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 highlights the experiences of three generations of adult adoptees (adopted in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1990s; from Korea and Russia) and addresses how adopted adults have developed strong connections within the adoption community and are now providing global leadership for those connections.

Hollee McGinnis
Susan Cox
Albert Gilbert
Grace O’Neil

Fall 2020 Session 2: Intergenerational Relationships

Much of the existing research on adopted persons focuses on children and adolescents. However, recent research is focusing on the important transitions that occur when adult adoptees become parents and when adoptive and birth parents become grandparents. This session is composed of 4 video segments: 3 brief 10-15 minute sessions highlighting research being conducted by Addie Wyman Battalen, JaeRan Kim, and Julia Rimmer, respectively; and a panel discussion involving the 3 researchers as well as Chris Downs and Joe Kroll, moderated by Hal Grotevant. You can watch the videos in any order, but watching the 3 shorter presentations first will give you some helpful background for the panel.

JaeRan Kim
Julia Rimmer
Addie Wyman Battalen
Joe Kroll
Chris Downs

Fall 2020 Session 3: Clinical Approaches: Growing Up Adopted - COMING SOON!

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.