Donaldson Adoption Institute Announces "Let's Adopt Reform"

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Initiative aims to reframe the conversation about adoption in the 21st century.

DAI's "Let's Adopt Reform" open letter suggests a less transactional and more transformational approach to adoption and foster care adoption.

DAI's open letter to America.

Today, the Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) announced the launch of “Let’s Adopt Reform” - an initiative that aims to ignite a national conversation about adoption in the 21st Century in order to highlight what’s working, encourage needed changes and strengthen families. “Let’s Adopt Reform” will include new public opinion research, a four-city national listening tour and a digital platform to capture input and experiences directly from the community. Following the last stop on the listening tour, DAI will publish a landmark report that outlines key elements for reform.

At the center of the “Let’s Adopt Reform” initiative is a comprehensive national survey of public opinion on the landscape of adoption in the 21st Century. This first-of-its-kind research will help provide an understanding of how members of the adoption community, as well as Americans that have no connection to adoption, perceive and respond to adoption, foster care adoption and the policies surrounding both. This groundbreaking research will serve as a baseline measure to track change in perception over time. It will also provide insight into which topics need to be addressed as part of “Let’s Adopt Reform.”

The research will be fielded by a new, nonprofit partner named Research in Kind, founded by the Global Head of Brand Intelligence at J. Walter Thompson. “Research is the first step in reframing people’s understanding and creating behavior change,” said Mark Truss, Global Head of Brand Intelligence at J. Walter Thompson. “DAI is making an important contribution towards creating the change our culture needs.”

“Let’s Adopt Reform” will tackle topics like openness in adoption, LGBT adoption rights, the changing role of the Internet and social media and the powerful market forces that influence the adoption process and experience. More details about the initiative will be announced in the coming weeks. To kick off this conversation, DAI is releasing its “Let’s Adopt Reform” open letter to show the world where it stands on exploring the bigger concepts that surround adoption, as well as suggesting a less transactional and more transformational approach overall.

“After nearly 20 years of research, education and advocacy from DAI and others, it’s not about not knowing what to do. It’s about exploring the bigger picture, having the transformational conversations, changing perceptions and taking action,” said April Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of DAI. “DAI is uniquely positioned to ignite a more modern conversation about adoption today, continuing to give members of the community a voice in the effort to inspire positive change and ultimately to achieve our common goal: healthy families that strengthen all of us.”

About The Donaldson Adoption Institute
Since 1996, The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) has worked to improve the lives of children and families across our country and around the world through research, education and advocacy that have led to better laws, policies and practices. We engage all members of the adoption and foster care adoption communities, including the professionals that serve them. As we enter into our twentieth year, DAI is committed to reframing the conversations and changing perceptions, encouraging authentic relationships, building coalitions, and being a practical resource in order to ensure the strength of all families.

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April Dinwoodie
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