Press Release


Media Advisory: For Immediate Release


NEW YORK, NY, July 8, 2009 – The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute announced today that they are forming a strategic partnership to enhance the efficacy of their current work, to forge important new projects together, and to increase the overall impact of two of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to helping children and families.

CWLA and the Adoption Institute will remain independent entities, but will formally collaborate on specific research, work products, trainings, advocacy, and other programs and projects designed to improve laws, policies, and practices in the fields of adoption, foster care, and child welfare.

“Creative ideas are essential to good nonprofit management, and that’s especially true in economically challenging times,” said Christine James-Brown, CWLA’s President and CEO. “This groundbreaking partnership brings together two highly effective organizations that richly complement each other’s work, so it will enable us to better serve our members, make a greater contribution to the field, and most important, improve the lives of millions of people every day.”

Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Adoption Institute, added that “this exciting collaboration promises to make a genuine difference for shaping more effective research and policy; for improving education for professionals and parents; and ultimately, as Chris so rightly stressed, for enhancing the prospects for children to live in permanent, loving families—and for those families to succeed.”

A few examples of the wide range of work on which the organizations will initially collaborate are:

—An initiative to increase the number of children, especially those of color, adopted from foster care.
—The planning and convening of a major White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010.
—Development of research-based best practices for adoption agency work with gay and lesbian parents.

In addition, the Adoption Institute will open an office this summer at CWLA headquarters near Washington, D.C., which the Institute will use primarily to focus on its national and state legislative efforts. CWLA will open an office at the Adoption Institute headquarters in New York City, which it will use to broaden contact with and services to its member agencies.

CWLA’s mission is “to lead the nation in building public will to ensure safety, permanence, and well-being of children, youth, and their families by advancing public policy, defining and promoting practice excellence, and delivering superior membership services.”

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute’s mission is “to provide leadership and support to improve laws, policies, and practices—through sound research, education, and advocacy—to enhance the lives of everyone touched by adoption.”

To request an interview or to learn more about the organizations, contact April Dinwoodie at 212-925-4089 or, or Christine James-Brown at 703-412-2402 or The Institute’s website is, and CWLA’s website is