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Birthparent Services

On Your Feet Retreats

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Starting in 2024, our retreats going forward will now be held on the same weekend each year. Knowing the retreat dates will allow for easier planning and budgeting for each retreat you wish to attend!

  1. Spring In-Person is held the first weekend of May and the Spring Virtual retreat is held the third Saturday of May
  2. Specialty In-Person retreat is held the second weekend of June and the Specialty Virtual retreats is held the fourth Saturday of June
  3. Fall In-Person retreat is held the last weekend in September and the Fall Virtual retreat is the third Saturday in October

"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 Facilitators

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 19 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 cost from $600 per attendee down to just $100 (early bird) or $125 (regular) for our In-Person Retreats and to $25 (early bird) and $35 (regular) for our Virtual Retreats, making them more accessible to anyone who would like to attend.

The fee for our In-Person Retreat 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 6 weeks prior to the start of the retreat. The fee for our Virtual Retreat covers the cost of retreat materials.


Birthparent Support Alliance Members please contact Jennifer to make payment arrangements using BSA pricing.


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 complete the retreat application and indicate that they are interested in a grant to attend. Applicants will be provided with the grant application by one of our case management staff. 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 6 weeks prior from the start of the retreat. Please contact Jennifer if interested in learning more about our grants.

2024 Retreats


Spring

  • In-Person | May 3-5 | Registration opens in March
  • Virtual | May 18 | Registration opens in March and closes April 26th

Specialty Retreat

  • In-Person | June 7-9 | Registration opens in April
  • Virtual | June 22 | Registration opens in April and closes May 31

Fall

  • In-Person | September 27-29 | Registration opens in August
  • Virtual | October 19 | Registration opens in August and closes September 27th

Registration will open 8 weeks before each retreat and remain open for 6 weeks.




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On Your Feet Foundation has suspended our Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement at this time, though we continue to strongly encourage vaccinations for anyone participating in in-person activities. If you have been exposed to Covid-19 within 14 days of an in-person activity, you must have a negative Covid test within 24 hours of attending. If you have a positive Covid test or have symptoms including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea, you will not be permitted to attend. If you develop symptoms during the retreat, you will be tested for Covid and, if the test is positive, required to wear a KN95 mask and maintain social distancing for the remainder of the retreat.

Thank you for recognizing the importance of post-placement support: