Welcome to the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University. The Center for Adoption Studies conducts research on families formed through adoption, children awaiting adoption and the systems though which such families are created. Our hope is that our work informs national and state policy and practice on adoption, helps reduce the number of waiting children and strengthens families after adoption.
Our primary focus lies on children who are, or have been, in the child welfare system. These include children in foster care awaiting permanent homes and those who have been adopted but whose pre-adoptive experiences pose challenges to their post adoption adjustment and to their family life.
The Center’s staff maintains several on-going initiatives in addition to our research, such as: developing curricula to better inform adoption professionals, participating on advisory councils and planning workgroups, and providing training for child welfare, judicial and mental health professionals in Illinois and across the nation.
The Center for Adoption Studies was established in 1998 as a cooperative project between Illinois State University and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. While the Center now receives funding from several sources, our emphasis on children adopted from the public child welfare system continues.
Beginning in late 2004, the Center joined in partnership with the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and receives funding for a policy staff position with the Institute which is shared by Susan Smith and Jeanne Howard. Susan Smith fulfills responsibilities as the Program and Project Director of the Institute. Dr. Howard serves as Policy and Research Director of the Institute. Joining with this respected not-for-profit organization enables our work to have a broader reach.