New ‘Future of Adoption’ Series from Rudd Adoption Program at UMass Amherst Offers Free Public Information

Program unique in the U.S. offers 19 papers by 40 experts in the adoption community
Harold Grotevant
Harold Grotevant

AMHERST, Mass. – To help families and others interested in current research and thinking about adoption, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst led by professor and adoption expert Harold Grotevant are this spring releasing a series of 19 user-friendly papers on such topics as how adoptees are shaping post-adoption services, inter-country adoption, LGBTQ parent adoption, and planning and supporting birth-family contacts.

Grotevant, who is the Rudd Family Foundation Chair in the psychological and brain sciences department at UMass Amherst, says the papers are intended to bring the key points from talks and panel discussions at a 2018 international conference of researchers, therapists, program directors and thought leaders to as broad an audience as possible.

He says, “Just as adoption practice and policy have changed substantially in recent decades, so will they surely continue to evolve into the future.” Beginning in March and continuing every other Tuesday through May, the Rudd program team are releasing sets of two or three thematically-related papers at no cost, thanks to the authors and the support of the Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology at UMass Amherst.

Grotevant explains that the first two are refinements of the keynote address by child welfare expert Gary Mallon of Hunter College and the panel discussion that followed. Mallon’s remarks were based on his career-long experience in child welfare and his personal journey as an adoptive and foster parent. The panel discussion featured professionals with long experience and different personal connections as birth parents, adoptive parents, adopted persons and those who have experienced foster care.

Other papers in the series discuss generational shifts in attitudes on adoption and future research and practice, an open letter from UMass Adopted Students Advisory Panel, intervening early to promote the development of adopted and foster children, successful models for recruiting and retaining African-American families, general principles for post-adoption communication agreements, and “When Things Do Not Go as Expected: Adoption Breakdown.”

The Rudd program, funded through the Rudd Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Psychology, is the only U.S.-based program in psychology to provide international leadership on conducting adoption research, translating research to practice and policy, and preparing the next generation of adoption researchers.

More papers will be released on April 2, 16 and 30, and May 14 and 21.

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