation to submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement.
If it is necessary for the counselor to travel, the client is billed at the a rate of $55 per hour.
We require 24-hour notice to cancel or reschedule your appointment. If notice is provided less than 24 hours in advance or not at all, the client will be billed for the session.
Connect with an OA&FS counselor.
Get the peace of mind that comes from exploring your situation with an empathetic professional. Simply fill out this form and a counselor will contact you.
Origins Therapy Notice of Privacy Practices
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION.
PLEASE REVIEW THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
Your health record contains personal information about you and your health. This information about you that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services is referred to as Protected Health Information (“PHI”). This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your PHI in accordance with applicable law, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), regulations promulgated under HIPAA including the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, and the NASW Code of Ethics. It also describes your rights regarding how you may gain access to and control your PHI.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of PHI and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to PHI. We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice of Privacy Practices. We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practices at any time. Any new Notice of Privacy Practices will be effective for all PHI that we maintain at that time. We will provide you with a copy of the revised Notice of Privacy Practices by posting a copy on our website, sending a copy to you in the mail upon request or providing one to you at your next appointment.
HOW WE MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
For Treatment. Your PHI may be used and disclosed by those who are involved in your care for the purpose of providing, coordinating, or managing your health care treatment and related services. This includes consultation with clinical supervisors or other treatment team members. We may disclose PHI to any other consultant only with your authorization.
For Payment. We may use and disclose PHI so that we can receive payment for the treatment services provided to you. This will only be done with your authorization. Examples of payment-related activities are: making a determination of eligibility or coverage for insurance benefits, processing claims with your insurance company, reviewing services provided to you to determine medical necessity, or undertaking utilization review activities. If it becomes necessary to use collection processes due to lack of payment for services, we will only disclose the minimum amount of PHI necessary for purposes of collection.
For Health Care Operations. We may use or disclose, as needed, your PHI in order to support our business activities including, but not limited to, quality assessment activities, employee review activities, licensing, and conducting or arranging for other business activities. For example, we may share your PHI with third parties that perform various business activities (e.g., billing or typing services) provided we have a written contract with the business that requires it to safeguard the privacy of your PHI. For training or teaching purposes PHI will be disclosed only with your authorization.
Required by Law. Under the law, we must disclose your PHI to you upon your request. In addition, we must make disclosures to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of investigating or determining our compliance with the requirements of the Privacy Rule.
Without Authorization. Following is a list of the categories of uses and disclosures permitted by HIPAA without an authorization. Applicable law and ethical standards permit us to disclose information about you without your authorization only in a limited number of situations.
As a social worker licensed in this state and as a member of the National Association of Social Workers, it is our practice to adhere to more stringent privacy requirements for disclosures without an authorization. The following language addresses these categories to the extent consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics and HIPAA.
Child Abuse or Neglect. We may disclose your PHI to a state or local agency that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect.
Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. We may disclose your PHI pursuant to a subpoena (with your written consent), court order, administrative order or similar process.
Deceased Patients. We may disclose PHI regarding deceased patients as mandated by state law, or to a family member or friend that was involved in your care or payment for care prior to death, based on your prior consent. A release of information regarding deceased patients may be limited to an executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate or the person identified as next-of-kin. PHI of persons that have been deceased for more than fifty (50) years is not protected under HIPAA.
Medical Emergencies. We may use or disclose your PHI in a medical emergency situation to medical personnel only in order to prevent serious harm. Our staff will try to provide you a copy of this notice as soon as reasonably practicable after the resolution of the emergency.
Family Involvement in Care. We may disclose information to close family members or friends directly involved in your treatment based on your consent or as necessary to prevent serious harm.
Health Oversight. If required, we may disclose PHI to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies and organizations that provide financial assistance to the program (such as third-party payors based on your prior consent) and peer review organizations performing utilization and quality control.
Law Enforcement. We may disclose PHI to a law enforcement official as required by law, in compliance with a subpoena (with your written consent), court order, administrative order or similar document, for the purpose of identifying a suspect, material witness or missing person, in connection with the victim of a crime, in connection with a deceased person, in connection with the reporting of a crime in an emergency, or in connection with a crime on the premises.
Specialized Government Functions. We may review requests from U.S. military command authorities if you have served as a member of the armed forces, authorized officials for national security and intelligence reasons and to the Department of State for medical suitability determinations, and disclose your PHI based on your written consent, mandatory disclosure laws and the need to prevent serious harm.
Public Health. If required, we may use or disclose your PHI for mandatory public health activities to a public health authority authorized by law to collect or receive such information for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability, or if directed by a public health authority, to a government agency that is collaborating with that public health authority.
Public Safety. We may disclose your PHI if necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. If information is disclosed to prevent or lessen a serious threat it will be disclosed to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat.
Research. PHI may only be disclosed after a special approval process or with your authorization.
Fundraising. We may send you fundraising communications at one time or another. You have the right to opt out of such fundraising communications with each solicitation you receive.
Verbal Permission. We may also use or disclose your information to family members that are directly involved in your treatment with your verbal permission.
With Authorization. Uses and disclosures not specifically permitted by applicable law will be made only with your written authorization, which may be revoked at any time, except to the extent that we have already made a use or disclosure based upon your authorization. The following uses and disclosures will be made only with your written authorization: (i) most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes which are separated from the rest of your medical record; (ii) most uses and disclosures of PHI for marketing purposes, including subsidized treatment communications; (iii) disclosures that constitute a sale of PHI; and (iv) other uses and disclosures not described in this Notice of Privacy Practices.
YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING YOUR PHI
You have the following rights regarding PHI we maintain about you. To exercise any of these rights, please submit your request in writing to our Program Manager at 5200 SW Macadam #250 Portland, OR 97239:
Right of Access to Inspect and Copy. You have the right, which may be restricted only in exceptional circumstances, to inspect and copy PHI that is maintained in a “designated record set”. A designated record set contains mental health/medical and billing records and any other records that are used to make decisions about your care. Your right to inspect and copy PHI will be restricted only in those situations where there is compelling evidence that access would cause serious harm to you or if the information is contained in separately maintained psychotherapy notes. We may charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for copies. If your records are maintained electronically, you may also request an electronic copy of your PHI. You may also request that a copy of your PHI be provided to another person.
Right to Amend. If you feel that the PHI we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information although we are not required to agree to the amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us. We may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy. Please contact the Privacy Officer if you have any questions.
Right to an Accounting of Disclosures. You have the right to request an accounting of certain of the disclosures that we make of your PHI. We may charge you a reasonable fee if you request more than one accounting in any 12-month period.
Right to Request Restrictions. You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the use or disclosure of your PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations. We are not required to agree to your request unless the request is to restrict disclosure of PHI to a health plan for purposes of carrying out payment or health care operations, and the PHI pertains to a health care item or service that you paid for out of pocket. In that case, we are required to honor your request for a restriction.
Right to Request Confidential Communication. You have the right to request that we communicate with you about health matters in a certain way or at a certain location. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We may require information regarding how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact as a condition for accommodating your request. We will not ask you for an explanation of why you are making the request.
Breach Notification. If there is a breach of unsecured PHI concerning you, we may be required to notify you of this breach, including what happened and what you can do to protect yourself.
Right to a Copy of this Notice. You have the right to a copy of this notice.
If you believe we have violated your privacy rights, you have the right to file a complaint in writing with our Program Manager at 5200 SW Macadam #250 Portland, OR 97239 or with the Secretary of Health and Human Services at 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201 or by calling (202) 619-0257. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
The effective date of this Notice is April 2014.