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Over 200 People gathered at the 5th Annual New Worlds of Adoption Conference Hosted by the Rudd Adoption Research Program
Experts in the field of adoption, as well as practitioners and families, came together on April 11th and 12th at the 5th annual New Worlds of Adoption conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to explore the theme of “Contact between Adoptive and Birth Parents: What Works.” Over 200 people attended this two day forum, which offered workshops and lectures by over 20 presenters from across the country and England.
The Rudd Adoption Research Program at UMass Amherst sponsors the national conference to provide a forum to highlight adoption research that has not been presented previously.Dr. Harold Grotevant, Conference Chair and Director of the Rudd Adoption Research Program, explains, “Growing numbers of adoptions involve some form of contact between the child’s adoptive family and birth relatives. This has become especially common in domestic infant adoptions, but it is also a key consideration in adoptions from the public child welfare system, and increasingly in international adoptions.”
Throughout the conference, presenters and attendees discussed topics including contact issues in domestic infant, child welfare and international adoptions, legal and other issues relating to contact between adoptive and birth parents and the role of social media in searching for birth parents, among other topics. Along with experts in the field, young adults, adoptive parents and birth parents shared their first-hand accounts of dealing with contact in adoption.
The conference was sponsored by the UMass Amherst Rudd Adoption Research Program, Center for Research on Families, Department of Psychology, Psychological Services Center, College of Natural Sciences, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.