Adoption: Research, Psychology and Ethics - A Half-day Course on 29 September

This half-day course covers two topics.

Session 1 How to Trace Adopted Family Members and Living Relatives, with Eric Probert, FSG

This talk will initially consider the clues for and reasons leading to adoptions and their extent before examining the nature and location of available records and the organisations, including Children's Homes, that created them. We then explore the location of adoption files and current adoption agencies before explaining how to find birth parents and adopted children including the process of adoption certificate application. Examples will be shown and sources of further information highlighted.

Session 2 Ethical dilemmas in adoption research, with Dr Penny Walters

This session describes some of the ethical dilemmas that can arise from adoptee research. Dr Penny Walters, an adoptee herself, covers some of the issues you might face when researching a bloodline family tree. Adoptees start with discovering they have a new name, and then potentially find lots of overwhelming factual information for people they’ve never actually met before. Penny discusses the excitement, problems, pain, and practical realities of researching a ‘new’ family. Some people don’t want to be ‘found,’ some have been desperately searching for years. Some people find that their blood mother was forced into adopting her baby. Some adoptees will have a fruitless paper trail, and Penny discusses how DNA testing can solve some mysteries. She also covers how researchers (both professional and amateur) can sensitively help adoptees with their research. She provides a list of useful websites and a variety of books (both academic and anecdotal).

A half-day course on Saturday, 29 September (10:30-13:00), cost £20.00/£16.00 SoG members. Places should be pre-booked through our website or by telephone: 020 7553 3290 (Tue-Thu & Sat). Do you have a question? email the events department. 

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