Bellis is proud to be a trusted source of adoption education for schools and communities. This work is without political or religious affiliation. Whether you are a teacher who wants to schedule a classroom presentation, or an individual who wants to volunteer as a speaker, you’ll find all the information you need on this page.
Together, we can ensure that people aren’t limited by outdated or incorrect perceptions of adoption.
Learn about Bellis classroom presentations
For the past 15 years, Bellis has provided no-cost classroom presentations to high schools. This program continues to grow in demand, and we now have more than 100 trained volunteers who visit classrooms in teams, together with a professional facilitator.
What can you expect from our speakers? Engaging, honest, real stories about how adoption has touched their lives – from many perspectives. Our organization has no political or religious affiliations.
Bellis typically speaks with high school students, in both public and private schools. However, we occasionally speak with middle school students, as well. While adoption can be relevant to many different courses, educators are most apt to use Bellis presentations for child & human development, sociology, health, child psychology, and teen survival. One of the best indicators of success is that 100% of teachers who use Bellis say they’ll invite our teams back again for their next class or school year! To schedule a presentation, drop us a note today.
The presenters… destroyed any misconceptions about adoption and empowered the students to use correct terminology while having a better understanding of the process. The presentation fit perfectly to the learning targets of the classroom.
– John Wardlow
Health and Physical Education Teacher
Mound Westonka High School
Learn about Bellis classroom presentations
If you are interested in joining Bellis as a volunteer speaker or inviting Bellis to present in your classroom, take a moment to view this video to learn more
Do you have an adoption connection? Join Bellis speakers teams
More than 100 volunteers have been trained and engaged in our popular classroom representation program. In small teams, they visit classrooms in more than 50 schools in the Twin Cities area. A new speakers hub in Rochester will soon broaden the reach in that area of the state. Student feedback shows that nearly 80 percent of students see adoption in a more positive light after listening to speakers’ real-life stories and having the opportunity to ask frank questions. With growing demand for our presentations, we are always in need of additional speakers. Quarterly speakers workshops are a great way to learn more and get involved in this program. Learn more and r.s.v.p. for the next Adoption Speakers Workshop.
Current speakers are invited to visit the online training and resource center to access sign up for upcoming speaking opportunities.
A few quick facts about modern adoption
During Bellis’ 30+ years, we’ve seen the face and approach of adoption change dramatically. But, when we talk with students, professionals and the public about adoption, even the most basic facts about modern adoption are surprising to them, including:
Who is a Birth Mother?
A ‘birth mother’ is a woman who has made an adoption plan for her child. The average age of a birth mother is about 25 years old. Birth mothers are executives, community leaders, college students and single parents. They come from all steps and stages of life.
What is Open Adoption?
Most voluntary infant adoptions in the United States are considered ‘open,’ meaning the birth mother and adoptive parents choose each other and continue to build their relationship over the years. The level of openness varies with each adoption, and it changes over time depending on the needs of everyone involved.
What are Reasons for Adoption?
Decades ago, many women chose adoption simply for the fact that they were unwed. Today, women choose adoption for many reasons. A common reason is that they are already parenting and can’t support another child. Other reasons may include that they want to complete their studies and build their careers, or they are facing emotional or physical challenges. Many birth mothers relay that their primary reason for choosing adoption is that they want to create the best possible future for their child – one they aren’t able to provide at that specific point in time.