Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Adoption Ethics and Accountability Conference

I am pleased and excited to be a part of the upcoming Adoption Ethics and Accountability Conference sponsored by Evan B, Donaldson and Ethica, Inc. October 15-16, 2007, Arlington, Virginia.

I was invited to present on as part of the following workshop panel on Oct. 15:

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

I share this panel with:

James P. Gleeson:
Dr. Gleeson is Associate Professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago where he teaches in the Child and Family Concentration of the MSW program and in the Ph.D. program. He has extensive experience as a child welfare practitioner, administrator, consultant, and researcher. Dr. Gleeson has been principal investigator for several federal and state funded child welfare research, curriculum development, and training projects. Dr. Gleeson’s research and publications focus on kinship care policy and practice, child welfare training, and evaluation of child welfare programs and practice. He is a member of the Review Board for the Child Welfare journal and is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Public Child Welfare. He served on the Child Welfare League of America’s national taskforce on best practice standards for kinship care and the League’s National Kinship Care Advisory Committee. Dr. Gleeson is principal investigator for two federally funded research projects that examine Individual and Social Protective Factors for Children in Informal Kinship Care. His prior grant funded research includes Achieving Permanency for Children in Kinship Foster Care, which resulted in the development of a training manual and videotapes for child welfare practitioners helping kinship caregivers to make permanency decisions for the related children in their care.

Dr. Jeanne Howard:
Jeanne Howard is Policy & Research Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and a Professor in Social Work at Illinois State University, where she has co-directed the Center for Adoption Studies for six years. Her scholarly work includes a ground-breaking study on adoption disruption and a recent publication entitled After Adoption: The Needs of Adopted Youth, coauthored with Susan Livingston Smith, which is the largest study conducted to date on the needs of child welfare adoptive families. Dr. Howard is also a recipient of the Angels in Adoption Award (2006).

Dr. Mark Testa:
Mark Testa is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 1994 to 2002, Dr. Testa held a joint appointment as the Research Director for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. He was the architect of the Illinois Subsidized Guardianship Demonstration, and he leads the evaluations of similar demonstrations in Wisconsin and Tennessee. Dr. Testa is currently the Director of the Children and Family Research Center, an independent research organization created jointly by the University and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. He was named an Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in 2006. His recent publications include “New Permanency Strategies for Children in Foster Care” in Child Welfare Research, published by Oxford University Press, and “The Quality of Permanence—Lasting or Binding” in the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and Law.

Additionally, during the reception on Monday evening, October 15th, I will be part of “Meet the Bloggers”.

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
Suz Bednarz is the proud mother of three beautiful children. Her first born child, a daughter, was lost to adoption in 1986 and found in 2005. Suz was coerced and intimidated into surrendering her daughter by an agency that threatened Suz and her parents with lawsuit when she informed them she wanted to keep her child. Living alone in a maternity home with her only support coming from the agency that stood to profit from the sale of her child, she surrendered. Suz blogs her adoption experience at Writing My Wrongs. She is also a past guest of The Adoption Show and a member of OriginsUSA.

Elizabeth Case: Beware of
Elizabeth ’s site pre-dated blogs but inspired other families to share their experiences with adoption fraud as well as help families navigate the structure of international adoption.

Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy: Musings of the Lame
Claudia is a domestic first mother who has lent her writing and community organization talents to her blog as well as Origins USA. She has rallied the triad against injustices against vulnerable parents as well as covered issues on open records and informed consent.

Marley Greiner: The Daily Bastardette
Marley’s alter ego Bastardette has been blogging since March 2005. The Daily Bastardette (which isn’t “daily”) features commentary on issues of identity and adoptee rights including open records for adult adoptees, Baby Moses/Safe Haven laws, and other atrocities the adoption industry, its paid lobbyists, and deformer “friends”can devise to maintain The Adoption Culture of Shame. Adoption blogging, she believes a powerful alternative to mainstream media and an outlet for oppositional research and activism.

Jennifer Hemsley: Great Wall China Adoption Nightmare
Jennifer is an adoptive mother with a painful experience of attempting to adopt a child from China . Her story has motivated her to inform the community of the intricacies and possible pitfalls in international adoption.

Jae Ran Kim: Harlow’s Monkey
As one of the 200,000 children sent from South Korea for the purposes of adoption, and now as a social worker working with youth in foster care, Jae Ran constantly seeks to expand her knowledge and understanding of the life-long ramifications of adoption through her blog, Harlow’s Monkey: Experiencing the social experiment of transracial and transnational adoption.

David Kruchkow: The Adoption Agency Checklist
David’s website paved the way for bloggers seeking information on how to assess adoption agencies and avoid adoption fraud. His personal experience, subsequent community organizing, and continued advocacy for transparency brings thousands of visitors to his website.

Margie Perscheid: Third Mom
Margie is the adoptive mother of two Korean teens and co-founder of Korean Focus. She thinks out loud on her blog about intercountry adoptive parenting, adoptive parent responsibilities toward their children and the adoption community, and truth in adoption.

Mirah Riben: Family Preservation
Mirah is author of two books on adoption, and PR and Membership chair of OriginsUSA. The FamilyPreservation blog is concerned with, and welcomes discussions of: support for mothers, fathers, emerging families, blood kin, and expectant mothers in crisis; family members separated by adoption; global child trafficking for adoption; exploitation of mothers and the commodification of children; profiteering and lack of regulation in international and US domestic adoption.

Desiree Smolin and Usha Rengachary Smerdon: Fleas Biting
The Fleas Biting blog details adoption fraud, corruption, and other unethical practices and has proven to be a vital resource for prospective adoptive families. A critical voice, the blog advocates that there is no room for injustice in international adoption.

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.

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