Call for Presentation Proposals

Concerned United Birth Parents Retreat

Hamburger University and Hyatt Lodge
Oakbrook, Illinois Sept. 28th- 30th 2007

Hamburger University, McDonald’s beautiful 88-acre corporate campus, is the setting for CUB’s annual retreat this fall. Once again, CUB invites all members of the adoption triad and their significant others to meet with others who understand our common challenges. The CUB retreat theme has always been one of sharing and support and we are seeking proposals along these lines.

We are eager to hear from old friends and new, and hope to have many wonderful presentations to choose from. We will get back to you promptly and hope to have a brochure out in June. Even if your presentation is not chosen this year, we hope you will attend what promises to be a wonderful and renewing retreat experience.

Submission Deadline (Midnight ET): May 20, 2007
Proposal Notification: on or before May 31, 2007

Target Audience
CUB expects anywhere between 75 and 150 participants. The retreat is open to all members of the adoption triad and their significant others. However, most of the participants of past retreats have been birth parents, followed by adoptees, with some adoptive parents and significant others also attending.

Selection of Retreat Presenters
The Retreat Committee is interested in both experienced professionals with expertise in the field as well as triad members who would like to suggest topics for, serve on or moderate a panel. The Committee will review all of the proposals and responses will be sent to all who submit proposals, via email, by the proposal notification date. In the event that further time is needed, all participants will be notified.

Types of Presentations
The Retreat Committee is seeking proposals in the following categories:

  • Lecture/discussion: Lecture on topics related to support of birth parents and/or adoptees. Up to four keynote sessions are contemplated in the morning and afternoon of Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th. Question and Answer periods are encouraged. Approximately 90-120 minutes per session is standard although we will consider shorter or longer periods depending on the topic.
  • Panel discussion: Design and moderate a panel to discuss issues relevant to support of the participants. If needed, moderators will be assisted in selecting panel members from retreat participants with relevant experience. Approximately 90-120 minutes is standard although other time periods will be considered.
  • Multi-media Presentations: Musical performances, Film showings/discussion, Poetry submission/reading for open mike session, book authors/discussion, artwork including paintings, sculptures and multimedia displays – All will be considered for display or presentation during various time slots.
  • Support Groups: Peer group leaders interested in facilitating support group discussions on a variety of topics related to diverse reunion and post-reunion topics.

Retreat Schedule
To achieve a balanced program, the Retreat Committee will determine the days and times that sessions are scheduled and reserves the right to change the length of any session.

Information Desired in Proposal

We are looking for the following information on your brief (one-page) proposal:

*A brief bio of the presenter

FOR ALL: Name, address, email address and phone number

    • For lectures this may include credentials in adoption reform or support, past experience as a presenter, familiarity with presenting to this audience
    • For panels this may include position in the triad, years in reunion and any other relevant information about you.
    • For peer group leaders, this may include your experience with support group leadership
    • For multimedia any relevant information is welcome
  • A title for the presentation (lectures and panels and possibly multimedia) that informs the reviewer of the subject matter.
  • A brief abstract
    • For lecture or panel discussion – brief outline of areas to be covered and method of delivery including need for any audio visual equipment – expected audience (newly reunited, searching, adoptees, all)
    • For peer group leader – outline of the type of group you are interested in leading: i.e. long term relationship, adoptees, multiple surrender, other.
    • For multimedia – Discussion of your presentation as needed and also audio visual equipment requirement
    • A 2-3-sentence description that can be used in publications.

Electronic Communication
All who submit a proposal will receive e-mail notification that the proposal has been received. Once the review and selection of proposals is complete, you will receive an email notice about the proposal’s status.

Registration Discount
Concerned United Birth Parents does not provide honoraria for presenters. Presenters are expected to cover travel, lodging and related expenses. A $50 discount on the conference registration fee will be provided to the four main session leaders.

Audio Visual Equipment
Concerned United Birth Parents provides a/v equipment as needed

Submit Proposals
Via email to: [email protected]


Via regular mail to:
Mary Ross
40W751 Campton Meadow Drive
Elburn, Illinois 60119


  1. Thanks Marley! I hope many of you reading this will consider presenting at the CUB retreat and submit a proposal soon. Remember, the deadline is May 20.

  2. Nope, sorry my friends but I won’t be going. I can’t bear to be somewhere that the word “birth[ ]mother” is used. It is too triggering. It was coined by social workers to mean someone who is no longer a mother past the act of giving birth. No matter how much it is used otherwise, it will still retain this meaning as it is an intentionally-created term.

    I will still do all I can to fight for open records and fight against the corrupt system. But respect for us as mothers is part of what I care deeply about as well.

    Good luck to all my CUB friends and I wish you luck, but i’m still a mother to my lost child: our connection did not end with the cut of the umbilical cord. Part of my healing is asking for respect as a mother, as the people who took my baby never respected me to be anything other than an incubator for them.

  3. “I can’t bear to to somewhere that the word ‘birth mother’ is used.’

    Is this all you have to complain about? Thousands of adoptees do without birth certificates (and civil rights) and the biggest issue you can conjure up is whether they call you a “birth mudder”

    Once again, the issue of civil rights of adoptees is trivialized by someone who wants to argue over the importance of a word.


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