Encounter and Adoption

Speaker - Biographies

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Steve Andrews is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Grinnell College. He has published “Revising the Best Western View: Civil Rights, Wilderness, and Racial Relocation” in Engines of the Black Power Movement: Essays on the Influence of Civil Rights Actions, Arts, and Islam, ed. James L. Conyers, Jr., McFarland and Company, Dec. 2006, pp. 240-271; and has articles forthcoming on W.E B. Du Bois and on the social history of the Chicago Cubs. He has published poetry in Platte Valley Review, Cold Mountain Review, and Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature.

Annette Ruth Appell is a William S. Boyd Professor of Law and Associate Dean for the Clinical Studies Program at the William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV.  She has published over two dozen articles, essays and book chapters regarding adoption, family relations, and children’s rights and advocacy.  She serves on the editorial board of the Juvenile and Family Court Journal and the Adoption Quarterly, where she was the founding editor of the Legal Intersections column. She currently teaches constitutional law and child welfare clinic.

Lori Askeland is the Director of Women’s Studies at Wittenberg University and an Associate Professor of English, Wittenberg University. She edited the Children and Youth in Adoption, Orphanages, and Foster Care: A Historical Handbook and Guide.  Third volume in the series Children and Youth in History and Culture., general editor, Miriam Forman-Brunell, Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2006.   She edited and wrote the Introduction, Chapter 1: “Informal Adoption, Apprentices, and Indentured Children in the Colonial Era and the New Republic, 1605-1850,” and co-wrote, with Martha Satz, Chapter 4, “Civil Rights, Adoption Rights: Domestic Adoption and Foster Care, 1970 to the Present.”   Choice ranking: Highly recommended for all libraries.

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Ned Balbo’s second collection, Lives of the Sleepers (University of Notre Dame Press), received the Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize, a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year Award in poetry, and was a finalist for the Arlin G. Meyer Prize of the Lilly fellows program. His first collection, Galileo’s Banquet, was awarded the Towson University Prize.  He has received two Maryland Arts Council grants, the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award and the John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize for the essay“Walt Whitman’s Finches: on discretion and disclosure in autobiography and adoption.” He teaches at Loyola College in Baltimore.

Karen Balcom is assistant professor of History and Women’s Studies at McMaster University.  She has published essays in the history of adoption in the Journal of Women’s History, and has just completed a book manuscript titled, The Traffic in Babies: Cross-Border Adoption, Baby-Selling and Child Welfare Systems in the United States and Canada, 1930-1975.  She is beginning on new project on the domestic history of transnational adoption to the United States in the post-war period.

Cindy L. Baldassi is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, working on adoption, reproductive technologies and parentage law, and has written about adoption disclosure and indigenous customary adoption. After finishing her LL.B. at Osgoode Hall, she clerked at the Federal Court of Canada, and then moved on to complete an LL.M. at UBC, where her thesis focused on the question of treating embryo donations as if they were adoptions. Cindy is also an adoptee.

Jan Beatty’s new book, Red Sugar, will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in Spring, 2008. Other books include Boneshaker (2002, U. of Pgh. Press) and Mad River, winner of the 1994 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Beatty’s poetry was included in 4 Motherless Frauds—Writing on Adoption, AWP Conference, Palm Springs, CA, 2001 and in A Reading of Poetry about Adoption, MLA Conference, Alliance for the Study of Adoption, Identity, and Kinship, Dr. Marianne L. Novy presiding, Chicago, 1999. Beatty directs the creative writing program at Carlow University, where she teaches in the MFA program.

Phil Bertelsen was transracially adopted in the 1970s, and in Outside Looking In, as writer and director,  he explores his own experience, that of his 11-year old nephew, also transracially adopted, and that of a mid-western white couple adopting an African-American child in 2001. He made the film, he says, inspired by “the tension between an internal and eternal identity, between a cultural legacy and a family history.”  Examining families different in time, place (New Jersey, Arizona, and Illinois), and approach (color-blind and color-conscious), he won a Paul Robeson Award for this film. Bertelsen’s other films, The Sunshine and Around the Time (which imagines his birthparents) have also won awards.

Susan Bordo holds the Otis A. Singletary Chair in the Humanities and is a professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Kentucky.  She is the author of Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body, The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private, and other influential books and articles. At the age of 52, she and her husband adopted their daughter Cassie, in an open adoption that has been the inspiration for much of her recent work. Her writing on adoption deals with topics such as the multiracial family, fears and fantasies about birth parents, and the myth of biological determinism. “What would happen,” she asks in her talk, “if we stood our reverence for biology on its head and looked at adopdtion, not as a poor second, but as teaching us what parenting is really about, for all of us?”

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Cynthia A. Callahan is an assistant professor of English at the Ohio State University at Mansfield. Her research is on transracial adoption in American literature, the subject of her book manuscript in progress. She has taught graduate and undergraduate classes on adoption and literature and published an article on adoption in Charles W. Chesnutt's The Quarry in Modern Fiction Studies. Cynthia's research is informed by her experience as an adoptee as well as her interest in African American and ethnic American literatures.

Shannon LC Cate has a PhD in American Literature with an emphasis in Black/white race relations and race as constitutive of American identity. She writes, "Since my older daughter was adopted in 2005, I have been an independent scholar and writer working from home. I have written about adoption among other places, at LiteraryMama.com, and my personal website is a featured blog at Adoptive Families Magazine's website. I am a white mother of African American children and am particularly interested in race in domestic adoption and foster care. As a transracial adopter, I have been especially inspired by Dorothy Roberts's work. I am also partnered with another woman and interested in queer family issues."

Mary Anne Cohen is a reunited birthmother active in adoption reform since 1976. She is a member of Concerned United Birthparents, Bastard Nation, American Adoption Congress, Co-Founder of Origins NJ; and editor of Origins Newsletter. She is a poet and essayist and has presented at many adoption related conferences. She is married and lives in NJ, has 3 sons she raised and one surrendered.

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Jill Deans has been studying adoption in literature for the past fifteen years and wrote a dissertation on the subject in 1998. Since then, she has published articles on adoption in fiction, popular culture, film, memoir, and most recently, contemporary art. She recently left faculty life for administration, hoping it would give her more time to write creative nonfiction. Her contribution to this conference is the unripe fruit of these efforts.

Lori Delale-O’Connor is a doctoral student in Sociology at Northwestern University. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations and a Master’s degree in Education from Boston College. Her primary research interests include adoption, culture, and education. Lori’s interest in adoption research stems from her own experience as an adoptee. Through a grant from the MacArthur foundation, she has been able to pursue this interest by studying adoptee culture camps.  This work has  allowed her not only to explore the impact of culture camps on adopted children, but also to share her adoption experience with others. Click here to view CV.

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs is the author of Paper Pavilion (White Pine Press 2007), which won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in 5 AM, Crazyhorse, Cimarron Review, Cream City Review, MiPOesias, Poetry NZ, Tulane Review, among others and has been anthologized in Echoes Upon Echoes (Temple University Press 2003) and Contemporary Voices from the Eastern World (W. W. Norton 2008). She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California and founding director of the SummerTIME Writing Program. She is currently co-editing an anthology of creative and critical essays about transnational adoption.

Sara Dorow has studied, written about, and presented on transnational/transracial adoption for the last decade, with a focus on the adoption of Chinese children into North American families.  Her book Transnational Adoption: A Cultural Economy of Race, Gender, and Kinship was published by NYU Press in 2006.  Sara is an assistant professor of sociology and the director of the community service-learning program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Karen Dubinsky is a professor of History at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario Canada. Her research interests are in transnational and transracial adoption, and she is currently completing a book titled Babies Without Borders: Adoption and the Symbolic Child in Canada, Cuba and Guatemala.

Award-winning  journalist Lorraine Dusky is the author of the ground-breaking memoir, Birthmark. Published in 1979, it was highly controversial,  as it  broke the silence of women who surrendered their children to adoption.  She is also the author of several other books on social issues, and continues to write commentaries in favor of open records that have been published widely,  from The New York Times to Newsweek to Town & Country, as well as dozens of newspapers around the country. She and her  daughter have been reunited since 1981.

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Janet Eldred
is a professor at the University of Kentucky, specializing in the essay, creative nonfiction, and rhetorical theory. Her creative nonfiction piece "Children At All Costs," about adopting her sons from Russia, appeared first as a Roy T. Ames Memorial Award winner in Literal Latte. It appears in expanded form in her book Sentimental Attachments: Essays, Creative Nonfiction, and Other Experiments in Composition. She is at work on an essay about her not-so-successful attempts to learn all things Russian and instill "heritage" in her teenage sons.

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Bill FItzgerald is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Rutgers University. Click here to view CV.

Kristine Freeark is a psychologist with research and clinical interests in adoptive family relationships, and parent-child communication about adoption, in particular.  She directs strengths-based research investigating family factors related to the social and emotional well-being of young children in transnationally adoptive families.  She has developed Inquisitive Minds, a workshop for adoptive parents of preschoolers, and the Latino Photojournalism Project, a creative route for adopted youth to explore identity through photography and interviewing.  She is affiliated with the University of Michigan’s Center for Human Growth and Development and also maintains a clinical practice in Ann Arbor.

Dawn Friedman has written about her daughter's fully open adoption for Salon.com and Adoptive Families Magazine. Her personal blog. ThisWomansWork.com, has been cited by Adoptive Families and About.com as one of the best blogs by an adoptive parent and has also been written about in Time Magazine and the Washington Times. She is the op-ed editor for Literary Mama as well as a regular contributor to the AntiRacistParent.com blog. She lives in Columbus OH with her husband and their two children, Noah and Madison.

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Sheila Ganz, MA, is a birthmother and filmmaker of the documentary “Unlocking the Heart of Adoption” in distribution worldwide and broadcast on public television.  Recipient of 2006 Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption™ Award.  Currently making the documentary “Moms Living Clean.”  Over the past 20 years, Sheila has worked through many stages of healing as rape survivor, birthmother, artist and adoption reform activist.  She shares these insights in her book “Handbook to Healing for Relinquishing Mothers and Others Who Suffer from Loss and Shame.”  Her memoir is designed to assist individuals to take action for their own healing process.

Christina J. Groark, Ph.D., is Co-Director of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development (OCD) and Associate Professor of Education.  Groark has been the principal investigator for numerous large collaborative programs implementing and evaluating new initiatives on behalf of children and families. Her service, training, research, and project development activities include prenatal care, infant mortality and morbidity, early intervention services, foster and adoptive care, special education, and child development.  Groark  is a consulting editor for the Journal of the International Association of Special Education. She was given the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public Service in 2004.

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Sally Haslanger is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of  Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and is an affiliate faculty in the  Women's and Gender Studies Program.  She has published on topics in metaphysics, epistemology, feminist theory and philosophy of race.  She is co-editor (with Charlotte Witt) of Adoption Matters:  Philosophical and Feminist Essays (Cornell University Press, 2005);  with Elizabeth Hackett she has co-edited Theorizing Feminisms (Oxford  University Press, 2005).  Her current interests are on topics in  social philosophy, especially on social ontology and ideology.  She is the adoptive mother of two African-American children in open  adoptions.

Jenna Hatfield is a wife and mother living in South Eastern Ohio. After recently leaving the work force as a broadcast engineer to stay home with her son, she writes for AdoptionBlogs.com on the Birth/First Parent blog. As a birth mother to a wild and crazy three year old girl in a fully open adoption, she shares personal experience with her reading audience while simultaneously educating readers about the issues that birth parents face in adoption. Her entries include book reviews, challenges of stereotypes held against birth parents and calls for reform. She also blogs elsewhere on the web on topics ranging from parenting to photography. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling and babywearing. In the future she plans to return to the broadcasting field.

Ellen Herman teaches in the Department of History at the University of Oregon. She is the author of The Romance of American Psychology and maintains a website, The Adoption History Project: www.uoregon.edu/~adoption. Her book on child adoption in
twentieth-century U.S. history, Kinship by Design, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in Fall 2008.

Craig Hickman is a healer, performance artist, cultural activist, and Harvard graduate. His  gripping and critically acclaimed adoption reunion memoir Fumbling Toward  Divinity: The Adoption Scriptures was a 2005 Lamdba Literary  Award Finalist. He is the biological great grandson of Madree Penn  White, national co-founder of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  He is a recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant, a James  Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement and a Gertrude Johnson Williams Literary  Award. An adoptee rights activist, he fights for open records legislation around  the nation.

Emily Hipchen is treasurer and, with Marianne Novy, co-chair of ASAIK. She is the author of the adoption memoir, /Coming Apart Together: Fragments from an Adoption/ (The Literate Chigger Press, 2005). With Jill Deans, she co-edited a special edition of /a/b: Auto/Biography Studies/ focused on adoption lifewriting (18.2, 2003); she is one of the general editors of that journal. Currently, she’s working to launch ASAIK’s new journal, Adoption and Culture, as well as writing essays examining the body in adoption lifewriting.

Susan Kubica Howard is an Associate Professor of English at Duquesne University where she teaches in the Honors, Undergraduate, and Graduate Programs.  Her primary research interests are family and gender issues in the 18th-c. novel.  She has edited Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, Lennox's Harriot Stuart and Euphemia, and is preparing an edition of Scott's Waverley for Broadview Press.

Signe Howell is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo, Norway. Before studying transnational adoption (since 1999), her research was in Southeast Asia, and she has published widely on various aspects of social organization, religion, ritual, kinship and gender. Her research on transnational adoption in Norway has resulted in a number of articles in books and journals. Her book The Kinning of Foreigners: transnational adoption in a global perspective . (Berghahn Books 2006) is now available in paperback.

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Heather Jacobson, Assistant Professor of Sociology, joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Arlington in 2006 after finishing her Ph.D. at Brandeis University. Her research interests focus broadly on systems of inequality and the ways in which they impact the lived experiences of families in the contemporary U.S. She has published on family care-giving of adults with autism, child citizenship and immigration, and cosmetic surgery. She is currently completing a book that examines how ideologies of race, ethnicity, and kinship shape the ways in which white mothers with children adopted internationally from China and Russia think about and engage with birth culture.

Mark Chia Yon Jerng is Assistant Professor of English at University of California, Davis, where he teaches in Asian American literature, American literature, and critical theory. He is currently working on a book manuscript, entitled /Claiming Others: Political Fictions of Transracial Adoption, /which traces a cultural history of transracial adoption from the early nineteenth century to the present. His article, "Recognizing the Transracial Adoptee: Adoption Life Stories and Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life" was published in /MELUS /in 2006, and he has an article titled "The Character of Race: Adoption and Individuation in William Faulkner's Light in August and Charles Chesnutt's The Quarry" forthcoming in /Arizona Quarterly/ in 2008. Click here to view CV.

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Lilia Khabibullina is doing a PhD in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Barcelona. She has a BA in Russian and English Language and Literatures (Kazan State University, Russia), and a Master’s in Gender Studies (Oxford University, UK and Central European University, Hungary). She is developing her PhD thesis about the circulation of Russian children as a  case study of international adoptions from Russia to Spain. Some results of her thesis were presented during the Second International conference on Adoption Research conference (Norwich, UK), 9th EASA conference (Bristol, UK), International Forum on families and phobias(Barcelona, Spain) in 2006, and Valencia Congreso de inmigración in 2007.

Miriam Klevan is a social worker and doctoral student in the Human Development and Social Policy Program at Northwestern University.  She is currently analyzing life story narratives from thirty-eight infertile adoptive couples to examine how these parents interpret and contextualize their family-building experiences. She is the proud adoptive mother of two.

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Jeanne Marie Laskas is the author of two adoption memoirs, the award-winning The Exact Same Moon (Bantam 2003) about adopting her two daughters from China, and Growing Girls (Bantam 2006), a collection of essays about her family's forming identity. She writes frequently about adoption in "Significant Others," her weekly column for the Washington Post Magazine and in numerous national magazines. She received her MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh, where she currently serves on the writing faculty as Assistant Professor. She lives with her husband and daughters on a horse farm in Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania, where she is working on her sixth book, Hidden America, forthcoming from Putnam in 2009.

Jeff Leinaweaver is an international adoptee, born in Bogotá, Colombia. His family has three generations of adoptees, including his daughter, also adopted from Colombia.  Jeff is a board member of the International Adoptee Congress. He holds a Master’s in
Human and Organizational Development, a Master’s in Socio-Linguistics and is currently completing studies towards a PhD in Human 
Development.  His research is focused upon the social construction of international adoptee identity and cultural marginality. He’s
particularly committed to creating systems which  support healthy adoptee identity development. Jeff Leinaweaver is the  founder and principal of Global Zen, Coaching and Consulting, and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest.

Jessaca Leinaweaver (Ph.D. Michigan, 2005) is an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Her forthcoming book, The Circulation of Children: Kinship, Mobility, and Morality in Andean Peru (Duke University Press), draws from over two years of ethnographic research on adoption and fosterage in the Ayacucho region of Peru.  She was recently awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant for a three-year comparative investigation of Peruvians relocating to Spain via adoption and labor migration.

Mitch Levenberg is

Betty Jean Lifton is a writer and adoption counselor. She is the author of Twice Born: Memoirs of An Adopted Daughter, Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience, and Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness.  She has also written The King of Children, a biography of Janusz Korczak, a Polish-Jewish writer, pediatrican, and educator who was one of the world’s first children’s rights advocates.  Dr. Lifton has conducted workshops here and abroad on the psychology of the adoptive family. She has a clinical practice in Cambridge and Manhattan, and does telephone counseling across the country. Her website is:  www.bjlifton.com.

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Solangel Maldonado is a Professor of Law and Joseph M. Lynch Research Fellow at Seton Hall Law School, where she teaches several courses in the family law area, as well as  Race, Ethnicity, and the Law.  Her most recent publications explore the legal challenges surrounding transracial and transcultural adoptions of African-American and Native-American children as compared to international adoptions of non-white children.    She has clerked for a federal district judge and was a litigation assistant. She received her JD from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and the Managing Editor of the Columbia Journal of Gender and the Law.

Elisha Marr is an Intersectional sociologist researching transracial adoption as an assistant professor at Hope College. She recently completed her doctorate at Michigan State University and is in the midst of the Master's of Public Administration program at Grand Valley State University. Areas of teaching and research interest and experience are families, structural inequality, the intersections of race, class, and gender, and popular culture.

Diana Marre is a PhD in Social Anthropology (University of Barcelona), Lecturer at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Childhood and Urban World of Barcelona (CIIMU) and member of the Research Group on Family and Parenthood at University of Barcelona. Her interdisciplinary research project on international adoption is financed by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. She has co-edited La adopción y el acogimiento: presente y perspectivas (Ediciones UB, 2004), the first book in Spain on international adoption from a socialanthropological perspective, and " 'I want she learn her language and maintain her culture': Transnational adoptive families' views on 'cultural origins'" (in Wade, P. ed., Race, ethnicity and nation in Europe: perspectives from kinship and genetics, London, Berghahn, forthcoming).

Sonya Martin is a fourth year medical student at New York University and soon-to-be medical resident in psychiatry.  She has worked at pre- and post-adoption clinics for internationally adopted children in the Cleveland and Chicago areas.  She helped set up an after- school program for the residents of the Bal Mandir orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal.  She has presented her adoption research at national pediatric conferences in the United States and Canada.  

Nancy McCabe is the author of Meeting Sophie: A Memoir of Adoption (Missouri, 2003).  She has also published a book of essays, After the Flashlight Man:  Memoir of Awakening (Purdue 2003).  Her work has won a Pushcart Prize, been listed twice in Best American Essays, and appeared in Prairie Schooner,  Newsweek, Writer's Digest, Fourth Genre, and Massachusetts Review, among others. A 2007 recipient of an Individual Artists Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, she  directs the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and teaches creative nonfiction and fiction in the Spalding University brief-residency MFA program. She is currently working on a sequel to Meeting SophieOver My Head: A Single Mom, an Old House, and a Small Town.

Robert B. McCall is Co-Director of the Office of Child Development and Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.  He has written on infant mental development, adoption and interventions, age changes in general mental performance, the prediction of later IQ, early childhood care and education, and university-community partnerships. and was a Contributing Editor, monthly columnist, and feature writer for Parents magazine  He has received awards for research, public service, and policy from the American Psychological Association, the Society for Research in Child Development, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Council on Family Relations, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Peter McCullough is Fellow in English Literature at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he has taught since 1994, after degrees at UCLA and Princeton.  His academic research focuses on the religious history and literature of early modern England.  He was born in San Francisco in 1965, adopted through an agency, and raised in rural northern California.  His adoption search in 2005 prompted him to write a memoir, which was to have been simply documentary.  But there emerged instead a more complex consideration of the
relationship (in his case) between adoption, sexuality, class, and geographical place.  He is expanding this into a book-length study of family relationships in the social and economic history of California.

Jayashree Mohanty is a Ph.D. candidate in social work at the University of Pittsburgh, PA.  Ms. Jayashree has a MSW from the University of Texas at Austin (2002). She is currenlty working on her dissertation about ethnic socialization, ethnic identity, and psychological adjustment of international adoptees. Ms. Jayashree’s articles have been published in social work professional journals including Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work and Families in Societies. Ms Jayashree has 5 years of child welfare practice experience in India.

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Claudia Nelson is director of Women's Studies and professor of English at Texas A&M University.  She is the author or coeditor of seven books, including the award-winning Little Strangers:  Portrayals of Adoption in America, 1850-1929 (Indiana UP, 2003), inspired by the 1998 adoption of her daughter.  Her most recent book, Family Ties in Victorian England (Praeger, 2007), reflects her major research interest, the history of childhood and family (including families by adoption) in nineteenth-century Britain.

Dr. Ruth Nemzoff is a former assistant minority leader of the New Hampshire State Legislature, and in 1977 was the lead sponsor of legislation to open adoption records. She was also  the first female Deputy Commissioner of Health and Welfare in New Hampshire. Currently. Dr. Nemzoff is a research scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center and  an adjunct associate professor at Bentley College where she teaches US Government and Gender Studies.  She holds a doctorate in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard and a master’s in Counseling from Columbia. She and her husband have four children and are the grandparents of six, two of whom are adopted.

Cynthia Ninivaggi teaches anthropology, women's studies, and sociology of the family at Georgian Court University.  The history and cultural politics of adoption practice and child relinquishment are a longtime research interest.  Other areas of professional interest include race and ethnic relations and the anthropology of work.  She also works in advocacy organizations for the developmentally disabled.

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Penny Callan Partridge, MSW, was an English Major at Stanford, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria, and then a clinical social worker. She co-founded Adoption Forum in Philadelphia and served as the first elected President of the American Adoption Congress. She is the perennial poet in residence at Joyce Maguire Pavao's adoption trainings. Eight of her poems were recently published in Handbook of Adoption (Javier). Her fourth collection of poems will include essays about the people she has met through her poems about adoptee experience.

Elise Prébin was born in South Korea in 1978, was adopted in France with her younger sister at 4 and found their birth family at 21, in 1999. She got her doctorate degree in Korean anthropology in December 2006 at University of Paris X Nanterre. Her thesis was on international adoption viewed by the South Korean society - the South Korean government and birth families. Elise Prébin will be a Harvard Korea Institute/Korea Foundation fellow from September 2007 and will publish her thesis under the title: The Spiritual Return of International Adoptees to South Korea.

Sandra Patton-Imani is an Associate Professor in the Department for the Study of Culture and Society at Drake Unversity. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies and a graduate certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is the author of BirthMarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America, and of essays on adoption, family, identity, and welfare reform. Her book in progress, "Ghosts in the Tree: Adoption and the Specter of Choice," draws on interviews with adoptees and birth mothers of a range of racial-ethnic identities to explore constructions of motherhood, adoption, family, and identity. She is also editing Red Light, Green Light: Family Values, Family Pride, a documentary video on lesbian-headed families that explores how birth, adoption, mothering, and family are socially, politically, and legally defined and regulated.

Joyce Maguire Pavao is the founder and CEO of Center For Family Connections, Adoption Resource Center, Pre/Post Adoption Consulting Team, and Family Connections Training Institute. She is an adjunct faculty member in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has consulted to child welfare and adoption agencies, schools, community groups, judges, lawyers, and clearly, and has done extensive training as well as working with individuals,couples, and families on issues related to adoption, foster care, guardianship, reproductive technology, and many other matters. Her influential book, The Family of Adoption (Beacon Press, 1998) has recently been reprinted.

Emily Prager is the author of Wuhu Diary: On Taking My Adopted Child Back to Her Hometown in China (Random House, 2001). She has  also  written a short-story collection, A Visit from the Footbinder, three novels,  and In the Missionary Position: Twenty-five Years of Humor Writing. She  has been a columnist for The New York Times, the Village Voice, the New York Observer, and the Guardian in England. In 2000 she won the first Online Journalism award for Commentary given by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, for her columns on Oxygen.com.  She is now living in Shanghai with her daughter (now 13) and writing a book about China today.

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Marian Quartly's historical interests have long focused on Australia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with special reference to the history of the family.  Her publications include the co-authored Creating a Nation , a feminist history of Australia.  She is currently writing about gendered citizenship, male and female, about museums and virtual communities, and about the history of adoption in Australia. This last arises out of a conjuncture between her interest in the history of the family on the one hand, and the history of citizenship and the individual’s relationship to the state on the other.

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Dorothy Roberts is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Northwestern University School of Law with joint appointments in the Departments of African American Studies and Sociology (by courtesy) and a faculty fellow for the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.  She has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues concerning reproduction and child welfare.  She is the author of the award-winning Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty.  Professor Roberts has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford, a fellow at Harvard University's Program in Ethics and the Professions, and a Fulbright Scholar at the Centre for Gender and Development Studies in Trinidad & Tobago. She serves as a member of the board of directors of the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. She also serves on a panel of five experts that is overseeing foster care reform in Washington State. Her current research examines the concentrated involvement of child welfare agencies in African-American neighborhoods.

Catherine Rymph is Associate Professor of History at the University of Missouri.  Her focus is on American women, politics, and public policy, politics.  She is the author of Republican Women:  Feminism and Conservatism from Suffrage through the Rise of the New Right (University of North Carolina Press, 2006).  She is currently researching the history of the American foster care system.

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Ralph James Savarese teaches American literature, creative writing, and disability studies at Grinnell College in Iowa.  He is the author of the recently released Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption, which Newsweek described as a"real life love story and an urgent manifesto for the rights of people with neurological differences" and which Temple Grandin proclaimed "exceedingly valuable for all parents and teachers who are working with non-verbal individuals."  Once written off as profoundly retarded, his fourteen-year-old son composed the book's final chapter on his talking computer.

Carol Schaefer authored The Other Mother: A Woman's Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption (SoHo Press, 1991). The book was listed by Penguin Reader's Guide in 500 Great Books by Women, a list that goes back to the eleventh century, and was adapted for television by NBC in 1995. The TV movie version is still one of the most popular movies on Lifetime Television for Women.  Schaefer has appeared on many national and local television and radio shows, including Good Morning America, CNN and MS/NBC, and speaks at conferences worldwide on adoption issues. She has edited five books on adoption.

Judith Schachter [Modell] is Professor of Anthropology and History, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has written two books on adoption in the United States. The first, Kinship with Strangers (Berkeley 1994), focuses on interpretations of kinship in adoptive families . The second, A Sealed and Secret Kinship (Berghahn 2002), concentrates on American adoption policies. She has also written on adoption and foster care in Hawaii, analyzing the changes in customary practices under more than two centuries of American rule. Recently, she has extended her interests to international adoption, using the Hawaiian experience of transactions in parenthood as a lens onto broader issues prompted by the global transfer of children.

Currently she is co-editing (with Jeanette Dickerson-Putnam) a selection of papers on adoption and foster care in Pacific Island societies.

Mary Lyndon (Molly) Shanley is Professor of Political Science on the Margaret Stiles Halleck Chair at Vassar College. She is author of Feminism, Marriage and the Law in Victorian England (Princeton, 1989), Making Babies, Making Families: What Matters Most in an Age of Reproductive Technologies, Surrogacy, Adoption, and Same-Sex and Unwed Parents (Beacon, 2001), Just Marriage, ed. Deborah Chasman and Joshua Cohen (Oxford University Press, 2004) and many articles in scholarly journals. Her current work is on feminist perspectives on social justice issues in family formation, and on bioethics and human reproduction. 

Carol J. Singley is an associate professor in the Department of English at Rutgers University-Camden, where she co-directs the American Studies program and is a research associate in the Center for the Study of Children and Childhood. She is the author of Edith Wharton: Matters of Mind and Spirit (Cambridge UP 1995) and editor or co-editor of six volumes, including The American Child: A Cultural Studies Reader (Rutgers UP 2003). She has published numerous articles on American literature, including topics on adoption. Co-founder of the Alliance for Study of Adoption, Identity, and Kinship, she is currently completing a book on representations of adoption in American literature and culture.

Richard Storrow is a professor of law at Pennsylvania State University. His field of research is reproductive technology, law and policy.  His most recent articles examine the formation of families through adoption and assisted reproduction, screening practices in infertility clinics, and the ethics of cross-border reproductive care.  He received his law degree and a Master's in French literature from Columbia University. 

Jean Strauss is well known within the adoption community as the author of Birthright: The Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents, and Adoptive Parents and her memoir, Beneath a Tall Tree. Her award-winning short film, The Triumvirate, documents her reunion. In addition, she has two other adoption films: Vital Records (2005), which illuminates the debate on access to original records for adoptees, and Holding Hands (2006), which examines the issue of sibling separation.

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Allison Varzally is a historian of immigration and comparative race relations in the United States, Allison Varzally has written about the intimate intercultural relations, including interracial dating andintermarriages, that evolved among ethnoracial minorities in multi ethnic neighborhoods of California. This work, A Non White America: Coloring Outside Ethnic Lines in mid-20th century California will be published by the University of California Press in Spring 2008. Inspired by similar questions about how the creation of interracial families reshaped notions of racial and national identity, her current (and still nascent) research compares the practices and meanings of adopting Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese children between 1945 and 1975, a period when American engagements with and interventions in Asian nations were central to U.S. foreign policy. In particular, she's interested in the relationships between these adoptions and ascendant Civil Rights Movements, the construction of Asian Americans as a panethnic and model minority, and finally American understandings of Asia as a region.

Toby Alice Volkman is the editor of a book of essays, Cultures of Transnational Adoption (Duke University Press, 2005).  After adopting her daughter from China in 1994, she became involved in adoption research, building on a program she initiated at the Ford Foundation known as “Crossing Borders.”  In addition to her work at Ford, she has served as Deputy Provost at The New School, as a program director at the Social Science Research Council, and is currently a consultant for the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program.  She has also written about Indonesia and ethnographic film, and holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Cornell University.  

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Tanya Washington is an Associate Professor at Georgia State University Law School and an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law, with law degrees from the University of Maryland and Harvard. The courses she teaches include Domestic Relations, Medical Law in National Perspective, and Race and the Law.  She has published “Loving Grutter: Reinstating Race in TransRacial Adoptions,” George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal (2005), and is working on “Throwing Babies Out With the  Bathwater: The Polemics and Propriety of Same-Sex Adoption Bans.” From 2003-06 she was the Acting Chair of the Human Relations Commission of Atlanta. Click here to view CV.

Indigo Williams Willing , OAM, is the founder of the Adopted Vietnamese International network and is involved with numerous other transnational adoption organizations. (OAM refers to Australia's honorary awards system, standing for Medal in the Order of Australia.) She is also a doctoral candidate in sociology at The School of Social Science, University of Queensland (UQ). The topic of her dissertation is the construction of identity of Australian parents who adopt children from overseas. Willing is a former Rockefeller Research Fellow in the Humanities at U. Mass., Boston and is attending the conference from Australia as the UQ Alumni Association's 2007 recipient of The Elizabeth Usher Memorial Travelling Scholarship.

Chris Winston is the president of The Korean American Adoptive Family Network (KAAN).  She is the mother of three children, two of whom were adopted from Korea. Her book, A Euro American on a Korean Tour at a Thai Restaurant in China, considers such topics as what she has learned and is still learning about race, how to make meaningful connections to an ethnic community, boundaries  for adoptive parents in ethnic communities and with Adoptees, and what is reasonable to expect from ethnic communities.

Richard Wirick's fiction, essays and journalism have appeared in Fiction, Quarterly West, Northwest Review, Playboy, Another Chicago Magazine, Indiana Review and elsewhere. He is completing a collection of short stories, /Fables of Rescue/, and is co-founder and editor of the journal Transformation. One Hundred Siberian Postcards grew out of his assignments in Ukraine and Siberia in 2003-5, and his adoption of a Siberian daughter. He practises law in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and three children. Among his interests are the post-Soviet political climate's effect on transnational adoption, and the roles of myth and storytelling in adoption and child-rearing.

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Barbara Yngvesson is professor of anthropology at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her research on transnational adoption focuses on the flow of adoptable children from Asia, Africa, and Latin America; adult adoptee experiences of identity and belonging; and the implications of these experiences for theories about identity and its development. Her publications include “Un Niño de Cualquier Color: Race and Nation in Intercountry Adoption,” in Globalizing Institutions: Case Studies in Regulation and Innovation” (2000); “Going ‘Home’: Adoption, Loss of Bearings, and the Mythology of Roots,” in Cultures of Transnational Adoption (2005); “Backed by Papers: Undoing Persons, Histories, and Return” (with Susan Coutin), American Ethnologist 33(2), 2006; and “Refiguring Kinship in the Space of Adoption,” AQ 80(2), 2007.

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Convener: Marianne Novy
Email: adoptnew@pitt.edu
Web site: www.english.pitt.edu/events/adoptionandculture

University of Pittsburgh seal University of Pittsburgh

Encounter and Adoption