In response to COVID-19 and in an effort to keep our attendees and staff safe, we have made the difficult decision to postpone “BIG – HISTORY – HAPPENS”. The new date for the event is July 19 through 21 of 2024. Updates will be posted on this page.


is proud to announce international personalities in the areas of adoption, origin searches, DNA research, and laws that will be participating in this great and historic event.

Brought to you by: Adoptees from Quebec’s Creches (AACDQ)

Adam Pertman | Annie RichardCaroline Firtin | Daniel Horowitz | Irene Cherchuck | Jeannette Wöllenstein | Laura Martinez | Marcia EngelMelissa Mohr Patria CareySAI


Adam Pertman


Leading U.S. expert on adoption and child welfare, is the President of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency. He has headed the Donaldson Adoption Institute and served as Associate Editor of the scholarly journal Adoption Quarterly. He is a widely published author of research, scholarly articles, media commentaries and books, including Adoption Nation (reviewed as “the most important book ever written on the subject”). He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his writing about adoption when he was a journalist at the Boston Globe. He gives keynotes, trainings, and other presentations at the international level. The research he has instigated and participated in, along with his writing, testimony and advocacy have been used to improve practice, shape legislation and policy, and educate professionals, students, the media and the public. His commentaries and interviews appear in media worldwide, and he has received numerous honors for his work.


Annie Richard

Private Investigator

A private investigator mainly working for the families of the victims in the criminal field from the 50s to the 90s, doing a comprehensive search of newspaper archives and court documents.


Caroline Fortine


Caroline Fortin has received clerical training and training in active listening and helping relationships. She is the President and Provincial Coordinator of Mouvement Retrouvailles and has worked for the organization since 1996. She is an adoptee who learned about Mouvement Retrouvailles through a personal initiative. The experience engendered a need to help other individuals in their approaches. The right to identity has become her main concern. She is also the author of a collection of testimonials on adoption entitled Lueurs originelles.


Daniel Horowitz

Genealogy Expert

Providing key contributions liaising with genealogy societies, bloggers and media, as well as lecturing, and attending conferences around the world. Dedicated to Genealogy since 1986, he was the teacher and the study guide editor of the family history project “Searching for My Roots” in Venezuela for 15 years. Daniel is involved in several crowdsource digitization and transcription projects and holds a board level position at the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA).


DNA Researcher (Search Angel)


Irene serves as a search angel, supporting the research of Quebec adoptees and their stateside cousins. With a background in floral design and formal training in landscape architecture, her interest in creating structure is utilized to analyze DNA matches. Her introduction to genealogical research began a decade ago, via a gift of a 23andMe kit. Soon a close friend’s admission of having been adopted served as a deeper introduction to the international picture of Quebec adoptees. She appreciates that at 1cms, almost everyone has a Quebec cousin match!


Jeannette Wöllenstein

Children’s Rights Officer | Research and Publication Unit

Holds a master’s degree in French and German law and is studying children’s rights at the University of Geneva. She has worked for the Embassy of Costa Rica in France and served as a volunteer with UNICEF, the Geneva Red Cross and a children’s centre in Ecuador. She joined the International Social Service (ISS) nearly five years ago, where she is responsible for children’s rights at the Centre International de Référence pour les droits des enfants privés de famille (SSI/CIR).

Plan Angel

Marcia Engel


Over the years, Plan Angel has built a large and dynamic network of people and currently has multiple locations in both the Netherlands and Colombia. Since 2019, Plan Angel has continued to expand their offices in Brussels, Belgium. Here, as well as in our other locations, as a team of volunteers work tirelessly to achieve our goal of reuniting as many families as possible. The growth Plan Angel is experiencing means new steps need to be taken. We believe that we can take our organization to the next level by expanding and scaling our actions to achieve significant growth.


Laura Martinez

Principal Legal Officer

Jurist by training (University of Valencia, Spain) and holds a master’s degree in international law from the University of London (UK) and a diploma in child protection from Diego Portales University in Chile. She is the Principal Legal Officer in the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH, The Netherlands). She is responsible for follow-up to the May 29, 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and the filiation/surrogacy project. In the past, she worked for the International Social Service in Geneva and with UNICEF in Chile, at the European Commission in Brussels, and the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, in the realm of childhood.


Melissa Mohr

Life Coach

Melissa Mohr is an experienced life coach who’s endeavored to used her life and professional experience to serve her clients. Melissa brings unique perspectives about family, abilities, and achievements gained from her adoption, reunion, and raising her oldest grandchild. She values her multifaceted family and the unconditional love it represents. Melissa mentors individuals and businesses to amplify their confidence, guiding them to reach their goals with compassion and fortitude, providing strength and resolve to reach for the stars and live life to the fullest.


Patricia Carey

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer at the Adoption Authority of Ireland since 2014. She previously worked as the director of a charitable organization and as a school inspector. She is the volunteer director of the Irish program to compensate the victims of institutional abuse. She also works as a volunteer advisor in strategy and planning with non-profit organizations.


Government Center on Intercountry Adoption in Quebec. Information about the adoption process, aspects to consider before and after the adoption, and search for origins.

To be announced