About the Adoption Initiative

The Mission of the Adoption Initiative:

Aware of the fact that an increased number of individuals in our society are looking at adoption as a legitimate way to form their families; and aware of the fact, as well, of the many fundamental and unanswered questions raised by these individuals as they face the numerous and complex challenges associated with the adoption experience, for which they were unprepared; and finally, aware of the fact that the professional and academic community has been ill-prepared to address these questions adequately, St. John's University decided to create a structure where answers to the many challenges affecting the lives of members of the adoption triad are systematically addressed.

It was in this context that The Adoption Initiative was created as a structure within the Office of Post-graduate Professional Training and Development Programs, specifically for the purpose of encouraging and promoting in the professional and scientific community a better and more profound understanding of the most critical adoption issues affecting our society at large. More specifically, The Adoption Initiative seeks to create a dynamic structure where scholars, professionals, researchers and other individuals interested in advancing our understanding about all the aspects of the adoption experience are brought together routinely to discuss their most recent contributions in this regard.

Concerned with the fact that the lack of awareness and understanding by the professional and academic community about the fundamental challenges that tend to affect the lives of so many members of the adoption triad is likely to remain unchanged (due to the fact that most graduate programs, for the most part, do not include discussions of adoption issues in their training curricula), The Adoption Initiative seeks to work closely with other academic institutions to encourage more active discussion of adoption issues in graduate and professional training programs.

Aware also that the questions and challenges raised by the practice and experience of adoption are so numerous and complex that a multidisciplinary effort is required, The Adoption Initiative encourages and seeks active participation from members from the various disciplines who will engage in and support this effort. It is clear that only by such participation may more comprehensive answers to the various questions in adoption be made possible.

Beginning in 2000 with our first Adoption Initiative Conference held at St. John's University, we have offered conferences every two years. In 2002, Montclair State University became a collaborator and together, the two institutions have supported this conference.

Biennial Conference Structure:

To accomplish our goals we have established over the last 20 years a conference structure that seeks to address critical issues affecting the adoption community in a meaningful and comprehensive manner. It is a multidisciplinary conference structure that seeks to address the issues covered from a multicultural and multiethnic perspective. The fact that these conferences are organized by representatives of the academic and professional community, as well as members of the adoption triad ensure that the conference topics/themes selected are most relevant to the adoption community (see information about previous conferences-link to previous conferences). The conference, which is now also co-sponsored by Montclair State University, was recently restructured to a two-day event in response to the increased interest from the community.

Adoption Initiative Awards and Recognition:

In an effort to promote further research in Adoption, a scholarship and a recognition award will be given at the biennial conference. A scholarship will be given to a current graduate student who is conducting research on an adoption related topic and a recognition award will be given to a recent doctoral graduate (past 3 years) with a dissertation focusing on the same. An award will be granted to the selected research initiative and the dissertation recipient will be invited to present at the Adoption Initiative's annual meeting. For the latest application information please, go to call-for-papers information. To apply for an award or learn more about them, click here to go to our permanent website. 


To ensure a wider dissemination of information covered in our conferences, special journal issues are prepared with those manuscripts that are academically acceptable to the journal referees. Additionally, conference tapes are also prepared and made available to the community at large. Finally, we started the process of preparing books that can be used as textbook for advanced undergraduate courses and graduate courses. One such a book is the Handbook of Adoption that was  published by Sage in 2007 based on some of the journal information and including invited chapters from prominent scholars and professionals in the field of adoption.

Upcoming Adoption Initiative Conferences & Events:

The Adoption Initiative is part of larger structure that is also involved in organizing educational programs for professionals in the community. We have also partnered with other groups/ institutions that routinely offer adoption-related discussions for members of the triad. Several of these programs are offered throughout the metropolitan area, particularly in our Manhattan Campus, at St. John's University. For a listing of coming events, including the adoption conference, please check our link to these events.

How to Register for these Adoption Initiative Events:

Registration for these events will be available through this website. Conference registration will be announced at a later date. Please sign up for the mailing list to be notified.

The Adoption Initiative may be reached by email at adoptioninitiative@gmail.com. 

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