An increasing number of American children grow up in “complex families” –- families in which adults other than or in addition to the child’s biological parents are strongly involved in the child’s life. These children and their families can benefit from pre and post adoption services. The focus of this conference is to create a linkage between adoption-related research and practice. This linkage is bidirectional, therefore the goal is to learn how practice can inform research and research can inform practice.

In order to explore this issue, the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Rudd Adoption Research Program will host a one-day conference on “New Worlds of Adoption: Linking Research with Practice” on Wednesday, April 7, 2010. The focus of the conference will be on creating dialogue between researchers and practitioners and will be valuable for professionals and students in the human services fields, social science researchers, and community members.


A plenary address - entitled “Toward Evidence-informed Pre and Post Adoption Practice” By Dr. Richard Barth - Dean, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, and Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute Senior Research Fellow.

Break-Out Sessions – Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute Senior Research Fellows and Senior Staff will present on specific topics linking research and practice.

Dialogue - Researchers and practitioners will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with presenters at round table discussions at lunch.

Poster Session - highlighting current research and community programs.

The “New Worlds of Adoption: Linking Research with Practice” conference is sponsored by The Rudd Adoption Research Program and the Center for Research on Families, Department of Psychology, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Also sponsored in part by Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

Conference Chair:

Dr. Harold Grotevant, Rudd Family Foundation Endowed Chair in the Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Contact:

Browse the contents of 2010 Rudd Adoption Research Program Annual Conference:

Conference Program