Genetic Sexual Attraction in Adoption Reunion Relationships

Presenter(s): Marie Dolfi, LCSW

NASW-NYS Members: $15

NASW Other Chapter Members: $30

Non-Members: $37.50

This workshop is approved for 1.5 continuing education credit hour(s) for licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed psychologists.



Workshop Description

This workshop presents information on the characteristics of genetic sexual attraction, reasons genetic sexual attraction happens, and guidelines for preventing relatives from acting of genetic sexual attraction urges. The presentation includes information on the unique circumstances and characteristics of adoption reunions that make relatives vulnerable to genetic sexual attraction. The genetic sexual attraction discussion is presented with the backdrop of how the brain of individuals with a trauma history reacts and how the brain responds to falling in love without recognizing the romantic attraction as a family attachment.


Learning Objectives

After the completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • List 4 unique characteristics of genetic sexual in adoption reunion relationships
  • Identify 3 reasons why some adoptees and birth family relatives are more vulnerable to genetic sexual attraction
  • Describe how implicit memories, relinquishment trauma, and lack of genetic mirroring for adoptees can set the stage for genetic sexual attraction to occur for adoptees and birth relatives
  • Define the Westermack Effect and describe how it sets the stage for genetic sexual attraction to occur
  • Identify 5 things adoptees and birth relatives can do to decrease the likelihood of acting on sexual attraction impulses




This workshop is approved for 1.5 continuing education credit hour(s).

NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), licensed marriage and family therapists (Provider ID #MFT-0037) and licensed psychologists (Provider ID #PSY-0088).



Marie Dolfi, LCSW, is an adoption counselor, speaker, advocate, and adoption support group leader. For over 25 years, Marie has diligently educated herself on relinquishment and adoption issues by attending adoption workshops, conferences, reading adoption books and adoption research, and listening to her greatest teachers – adoption triad members. To learn more about Marie’s background visit



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