The First Year Home Group

The First Year Home Group is a support and education group for parents and their internationally adopted young children. Patty Cogen began leading the groups in l997. Since that time over two hundred families and their children have benefited from the early guidance and information the group provides.

The group is an opportunity for parents to learn about the development of their children and how to use parenting strategies uniquely designed for children who have had foster and/or orphanage care.

At present, the group is only available in the Seattle area. Please call Laura Stone, for more information at (206) 498-9895 or e-mail

History of The First Year Home Group

When I birthed my son I found lots of support and educational groups from mothers and infants.  But when I adopted my three year old daughter from China I could only find  “play” groups that were social gatherings with no developmental guidance or information from a child development specialist. There were no educational groups to help parents with the challenges of raising a child with a complex background, no help with integrating that child into an existing family.

So I started the group I dreamed of, calling it The First Year Home Group.  The first Group began with fourteen parents and that had traveled together to China to adopted children ranging in age from six months to three years old, plus one family who adopted a one year old child from Russia. This first Group taught me so much about what development looked like following adoption that I began at the first session to keep detailed notes.  Click on Nine Months, The Magic Family Age, to read about the first remarkable insight into adoptive development.

I wrote Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child for families who lived too far from Seattle to join me in a Group or a consult. As I wrote I  imagined  talking together over a cup of tea while your child played at our feet.

The First Year Home Group:  A National Recognized Program

In 2006 the organization ZERO TO THREE, the National Center for Early Development of Infants, Toddlers and Families invited Patty to give a presentation about the First Year Home Group at the National Training Institute in Washington, D.C.  The First Year Home Group was recognized on an equal footing with programs developed by University researchers and supported by National Institute of Health grants and major philanthropic foundations.

ZERO TO THREE is a national research and training organization started in l977 by a number of world famous and nationally recognized leaders in child development and infant mental health including Stanley Greenspan, M.D., T. Berry Brazelton, MD.,   Alicia Lieberman, Ph.D., Joy Osofsky, Ph.D., and Kathyrn Barnard, RN, Ph.D.

Parenting The Child With A Stress-Shaped Brain:  Not Just International Adoptees

Numerous people have commented that the information in Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child is relevant to many children, not just international adoptees.

The information is relevant to foster children, domestically adopted children who are older than newborn.  Even children who are living with birthparents sometimes experience life situations that are overwhelming—divorce, natural disaster, a parent’s or sibling’s death etc.—and these children can benefit from the parenting techniques described in this book.