November 10, 2010
John’s Manhattan campus was the setting for the 6th Biennial
Adoption Conference hosted by the University’s Office of
Postgraduate Professional Development Programs, the Psychology
Department and their Continuing Education initiative last
month. A three-day event that was officially opened by
Dean Jeffrey Fagen and hosted a number of national and
international scholars who descended to St. John’s Campus to share
the latest developments and crucial issues impacting on
adoption. Dean Suzanne Henderson, provided the opening
remarks on the following day.
Industry professionals from Montclair State University, The
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections at
the Hunter College School of Social Work, POV Films, and The Evan
B. Donaldson Adoption Institute were on hand serving as co-sponsors
of the three-day conference held October 14-16.
“We were thrilled to have such a prestigious panel of experts
and organizations join us for this important discussion regarding
ethical issues on adoption,” said Rafael A. Javier, Professor of
Psychology at St. John’s University. “These professionals in the
field brought to the forefront constructive ideas and observations
which elicited meaningful communication and conversation for
conference participants.” “It is clear that our
conference on adoption is now considered as ‘the place to be ’ for
any serious adoption professional and scholar interested in a
serious discussion of their ideas,” said Dr. Javier referring to
comments made by many conference participants about the unique
appeal of the conference.
addition, a celebrity appearance by rapper and former St. John’s
student Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (and surprise performance)
highlighted the conference with his powerful message as an adoptee,
and the long, arduous journey in search of his identity in life.
Also, the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award was presented
by the St. John’s Adoption Initiative to Beth Hall, Director of
Pact. Pact is an Oakland-based non-profit organization that serves
adopted children of color and their families. Also recognized with
the Outstanding Scholar in Adoption Award was the scholar Ruth
McRoy for her extensive scientific contributions to the field and
Pam Hasegawa received the Outstanding Service Provider in Adoption
Award for her tireless work with the legislators. In an
effort to encourage more research on adoption, two years ago St.
John’s University initiated two awards to acknowledge an
outstanding doctoral dissertation on adoption and an outstanding
pre-dissertation. This year Dr. Bobbie Miller and Elizabeth
Raleigh, respectively, were recognized, selected from a number of
submissions throughout the nation.
The conference, held in the University’s Saval Auditorium of St.
John’s Manhattan campus (101 Murray Street), addressed key issues
relating to emerging changes in the practice of adoption since the
start of the new century and included topics related to ethics and
openness (or the lack thereof) in adoption.
With the overall theme “Open Arms, Open Minds: The Ethnics of
Adoption in the 21st Century," the conference was structured to
address most controversy issues critically and hence providing the
participant with a unique opportunity to examine the various
issues. In that context, the conference included discussions
of search and reunion, third party reproduction adoption and
openness to contact with donors and surrogates, GLBT adoptees
and/or parents, contact between foster care providers and adoptive
families, clinical issues with various members of the triad, open
records legislation and adoption reform, the Hague Convention and
changes in international adoption, as well as several other
If interested in what others have already written about their
experience at the conference,
read their blogs.
For more information about the conference, visit the St. John's
University web site at www.stjohns.edu/adoptioninitiative.
Interested Media outlets can contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant
Vice President for Media Relations at St. John’s University by
calling (718) 990- 6185 or e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.