On Your Feet Retreats
On Your Feet Foundation’s birthparent retreats started nearly 20 years ago and are among the longest running and most consistent anywhere in the country. NEW!! Our retreats our now being held in the Chicagoland area, easily accessible by both O'Hare and Midway, Metra and near expressways, making our retreats even easier to attend! Exact location will be shared closer to the retreat date.
What Sets Us Apart
- Our retreats are run “for birthparents by birthparents” - every single person at the retreat, whether a facilitator or participant, has given birth to a child and placed that child for adoption. Our retreats are the one place where everyone understands each other because they have lived the same life-changing experience.
- This is a therapeutic retreat, meaning we spend most of our time together, doing the work! By spending all of our time together (talking, eating, working, dancing, laughing and, yes, even crying) we leave feeling like one big family!
- We meet you where you are: angry, happy, hurt, relieved, in pain…and potentially all of those in the span of 5 minutes. We accept and acknowledge the hard emotions. They are real.
- We stay connected long after the retreat ends – ensuring that when you leave, not only do you have a community of other birthparents to continue with you on your journey; our retreat and case management staff will follow up to ensure that you have the support you need, including access to adoption-competent counseling, if needed.
When Are Retreats Held
- Spring In-person retreat held in March and capped at 10 attendees; Virtual retreat in late March
- Birth & Adoptive Parent In-Person retreat held in April; Virtual retreat in May
- Fall In-person retreat held in September capped at 16 attendees; Virtual retreat in November
"On Your Feet Foundation has been instrumental in my journey as a birthmother. Through their programs and retreats it has allowed me the opportunity to make invaluable connections and lifelong friendships with other birthmothers. Adoption doesn't end at the time of placement and supporting OYFF will help continue the efforts to help many birthmothers on their lifelong journey."
Our Director of Retreat Programming, Vicki Twomey, has been involved with On Your Feet’s retreats from the very beginning, starting out as an attendee herself! Over the last 18 years, she has attended and run more than 50 retreats included our virtual retreats launched in 2020. In fact, she still attends retreats as a participant from time to time! All of our facilitators are not only birthparents, but also start out as attendees at our retreats themselves - living this experience alongside all of you. This is what makes On Your Feet's birthmom retreats such meaningful and unique experiences for all who attend.
How Much Does It Cost
On Your Feet subsidizes the cost of each retreat, bringing the full price of $600 per attendee down to just $100 (if you register prior to August 11th) or $125 (if you register after August 11th), making them accessible to anyone who would like to attend.
Cost to Attendees for our in-person retreats:
- $100 early bird pricing (application received by August 11th)
- $125; regular fee (application received after August 11th)
This fee includes two nights lodging, meals during the in-person retreat and all materials. This fee does not cover transportation to or from the retreat; however, our staff can help you navigate affordable transportation options or you may be eligible for one of our need-based grants. If you need help finding affordable transportation, we recommend you connect with Jennifer as soon as possible. If you are applying for a grant or seeking assistance with transportation, your application must be received no more than 6 weeks prior to the retreat.
A Note About Our Need-Based Grants
Need-based grants are available for both In-Person and Virtual Retreats. In order to obtain a grant for any Retreat, applicants must fill out the Retreat Grant Request form (along with the Retreat Application). Grant applications will be available when the retreat registration opens (upon request). A request for monetary assistance does not impact a person’s approval to attend the retreat. Grants for retreats (both In-Person and Virtual) are available on a first-come, first-served basis based on eligibility. For those seeking financial assistance to help cover the cost of transportation, applications must be received prior to 6 weeks from the start of the retreat. Please contact Jennifer if interested in learning more about our grants.
- In-Person | March 3-5 | Registration is now closed
- Virtual | March 25 | Registration opens January 25th and closes March 10th
Birth & Adoptive Parent
- In-Person | April 14-16 | Registration opens February 28th and closes April 1st
- Virtual | May 6 | Registration opens March 6th and closes April 21st
- In-Person | September 22-24 | Registration opens July 22nd and closes September 8th
- Virtual | November 4 | Registration opens September 4th and closes October 20th
Registration will open 8 weeks before each retreat and remain open for 6 weeks.