Welcome from Adam Pertman, President of the Donaldson Adoption Institute

Donaldson Adoption Institute


Adam Pertman Interview Clip for Somewhere Between Documentary bonus DVD on Vimeo.

January 4, 2011

It’s About All of Us

When a colleague at the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute suggested about a year ago that I write a blog, I responded with (how shall I put this gently?) respectful skepticism. Why on earth, I asked, does anyone need yet another voice in the growing chorus of activists, birth and adoptive parents, adopted persons and adoption professionals expressing their views about the array of concerns that affect our lives? What could I possibly add to the mix?

When the publisher of my forthcoming book suggested a few months ago that I write a blog, I replied with the same questions and, at first, I politely declined. Then an answer hit me, which I’ll explain in this initial commentary and will strive to put into practice in subsequent ones.

Here’s the idea: Rather than focusing primarily on my fellow travelers in the adoption world, I’ll use my bit of cyber real estate to explain why everyone – repeat everyone – should care about adult adoptees’ access to their original birth certificates, post-adoption services, birthmother rights, family reunification, older youth aging out of foster care, the nose-dive of adoptions from abroad, gay and lesbian parenting, and a host of other issues that most people assume are too narrow or unimportant for them to think about, or simply are about somebody else.

Well, they’re not. In some cases, including almost anything to do with foster care, how we respond or don’t respond as a nation has enormous financial and societal consequences for us all. In other cases, for instance relating to the treatment of children who genuinely need new families, of adult adoptees and of birth/first parents – I’ll discuss the language of adoption in a future blog – our actions have personal implications for tens of millions of Americans. And anyone who cares about social justice and equal rights should be up in arms about the unfair treatment, stigmas and ignorance that too often characterize adoption-related laws, policies and practices.

So what I will attempt to do in Adoption Nation Journal is offer solid information, careful context and reasoned arguments – drawing heavily on the fine work of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute – with the goal of expanding the circle of people who understand that our issues are broad and vital, not narrow or unimportant, and that they simply are about us all.

Educating more readers isn’t the ultimate objective, however. Rather, it’s to reform laws, policies and practices so they genuinely serve the children and adults they ostensibly are designed to benefit. The unfortunate reality today is that, too often, they do just the opposite. It makes sense that enlisting more enlightened souls to join in the good efforts of activists and organizations around the country will inevitably lead to more progress, more quickly.

So, okay, I’ll write a blog.

4 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Alexa Ammon

    This is so exciting Adam!! I feel so grateful to know you, and I really look forward to the new book, again, Congratulations!…although, I’m still working through the last one! (slow reader)…. This blog will be such a great way to reach the masses!

  2. Mia Hye-ri


    I am so excited for you and there aren’t enough words to articulate the amount of gratitude for you, your many contributions to the adoption community, which touches everyone of us!

    I am a HUGE fan and supporter and always reach out whenever you need anything!

  3. jerry urdang

    Adam, I love it, I Love it, I LOVE IT. . .Thank you for your enduring energy to carry the crusade of our Adoption Nation & the http://www.adoptioninstitute.org and bettering the lives of all in so many ways!

    In life’s journey you will leave MAJOR foot prints in carrying forward a continuum of education, policy and changing the lives of many, WELL DONE!

    P.S. Now let’s all proceed in carrying forward the movement.

  4. Nancy Harper

    Congratulations Adam and best of luck on this new endeavor! I will follow and send others. Thank you for the great work you do and for your continued support and inspiration. You are amazing! I wish you success!

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