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Summit 2010 Videos

The Intercountry Adoption Summit is proud to present the full program in video format . These videos are available free of charge and can be downloaded to your computer. If you download them, we ask that you do not distribute them and give appropriate credit to the presenter. You may use these for private viewing or for an educational endeavor, such as in a classroom setting or for an organization training. This page provides links, descriptions, and instructions for viewing and downloading.

There are 21 videos available. They are all in .m4v formal, which allows you to view the videos online or download them to your computer (recommended). The .m4v formal is playable in most media players, but is designed primarily for iTunes. VLC player is also a good video player and is available for free (click here). Individual file sizes are noted. If you download ALL videos, you will need approximately 6.79 GB of space available on your computer and a relatively fast internet connection.

To view the videos, click on the appropriate link below. This will take you to another link identified as "Download the Full Video (m4v)". To view the video online, simply click the link and wait for the video to load up.To download the video, RIGHT CLICK on the link and click "Save Link As . . ." or "Save Target As . . ." and save the file to your computer. Make sure the internet connection remains while downloading.

The videos are arranged in order of the program. Descriptions and, where provided, accompanying visuals and slides are also downloadable in pdf format. Note that the keynote speech by Peter Selman on Thursday, September 23, 2010 and the English/Literary Studies panel on Saturday, September 25, 2010 were not video recorded, but some visual slides are made available for these presentations. If you would like a pdf copy of the program, you can download it by clicking here.

Special thanks goes to Conestoga College, the University of Waterloo Arts Computing Office, and all presenters for assisting in this effort.

If you have any questions, please contact Bert Ballard, Summit co-chair, at


Presentations from Thursday, September 23, 2010

Welcome (139.1 MB)

Summit Co-Chairs, Robert Ballard and Ken Coates, will welcome delegates to the Summit. University of Waterloo President and Canada Governor General Designate David Johnston will provide a special message.


Keynote Presentation (no video available)

“Recent Trends in Intercountry Adoption” - Peter Selman, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

 This presentation will look in detail at the decline in global numbers of intercountry adoptions since 2004, with special attention to changes in states of origin and the characteristics of children sent for adoption. The paper will use additional data provided by countries for the Hague Special commission of June 2010, examine the implications of falling numbers and speculate on future trends.


Lunch and Two Keynote Presentations (373.4 MB; NOTE: Both presentations are on one video and it is the incorrect title slide, but the presentations are correct.)

“Update on the Hague Special Commission” - Jennifer Degeling, Hague Special Commission on Intercountry Adoption, The Netherlands
  Ms. Degeling, a Secretary (diplomat lawyer) at The Hague Conference on Intercountry Adoption, will provide a brief overview and update from the June 2010 Hague Special Commission meeting on intercountry adoption.

“The Global Orphan Crisis: An International Approach and the Role of Intercountry Adoption” - Tom Difilipo, Joint Council on International Children’s Services, United States

 This presentation will focus on the benefits of implementing an international approach to the needs of children living without parental care.  Special attention will be given to the role of intercountry adoption as one of the appropriate responses to children in need.  The presentation will also look at collaborative efforts to increase understanding and implementation of best practice along with the reduction of corruption and unethical practitioners.


Presentations from Friday, September 24, 2010

Implementing_Your_Recommendations (299 MB)

“Implementing Your Recommendations: Best Practices for Maximum Impact” - Trish Maskew, Washington College of Law, United States

 This discussion will address how to transform recommendations into effective adoption laws and policies.


Lunch and Presentation of Recommendations/Action Steps (102.4 MB)

Summit Co-Chairs, Robert Ballard and Ken Coates, and Trish Maskew of Washington College of Law, will present recommendations for the future of intercountry adoption as outlined by country delegates. The event marks the opening session for the public.


Sociology Panel (243.2 MB)

Transnational Adoption: Sociological Questions and Perspectives
  Each panellist will give a brief summary of their recent research, followed by a panel discussion on emerging sociological questions and themes of interest in the field of research on transnational adoption. This includes the shifting motives that adopters give for adopting children from overseas, social constructions of identity and belonging, and reflection on how researchers’ own positionality has an impact on research in the field.  There will also be time for audience comments and questions.

Convenor: Indigo Willing, University of Queensland, Australia
Panel Participants:
- Kim Park Nelson, Minnesota State University, United States

- Susan Devan Harness, Colorado State University, United States

- Denise Cuthbert, Monash University, Australia


Law_Legal_Studies Panel (478.1 MB)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, and the Future of Intercountry Adoption:  Debating the Proper Role and Content of International Norms and Legal Regulation in Relationship to Intercountry Adoption

  This panel will address debates that have arisen over the norms provided in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions.  First, there is debate over whether intercountry adoption is generally a positive rescue of vulnerable orphans or an exploitative transfer of children.  Second, there is debate concerning the trans-racial, trans-cultural, and trans-national dimensions of intercountry adoption, both from the experience of adoption triad members and as a neo-colonialist act.   Third, there is the question of the proper role of intercountry adoption in a comprehensive child welfare or child rights scheme (the subsidiarity principle).   Fourth, there is discussion of whether abusive adoption practices, including child laundering, are a serious or occasional problem for the intercountry system, and hence of the adequacy of safeguards.    Fifth, the diminishing numbers lead some to argue that anti-adoption activism and onerous legal regulation are creating too many needless obstacles to intercountry adoption.   

Convenor: David Smolin, Samford University, United States
Panel Participants:
- Sara Dillion, Suffolk Law School, United States
- Jennifer Degeling, Hague Conference, Netherlands


History Panel (226.5 MB)

New Histories of Intercountry Adoption

  Each panelist will present a paper from her current research. The panelists and papers have been chosen to highlight new directions and theoretical approaches in the historiography of transnational adoption, and to highlight research taking place on relationships between sending and receiving nations across a variety of times and places. The panel chair will make brief comments designed to relate these papers to the wider field of transnational adoption history. Further comments and questions will come from the audience.

Convenor: Karen Balcom, McMaster University, Canada
Panel Participants:
- Xiaobei Chen, Carelton University, Canada – “Adoptions of Chinese Children: From Christian Missionary Philanthropy - (1880s-1950s) to Contemporary Intercountry Adoption (1990s-present)

- Kelly Condit-Shrestha, Univresity of Minnesota, United States – “Korean Adoption History: Refugees, Migration, and Race in the 20th Century”

- Karen Dubinsky, Queens University, Canada – “Symbolic Children and Adoption’s Global Cabbage Patch: An Historians Perspective”


Counseling Panel (528.2 MB)

International Adoption: Counseling the Adoption Triad

  The state of the literature addressing counseling and adoption-related issues will be reviewed for each part of the adoption triad. Counseling practice literature for birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees will be discussed, and both early childhood trauma and adoptee identity counseling issues will be highlighted.

Convenor: Amanda Baden, Montclair University, United States (will be joining via video conference)
Panel Participants:

- Judith Gibbons, St. Louis University, United States

- Hollee McGinnis, The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, United States

- Samantha Lynn Wilson, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin International Adoption Clinic, United States


Presentations from Saturday, September 25, 2010

Health_Medicine Panel (465.3 MB)

Health Issues in International Adoption: Growth, Medical Conditions, and Development

  Internationally adopted children have many medical issues, often reflecting risk factors in their pre-adoptive environments.  These risk factors may include prenatal exposures (drugs, alcohol) and institutionalization. At adoption, children may have a wide variety of infectious diseases as well as such conditions as anemia and lead toxicity. Growth and developmental delays are also commonly noted at adoptive placement, and may have long-lasting effects on child outcome.  This panel will review these topics to provide a context for other discussions about internationally adopted children.

Convenor: Laurie Miller, Tufts University School of Medicine, United States

Panel Participants:
- Dana Johnson, University of Minnesota, United States

- Cecilia Baxter, University of Edmonton, Canada

- Femmie Juffer, Leiden University, Netherlands (did not attend but her paper was presented)


Anthropology Panel (477.5 MB)

Anthropology and Intercountry Adoption: Linking Together Perspectives and Giving Space for Voice

  Our Research Panel will open with a short introduction in which we emphasize the importance of linking together different perspectives.  Adoption is situated as a global phenomenon that extends from intercountry to national adoption (and immigration) policy, from the (largely ignored) birth parents to the (super-therapized) adoptive families, from family dynamics to individual identities.  Following this introduction, three anthropologists will discuss the results of intensive research in a “sending” country, a “receiving” country, and among adoptees who straddle the two contexts. 

Convenors: Claudia Fonesca, Federal University, Brazil
                      Diana Marre, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
Panel Participants:
- Kay Johnson, Hampshire College, United States – “The Invisibility of Chinese adopters in the discourse of international China adoption:  The American Construction of a Dichotomous Chinese Other”

- Rachael Stryker, Mills College, United States – “The War at Home: A Comparison of Adoptive Parents’ and Transnational Adoptees’ Perspectives on Post-placement Experiences in Families at Risk for Dissolution”
- Barbara Yngvesson, Hampshire College, United States – “Belonging in an Adopted World: Rethinking Adoption in the 21st Century”


Cultural_Studies Panel (224.6 MB)

Introducing Adoption Cultural Studies and Asian Adoption Studies
  This panel covers cultural studies and Asian studies in a broader meaning, or what could be called adoption cultural studies and Asian adoption studies. The panel will make use of our own research as the point of departure related to Asian studies, visual studies, film studies, and affect studies. Following the individual presentations, a panel discussion will take place regarding how we relate to and look upon the past, current and future states of research on transnational adoption within cultural studies and Asian studies.

Convenor: Tobias Hubinette, Multicultural Centre, Sweden
Panel Participants:
- Lisa Cartwright, University of California-San Diego, United States

- Marina Fedosik, University of Delaware, United States
- Hosu Kim, Drake University, United States


Psychology Panel (560.5 MB)

Psychosocial Research about Intercountry Adoption Children and Families

  Although psychological research about adoption related issues existed before, it has been through the study of children and families involved in intercountry adoption that adoption research and the psychology of adoption have expanded considerably in the last two decades. The aim of this panel is to summarize some of the main findings produced by the research about intercountry adoption from a psychological perspective. The first two papers in the panel address issues related to children’s recovery after early adversity, covering growth, behavioral problems, psychological development and attachment. The other two papers deal with family related issues and processes: ethnic/racial socialization in the family and parents’ preparation for adoption. The papers will show not only where the research has brought us so far, but also some of the future developments needed to improve our understanding of intercountry adoption and the best way to support the children and families involved.

Convenor: Jesús Palacios, University of Seville, Spain
Panel Participants:
- Jesús Palacios, University of Seville, Spain – “Recovery Following Early Adversity (Attachment not Included)”

- Lucy LeMare & Karyn Audet, Simon Fraser University, Canada – “Attachment Issues in Intercountry Adoption”

- Ellen Pinderhughes, Tufts University, United States – “The Complexities of Ethnic/Racial Socialization in Intercountry Adoption”

- Adam Pertman, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, United States – “Parent Preparation Goals and Means in Intercountry Adoption”


Lunch and Beyond the Hague panel presentation (216 MB)

Beyond the Hague: Strategies and Solutions for Ending Corruption in International Adoption

  What changed policies, practices, and regulations could help prevent fraud, coercion, and corruption that lead to wrongful adoptions? How can poor countries build functioning social welfare systems that put children’s best interests first? The experts on this panel will discuss how to implement the Hague Adoption Convention so that it works; and how to create effective family preservation, child welfare, and domestic adoption systems, overcome cultural objections. We will aim to offer specifics and to elicit the audience’s questions and ideas.


Convenor and Moderator: E.J. Graff, Brandeis University, United States
Panel Participants:
- Kelley Bunkers, International Child Protection Consultant, Ethiopia

- Trish Maskew, Washington College of Law, United States

- Jini Roby, Brigham Young University, United States


Communication Panel (470.8 MB)

Communication Studies and International Adoption: An Emerging Disciplinary Perspective on Family and Identity

  In recent years, communication studies has examined the communication processes related to

international adoption, primarily in the area of family communication. Focus on the identity formation of families and how they manage internal and external boundaries of privacy are primary. However, communication studies is expanding its contributions to scholarly research on international adoption. It is beginning to build theory, diversify its foci of study and increase its range of methodological diversity. This panel brings together some of the new and emerging scholars in this area to share their interest in international adoption and suggest the kinds of disciplinary contributions communication studies can make.

Convenor: Robert Ballard, University of Waterloo, Canada
Panel Participants:
- Sara Docan-Morgan, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, United States
- Jeff Leinaweaver, Fielding Graduate University, United States

- Meredith Marko-Harrigan, State University of New York, United States


Policy_Studies Panel (361.4 MB)

Policy Implications of the Rise and Fall of Intercountry Adoption

  This panel will explore policy issues for intercountry adoption in the twenty-first century with an emphasis on the need for new and clear policy initiatives in the second decade in the light of the decline in numbers and the issues raised at the Hague Special Commission of 2010. Also touched upon will be problems of child trafficking and laundering; the failure of countries to control the costs of intercountry adoption; the lack of a coordinated response to disaster situations; and the need to offer support to the countries of Africa. The emphasis throughout will be to look beyond legislation and explore government level initiatives to complement the discussion of law and social work practice in panels which will precede and follow this one.

Convenor: Peter Selman, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Panel Participants:
- Kathleen Bergquist, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, United States
- Patricia Fronek, Griffith University, Australia

- Max Masnick, Duke Global Health Institute, United States – “A Comparison of the Wellbeing of Orphans and Abandoned Children, Ages 6-12, in Institutional and Community-based Care Settings in 5 Less Wealthy Nations”


English/Literary Studies (no video available)

Transnational Adoption: Literary Studies and the Politics of Representation

  This research panel will discuss some of the key issues at the heart of adoption literary studies. Panelists will discuss their own research on such topics as the poetry of Korean adoptees and the

narrative strategies of Korean unwed/birth mothers; adoption blogs and the rhetoric of love and violence in adoption discourse; and the role of fiction in adoptee-identity formation. Following these presentations, we will have a panel discussion concerning some of the central dilemmas within adoption literary scholarship and its future directions. Questions to be addressed include: the relationship between our subject-positions and the kinds of knowledges or methodologies we produce; the relationship between literature and political advocacy; the relationship between fictional and non-fictional representations of adoption; the future directions of adoption literature.

Convenor: Mark Jerng, University of California-Davis, United States
Panel Participants:
- Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, St. Olaf College, United States
- Kit Myers, University of California-San Diego, United States

- Jenny Heijun Wills, Wilfred Laurier University, Canada


Social_Work Panel (543.4 MB)

Social Work Perspective on Reform and the Continuum of Care: Agency Accreditation, Institutions, and Macro Considerations

  This panel will include a discussion regarding reform efforts, highlighting changes to USA adoption agency activities as related to accreditation standards and their strengths and weaknesses. Presentation on some of the historical problems in sending nations which have plagued intercountry adoption and how they threaten the future of the practice will be given. Case examples that will emphasize the future of intercountry adoption, including older and special needs children, will also be presented. Conceptions of the best interests of the child and rights-based approaches at the macro level will also be discussed.

Convenor: Karen Rotabi, Virginia Commonwealth University, United States

Panel Participants:
- DeGuerre Blackburn, Voices for International Adoption, United States
- Kelley Bunkers, International Child Protection Consultant, Ethiopia

- Jini Roby, Brigham Young University, United States


Intercountry Adoption in the Winter's Tale (186.5 MB; no title slide provided)

Intercountry Adoption in The Winter’s Tale” – Marianne Novy, University of Pittsburgh, United States

 Shakespeare's play The Winter's Tale tells a fairy-tale-like story of a man who mistrusts his pregnant wife and rejects their baby, and of that baby growing up in another country in a secret informal adoption. The talk will discuss how the play deals with issues still relevant to intercountry adoption, such as national difference, the relative impact of heredity and environment, and the question of how to think about one person having two sets of parents. It will also discuss how it related to common practices in its own time, as well as what it might mean for us now, that intercountry adoption is institutionalized--maybe even "big business"-- rather than a matter for fantasy.


Presentations from Sunday, September 26, 2010

Voices_of_International_Adoptees: Narratives of Race, Identity, and Orphaning (223.8 MB)


Moderator: Antonia Agostan, Behavioural Intervention Services & University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Authors and affiliations:
- Y. Michele Gnanamuttu, McGill University, Canada – “From ‘Overrated’ To ‘Who You Really Are’:  What Transracially Adopted Canadian Adults Have to Say About Ethnoracial Identity”

- Gina Bacon, University of Utah, United States – “The Life Of A ‘Twinkie:’ Performing Race As A Korean Adoptee”

- Dennis A.V. Leoutsakas, Salisbury University, United States – “Internationally Displaced Children:  Causes, Care, and Social integration”


International_Adoptive_Family_Perspectives: Being Multicultural, Managing Identities, and Listening to Children (318.5 MB)


Moderator: Ken Coates, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Authors and affiliations:
- Ann Rauhala, Ryerson University, Canada – “The Lucky Ones: Parents’ Perspectives On‘Multicultural’ Families”
- Deanna Womack and Hongmei Gao, Kennesaw State University, United States – “Is She Chinese Or American? U.S.

Caucasian Parents' Communication Strategies For Managing Identity Of Their Adopted Chinese Daughters”

- Leanne Pupchek, Queens University of Charlotte, United States – “See Me, Hear Me: Adam Shares His Adoption Story”
- Karen Kurytnik and Lucy LeMare, Simon Fraser University, Canada – “Resilience in Adolescents Adopted from Romanian Orphanages: A Multiple Case Study Analysis”


Art_Literature_and the Web: Categorizing and Discursively Constructing Adoptees and Their Collective Identities (328.1 MB)

Moderator: None

Authors and affiliations:
- Diane Carter, University of Idaho, United States – “Serving Orphans Around The World: The Discursive Commodification of Children on Intercountry Adoption Websites”

- Sarah Park, St. Catherine University, United States – “Adoption Triad: Three Categories of Korea Transracial Adoption Literature”

- Eleana Kim, University of Rochester, United States – “Producing Missing Persons: Korean Adoptee Artists Imagining (Im)Possible Lives”


Historical, Cultural, and Social Factors_in_Countries_of_Origin: Tales and Case Studies from Haiti and Germany (180.2 MB)

Moderator: Diana Denton, University of Waterloo, Canada

Authors and affiliations:
- Lynne Taylor, University of Waterloo, Canada – “Intercountry Adoption In The Context Of A Refugee Crisis (A Historical Case Study): Unaccompanied Displaced Children in Germany, 1945-1952”
- A. Lucy Armistead, All Blessings International Inc, United States  – “Reflections on the Orphan Rescue in Haiti: Critical Thinking Post-Disaster”