t is with enormous pride and high expectations that I welcome you to the very first annual report of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. Just two short years ago, the Board of Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children took a bold and visionary step. At a time when adoption as a
way of creating families seemed more needed than ever before, public perceptions of adoption remained confused and widely inaccurate. At
the same time, there was a noticeable absence of professional efforts to promote information and awareness. Those observations were confirmed
in an extensive feasibility study commissioned by Spence-Chapin which polled researchers and practitioners across the country. An overwhelming consensus supported the role for a credible and impartial voice on adoption...a voice that would enhance understanding in the media and
the public....a voice that would promote "best policies and practices" in every corner of the field...a voice that would advance reliable research on the controversial and unanswered questions that surround so many facets of adoption and hinder the widespread practice and consistent success that it demands.
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute was established in August 1996 to raise that voice and in less than twelve months' time we have already been heard. From a national conference to a presence on the World Wide Web, from a public opinion survey that received press coverage in our country's largest cities and smallest towns, to a seminal new bibliography on adoption research, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute has made its mark.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Adoption Institute, I'd like to extend our appreciation and congratulations to the staff of this emerging organization and especially Madelyn Freundlich, an inspired and inspiring executive director. Credit must also go to the leadership of Spence-Chapin whose vision and generous seed-funding were instrumental and to the Donaldson family who graciously permitted the name of a great woman to adorn this Institute.
There were many other supporters who put their faith in us during our start-
up year, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the friends and family of Dr. Marshall Schechter, a member of our Practice and Research Advisory Committee. I look forward to the continued growth of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and to reporting to you all in the years ahead
on how your investments of time, talent and financial resources have made a difference in the world of adoption and the children and families in it.
|Curtis R. Welling|