Press Release




NEW YORK, September 18, 2006 – Two senior members of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute staff, Program and Project Director Susan Livingston Smith and Research and Policy Director Jeanne Howard, will receive congressional Angel in Adoption awards this week during ceremonies in Washington, D.C., the Institute announced today.

Recipients are nominated by U.S. Senators and House members to honor constituents who are “unsung heroes” in adoption, recognizing them for their outstanding contributions to the welfare of children in the foster-care system in this country and in orphanages abroad. The awards will be presented at a gala dinner on Sept. 20 by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

“I’m thrilled, both personally and professionally, at this recognition of the important work Jeanne and I have been doing for years for the sake of kids and their families,” said Smith. Howard added: “It really is an honor. I also hope it means that the unique work of the Adoption Institute gets even more attention and, as a result, has even more positive impact.”

Howard and Smith have been the leading researchers in the field of post-adoption services for more than a decade; they have conducted ground-breaking studies, published widely in professional journals, given scores of presentations nationally and were the founding co-directors of the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University (ISU).

Howard is a professor at ISU’s School of Social Work, and Smith is a professor emerita. Both Howard and Smith serve on the post-adoption task force of the North American Council for Adoptable Children, and together they received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adoption 2002 Excellence Award for their work in applied scholarship and research.

“They are incredibly talented people and wonderful colleagues. We’re lucky to have them, and they richly deserve this honor,” said Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman. Both Pertman and the Adoption Institute are past recipients of the Angel in Adoption award – as is Dr. David Brodzinsky, the Institute’s new Research and Project Director.

The Adoption Institute is the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. It is an independent, nonpartisan, national nonprofit. Its mission is to provide leadership that improves laws, policies and practices – through sound research, education and advocacy – in order to better the lives of everyone touched by adoption.

For more information, please see our award-winning website,, or contact April Dinwoodie at 212-925-4089 or