October 15, 2007

Accountability to Families of Origin (Including Siblings)

Trish Maskew
Oronde Miller
Jini L. Roby, JD, MSW, MS
Brenda Romanchik
Alexandra Yuster

Birth Sibling Placement and Contact

David Brodzinsky
Nancy Golden
Joyce Maguire Pavao

  • What are the most important issues that professionals must consider in making adoptive placement decisions for siblings?
  • What are professionals’ responsibilities to adopted children’s siblings who are not adopted?
  • To what extent should birth sibling connections be nurtured and respected – and how should they be accomplished?

Before Adoption: Protecting the Rights of Vulnerable Families of Origin

Annette R. Appell
Lynn Franklin
Tesi Kohlenberg
Sania Metzger

  • Do current practices, even when handled carefully, create for some expecting women/couples a sense of obligation to go forward with the adoption?
  • What are the most appropriate ways to cover expectant mothers’ expenses so that risks of coercion or exploitation are minimized or eliminated?
  • What is the role of open adoption arrangements in planning for adoption? Should contact agreements be explored in all situations? Should they be enforceable?

Ensuring Ethical Relinquishment Practices

Fred Greenman
Melissa Griebel
Jini L. Roby, JD, MSW, MS
Susan Livingston Smith

  • What elements should be included in true options counseling?
  • What should the rights of relinquishing mothers and fathers be?
  • What is an appropriate time period during which relinquishing parents should be able to reverse their decisions to place their children for adoption?
  • How can informed consent to adoption be assured?
  • What services can be put into place to protect the rights of relinquishing parents?

Ensuring Ongoing Relationships: Practice that Opens the Door to Connection

Susan Soon-keum Cox
Pat Dudley
Susan Ogden
Marilyn Panichi

  • What key factors should assessments address regarding ongoing connections?
  • What are characteristics of successful open adoptions? What factors undermine the success of open adoptions?
  • How can families of origin be best educated on their importance to the children and the roles they can continue to play in their children’s lives?

Post-adoption Services to Families of Origin

Janice Goldwater
Temple Odom, Ph.D.
Brenda Romanchik
Sharon Roszia

  • What are professionals’ obligations to families of origin after their children have been placed with adoptive families? After adoptions have been finalized?
  • What ethical obligations should there be to families of origin who express doubt or change their minds about relinquishment?
  • To what extent should families of origin receive support after adoption? How and by whom should any services be provided?


  • On your own at local eateries.

Accountability to Children and Adopted Adults

Susan B. Alvarado
Dixie van de Flier Davis
Robin Heller
Dr. Ruth McRoy

Protecting Racial/Ethnic/Cultural Ties in Transracial/Transcultural Adoption

Leslie Hollingsworth, MSW, Ph.D.
Laura Romano, LCSW
Linh Song
Chris Winston

  • Does current law deal appropriately with adoptive family assessment and preparation in domestic transracial adoption – of infants and of children in foster care?
  • Does the Hague Convention provide a model for addressing identity issues in transcultural adoption?
  • How can the racial/ethnic identity needs of transracially and transculturally adopted children and youth best be met?

Alternative Routes to Permanency: Is Adoption Always the Best Choice?

James P. Gleeson
Dr. Jeanne Howard
Mirah Riben
Dr. Mark Testa

  • What factors are most important to consider in determining the type of permanency (return to family of origin, guardianship, adoption) that is in a child’s best interest?
  • Is legal permanency the best option for every child? Are there more informal forms of permanency that should be considered in some cases?
  • What alternative forms of permanency should be considered internationally?

Adoptee Access to Records, History and Searches: Adopted People and the “Right to Know”

Fred Greenman
Marley Greiner
Pam Hasegawa
Elizabeth Samuels

  • How do current laws and practices support or impede adopted persons’ access to information about themselves?
  • What “rights” should adopted persons have to such information? How should their “rights” be balanced against those of other parties to an adoption?
  • How should access to records and history, as well as search, be thought about from an international perspective?

Connections to Families of Origin

Dr. Hal (Harold) Grotevant
Hollee McGinnis
Sharon Roszia
Susan Watson

  • What factors should drive decisions about arranging and facilitating ongoing connections between adopted persons and their families of origin?
  • Do these factors differ for different types of adoption?
  • Should contact agreements be developed and implemented? If so, how?
  • What are our professional obligations in supporting and facilitating open adoption arrangements?
  • What are the respective rights of adoptive persons and families of origin with regard to search and “opening” adoptions that were not originally open?

Supporting Adopted Children after Adoption: What are Their Post-placement Needs?

Carrie Kent
Joyce Maguire Pavao
Debbie Riley
Indigo Willing

  • What are the most important needs of adopted persons after adoption – both in the short and long term?
  • To what extent do current practices and policies respond effectively to these needs?
  • What new services and supports are needed to ensure that the needs of adopted persons are met?

“Marketing” Children for Adoption: Ethical Considerations in Recruiting and Matching

Sarah Gerstenzang
Jerri Ann Jenista
Barbara Raymond
Usha Rengachary Smerdon

  • What ethical concerns need to be acknowledged and addressed in the “marketing” of children for adoption?
  • What “rules” need to guide the content and presentation of children in child-specific recruitment strategies?
  • What roles should photolisting and adoption parties play in recruiting adoptive families?
  • What are our obligations to children in preparing and supporting them as they participate in various recruitment strategies?

The Future of Guatemalan Adoptions - A Discussion with UNICEF
Mark Agrast, Center for American Progress
Manuel Manrique, UNICEF Guatemala
Kelley Bunkers, UNICEF Guatemala, Children Without Parental Care Program
Tom DiFilipo, Joint Council on International Children’s Services
Elizabeth Larsen, adoptive parent of a Guatemalan child, journalist

All agencies and parents are encouraged to attend and share their views.

Reception and Meet the Bloggers
During the Reception on Monday evening, October 15th, you will have the opportunity to “Meet the Bloggers”. For those unfamiliar with blogs, they are a form of internet social networking, i.e., digital communities. Some blogs provide commentary or news on different subjects such as food, politics, or local news; others function more as personal online diaries. Blogs are interactive; readers are able to leave comments, which then generates online discussion. The bloggers participating in this session will also cover the conference on their blogs, sharing observations and interviews with the online community. Be sure to check out their sites before, during, and after the conference.

In this casual session we have an exciting opportunity for conference attendees to meet bloggers who are making waves in the adoption community. The blogosphere has become the new platform for adoption activists and a way to inform the community, allowing triad members and professionals to organize and build upon the adoption experience. Join us as we meet the people behind the blogs and learn how they’ve revitalized the community. Bloggers from all perspectives - adoptees, first parents, adoptive parents, and activists - have been invited. The following bloggers have confirmed - check back to see the list grow.

Suz Bednarz Writing My Wrongs
Elizabeth Case Beware of bbas.org
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy Musings of the Lame
Marley Greiner The Daily Bastardette
Jennifer Hemsley Great Wall China Adoption Nightmare
Jae Ran Kim Harlow’s Monkey
David Kruchkow The Adoption Agency Checklist
Margie Perscheid Third Mom
Mirah Riben Family Preservation
Desiree Smolin and Usha Regenchary Smerdon Fleas Biting

The views of all conference participants, panelists, and bloggers other than the sponsoring organizations are their own, and are not necessarily the views of the sponsoring organizations.

Itinerary for Day 2