Call for Papers for the 2020 Adoption Conference

The Evolution of Adoption Practice: Activism & Community Perspectives

October 23-24, 2020 New York

The Adoption Initiative invites proposal submissions for papers, poster presentations, and research manuscripts for the 20th anniversary Biennial Adoption Initiative Conference. We actively seek proposals which address issues related to how practices have evolved over the past twenty years through the work of activists and communities most impacted by adoption and how this evolution has informed how we understand mental health from these lenses.

We welcome participation from those whose identities are informed by the impact of adoption on their lives, and whose voices are often overlooked and marginalized by its practice. We especially invite proposals that take a social justice approach to adoption practice, focusing on those whose lives and rights are primarily impacted by the nature and goals of the practice as it applies to them. For more information or to submit a proposal go to the 2020 Adoption Initiative Conference Site.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • In what ways have first/birth families, adoptees, and adoptees’ communities of origin advocated for their needs over the past twenty years?
  • Ways in which intercountry adoptees are changing the conversation around immigration and citizenship.
  • New technologies and their impact on adoption search and reunion.
  • Based on the historical perspectives of “best interests of the child,” what exactly does “best interest of the child” mean in 2020?
  • How does adoption relate to or mimic imperialism, colonialism, and nation-state foreign policies?
  • Aspects of privileges inherent in adoption as they are enacted in adoption practice and as they influence identity, citizenship, and being.
  • Ways current adoption narratives include or leave out notions of land, place, history, ethnicity, and ability to belong and inform identity.
  • Ways in which tools used to “deal with” adoption, including psychiatry and therapy, enforce dominant cultural myths about adoption.
  • In what ways has the demand for “adoption competent” mental health practitioners by adoptees, birth/first families and adoptive parents changed the clinical paradigms and treatment modalities for individuals seeking counseling/therapy?

Guidelines on Time Allotted for different formats:

  • Papers/Presentations: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Workshops: 60 to 90 minutes
  • Symposiums: 60 to 90 minutes
  • Panels: 60 to 90 minutes
  • Roundtables: 30-45 minutes
  • Posters: See submission guidelines for details

The deadline to submit proposals for papers, workshops, symposiums, panels and roundtables is April 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST. The deadline to submit poster presentations is July 15, 2020.”

Submission Guidelines:

Please complete the Adoption Initiative Conference Submission Form available through the online submission system. Proposals will only be admissible if submitted through the online submission system on or before the applicable submission due dates at 11:59 PM EST. You will be asked to provide detailed information on presenters, the type of presentation, and a summary of the presentation (see detailed list below).  Presenters are required to upload full papers, abstracts, CVs and personal digital photos to be considered.

Required submission proposal information includes the following:

  1. Primary Author/Presenter and Affiliation(s)
  2. Contact Information for Primary Author/Presenter (e.g., address, phone, email)
  3. Co-Presenter(s) and Affiliation(s)
  4. Contact Information for Co-Presenter(s) (e.g., address, phone, email)
  5. Title of Presentation/Paper/Poster/Workshop
  6. Format: Presentation, Paper, Research Poster, or Workshop
  7. Goals (list 3-4)
  8. Content Description of the Presentation (300 words or less)
  9. Intended Audience
  10. Summary for Brochure (50 words or less)
  11. Curriculum Vitae/ Resumes for all presenters
  12. Statement on Originality of Presentation (Has this workshop/presentation been presented prior to this conference? If so, when? Where? How many times?
  13. Review of Required Documentation Form

Presenters are required to complete the submission form in its entirety.  Incomplete submissions forms will not be considered for review.

Overall acceptance rates vary in any given year and not all proposals can be accepted.  The proposal review committee will evaluate each proposal based on the following criteria:

  1. Relevance of the topic to the conference
  2. Relevance to the conference theme
  3. Contribution to theory
  4. Contribution to research
  5. Contribution to practice
  6. Organization and clarity
  7. Quality of writing
  8. Overall evaluation

Paper, panel, symposium, and workshop presenters selected will be notified via e-mail by end of June 15, 2020 and are expected to register for the conference no later than August 15, 2020. Conference registration will be open soon. Poster presenters selected will be notified via email by August 1, 2020.

Any questions regarding the proposal submission process should be forwarded to conference organizers at the following email address:

Thank you and see you in October!

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