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Webinar: Sibling Connections in Adoption: What We Know and What We Can Learn from Children

Start time/date: Apr  10, 2018 11:00 AM
End time/date: Apr  10, 2018 12:30 PM
Place: Webinar
Call-In Instructions Will Be Emailed After Registration

Sibling Connections in Adoption: What We Know and What We Can Learn from Children

In adoption, there can be many different types of sibling relationships, all of which can have importance for the adoptee. Children’s definitions of their siblings often differ from those of adults. Children tend to be less formal than adults in their view of who is a brother or sister. Research indicates that biological relatedness was not associated with young children’s perceptions of closeness to siblings. Children in foster care may live with and develop ties to children with whom they may or may not have a biological relationship. In child welfare, the term “fictive kin” has been introduced to recognize types of relationships in a child’s life where there is no legal or biological tie, but a strong, enduring bond exists (Casey Family Programs, 2002). Adoptive parents, birth/first parents and adoption professionals need to be aware of different ways they can support sibling connections and help the adoptee manage the complexities. Join world-renowned researcher Ruth McRoy to learn more about what we know and what we are learning from children about the significance of these relationships.

  • Full or half-siblings, including any children who were relinquished or removed at birth as well as children who remain with the biological parent(s)
  • Step-siblings
  • Adopted/foster children in the same household, not biologically related
  • Adopted/foster children not placed into the same family but biologically related
  • Children born into the family and their foster/adopted siblings
  • Foster children in the same family
  • Orphanage mates or group-home mates with a close, enduring relationship


Educational Objectives:

  1. Sibling relationships will be identified and defined.
  2. Participants will learn about research that exists about the sibling experience for different kinds of sibling relationships.
  3. Parents will learn the importance of embracing children’s need to explore and maintain sibling relationships.
  4. Parents will be offered some examples of ways that families have maintained sibling relationships when children are not growing up in the same household.
  5. Participants will be given suggestions on language to utilize in describing siblings in varying circumstances and living situations.
  6. Possible suggestions for how families and professionals approach maintaining sibling connections in the context of adoption and foster care.

Instructor:  Ruth McRoy, Ph.D.
Ruth McRoy received her BA degree in Psychology and Sociology and Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. She received her PhD in social work from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981. She holds the Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Chair at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work and is a Senior Research Fellow and member of the Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute Board and the NACAC (North American council on Adoptable Children) Board. McRoy has been involved in adoptions practice for many years. Dr. McRoy's research interests include, among many others, family preservation, open adoptions, emotionally disturbed adopted children, cultural diversity, and African American adoptions. McRoy has authored or co-authored eight books and more than 100 articles and book chapters on child welfare issues. Her recent honors include the 2004 Flynn Prize for Social Work Research from the University of Southern California, the 2005 George Silcott Lifetime Achievement Award from the Black Administrators in Child Welfare, and the 2006 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR).


Pricing Description:

$35 per person non-member

Special pricing Pact member receive 65% discount.

Please choose carefully when registering for Pact events. Pact is not in a position to refund workshop or event registration fees.

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