The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Program - Virtual Conference 2020-21

Program Details

Fall 2020 Session 1: Intergenerational Relationships and Community Connections

This session will highlight the experiences of three generations of adult adoptees and address how adopted and fostered adults have developed and are developing strong connections within the adoption community and the kind of leadership that they're providing for the development of these connections.

Hollee McGinnis
Susan Cox
Albert Gilbert
Grace O’Neil

Fall 2020 Session 2: Intergenerational Relationships

There has been quite a bit of research on adopted persons, primarily research that concerns children and adolescents. There is much work to be done to fill in the gaps in research on adult adoptees’ and the intergenerational relationships that exist between them and their children and parents. During this session we will discuss the important shifts that occur within family systems as adoptees become parents --- namely, that their parents and birth parents become grandparents. 

*This presentation is actually composed of 4 video segments, 3 10 minute sessions individual sessions, and 1-hour long discussion of with all the panelists.

JaeRan Kim
Julia Rimmer
Addie Wyman Battalen
Joe Kroll
Chris Downs

Fall 2020 Session 3: Clinical Approaches: Growing Up Adopted

Adults who have been adopted or cared for in foster care have often used their experiences creatively, producing written memoirs and anthologies, poetry, performance, and documentaries. Art has often been used for meaning making and healing, and yet often clinically trained therapists do not utilize the arts as part of treatment. In this session Glenn Morey, a Korean adoptee, will share two short clips from his project Side by Side: The filming of 100 first-person narratives of adoption and aging out of Korean orphanages, focused on the themes of growing up adopted and search for birth family. Mental health professionals who work with adoptees will then engage with the filmmaker to think about: How are adult adoptees and foster alumni narratives valuable for professionals? What are the roles of arts and healing? What can the arts teach clinicians about how to help clients?

Glenn Morey
Amanda Baden
Susan Branco


The spring 2021 series will focus on navigating adulthood and constructing a sense of identity. We'll be talking with Dr. Gina Samuels from the University of Chicago about developing an adult identity that incorporates adoption as well as the other important aspects of one's life. We also have sessions on topics such as genetic testing for adoptees both for health purposes and for searching and clinical approaches to working with adopted adults. Check our website for updates on the program.