Call for Papers: 2014 AIC

Sleeping Giants in Adoption:

Power, Privilege, Politics, and Class

May 29-31, 2014

(Thursday evening to Saturday evening)


 Program Proposal Selection Committee will inform submitters of acceptance decisions by February 21, 2014.

Please visit us at:

On behalf of the Planning Committee for the 8th Biennial Adoption Conference at St. John’s University, we invite proposal submissions for papers, poster presentations, and research manuscripts that address issues likely to impact individuals and families touched by adoption. This Call for Papers specifically targets adoption professionals, researchers, scholars, practitioners, and graduate students. We are especially interested in receiving proposals that address the 2014 conference theme, “Sleeping Giants in Adoption: Power, Privilege, Politics, and Class.”

In keeping with our ongoing goal to present thought-provoking themes relevant to the training of mental health professionals as well as to the personal growth and deeper understanding of adoption triad members, our 2014 conference will consider the intersections between the “sleeping giants” in adoption. The Committee welcomes proposals that tie directly to the conference theme, especially proposals that illustrate the ways that adoption (as it is typically practiced) tends to privilege certain voices and perspectives while downplaying those of marginalized groups.

The history of U.S. adoption is rooted in social reform movements led by individuals and groups with greater access to power and privilege that set about to design child welfare interventions and social engineering plans for the children of families with less access to such social and political capital. The 2014 conference will give special consideration to exposing the connections between social class, power, politics, and privilege in adoption. We seek proposals particularly that address these connections, both historically and in contemporary adoption practice.

The 2014 conference theme highlights both historical and emerging practices in adoption, with a critical eye on considerations of whose privileges have been preserved, are currently being served, and whose interests should be better served. Papers and presentations should include a critical consideration of power, politics, and privilege and/or the role of social class in adoption.

**We are especially interested in highlighting poster presentations this year**

EXAMPLES for possible papers, poster presentations and sessions (these are merely SUGGESTIONS):

  • Redefining the “best interests” of children through the lenses of power and privilege
  • Identity formation and social class factors in open versus closed adoption
  • Kinship care and the role of social class among birth relatives in kinship adoption
  • Maintaining or creating cross-class affiliations when children move from foster care into adoptive families
  • Implications of social class and privilege among sibling sets when one child is adopted and others remain with birth parents or stay in foster care
  • Homophobia, heterosexual privilege, and LGBT adoption issues (e.g., whether the individual is adopted by a gay/lesbian parent or whether the biological parents may be LGBT, or whether the adopted person identifies as LGBT)
  • White privilege and social class differences in “fees for service” in domestic U.S. adoptions
  • Role of privilege among organizations in “saving” orphans via international adoption
  • Issues of search and reunion and how social class influences these issues
  • Nuances of class, power, and privilege in clinical adoption issues (e.g., with adoptive families, adoptees, and birth families)
  • How race and social class shape nature vs. nurture perspectives of the adopted person’s identity
  • Power and privilege in the context of transracial and transnational adoption
  • Innovations that address social class in clinical practice, social work, and pre/post adoption practice

To Submit a Proposal (Note: There are two parts to the submission process–Contact Information and Presentation Proposal Information).

Guidelines on Time Allotted for different formats:

  • Papers: 30 minutes
  • Posters: Group Poster Session 1 hour
  • Workshops/Symposia/Panels: 75 minutes

Include the following information in your submission proposal:

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 (see below)

Please go to for more information.




Leave a Reply