Indiana Adoptee Network – 3rd Annual Conference

I very much enjoyed interacting with other adoptees at the Indiana Adoptee Network 3rd Annual Conference in Indianapolis. Here I’m sharing my perspectives in a seminar titled “On Adoption and Addiction” as described below.

I received what I feel is the ultimate compliment from an attendee who said:

“I really appreciated your good-humored interaction with the crowd during your talk. Your demeanor towards and validation of all the differing comments and questions while still shedding light on all the complexities was so refreshing!”

Wow. That got me. That’s exactly what people deserve in the relinquishment/ adoption and addiction/ recovery arenas. I’m humbled that I was able to achieve that.



Description: Drawing from research, as well as using his own professional and personal experience, David B. Bohl will offer a discussion on the link between adoption and substance use disorder.

Target audience: On Adoption and Addiction is geared toward a general audience (birthparents, adoptees, adoptive parents) as well as professionals. It is suitable for both types of audiences as it’s a dialogue based on David B. Bohl’s personal experience—as an adoptee and a person with substance use disorder—that will be supported by his expertise as an Addiction Professional.


1. The more troubled one’s childhood, the higher the risk for later health problems, including addiction.
2. Identity crisis—common among many adoptees—arrests healthy self-identity development during adolescence and it creates problems with attachment and trust.
3. What’s next? Talking about relinquishment and adoption and looking at the causes and conditions that inform maladaptive actions such as addictive behaviors addresses the inherent shame of an adoptee and helps them recover from addiction.

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