St. John’s University in conjunction with New York University
(NYU), Rutgers and Montclair State served as co-sponsors in
presenting the Fifth Biennial Adoption Conference at NYU. The
October 24 session was held at NYU’s Cantor Film Center and the
October 25 session was in the school’s Silver Center.
The conference based its presentation on the theme: “Identity and
the Adopted Teen: Surviving the Crucible of Adolescence.” In
today’s society an increasing number of individuals are looking at
adoption as a way to form their families. These people are now
facing adoption questions and issues for which they are unprepared
and for which the professional and academic communities have little
Concerned with the lack of awareness and understanding by the
professional and academic communities about the fundamental
challenges which affect the lives of so many, St. John’s University
created a structure to aid the community with the adoption process.
The Office of Post-Graduate Professional Development Programs,
under the direction of Dr. Rafael A. Javier, Clinical Professor of
Psychology at St. John’s University, encourages and promotes a
better and more profound understanding of the most critical
adoption issues affecting our society at large.
- Keynote Speakers for the two-day conference included:
- Debbie Riley - "Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted
- Harold Grotevant - "Life in a Construction Zone: Building an
Adoptive Identity that Works"
- Holly van Gulden - "Preparing the Roadmap To Leave Home:
Helping Adolescences Leave Home And Stay Connected"
- Gary Mallon - "Unpacking the “NO!” of Adoption for
In addition, there was a presentation to Special Outstanding
Recognition Award Recipients - Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao and Dr.
Betty Jean Lipton.
The Biennial Adoption Conference co-sponsor organizations and
institutions included: St. John's University; Montclair State
University; Rutgers University School of Social Work Institute for
Families; Asian/Pacific/American Studies Institute at New York
University and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
at St. John’s University.