Skip to content
Upcoming Presentations and Events



Past Presentations and Events

July 4, 2015 – Adoption activism

Adoptees are challenging and changing the adoption status quo, both from within and outside of the traditional systems and institutions that regulate and perpetuate adoption. I will talk about the connection between adoption and social justice activism and the implications of the current landscape and discourse of adoption activism for future generations of adoptees and adoptive parents. Pact Family Camp, Tahoe City, CA.

July 4, 2015 – The long and winding path to adulthood: Parenting adolescents
The tween and teen years for adopted youth are a turbulent time for both the adolescent and parent(s). In addition to the normative developmental tasks for young people during this phase, adopted teens of color have the added layers of integrating both racial and adoptive identity which can complicate navigating peer and family relationships and their dreams and goals for the future. Parents may wonder what is normal adolescent “stuff” and what is adoption related. This session will look at what is happening in the teen brain, discuss adolescent “stuck spots” related to adoption, discuss parental grief and loss specifically related to their teenager or emerging adult, and facilitate a discussion on the support-enable spectrum that parents must negotiate.

April, 2015 – Through the eyes of adoptees: adoption competence & identity for caregivers and professionals

Co-presented with Elana Schuster, Fintan Moore, and Shawyn Lee at the Minnesota Association of Children’s Mental Health Conference, Duluth MN.

February 2015 – Beyond the “capitualte and militate” dichotomy: Perspectives of adult adoptees on race, adoption and counseling.

Organization in-service training, Minneapolis, MN.

November, 2014 – Kindred Family Focus

Promoting placement stability: Supporting children and families in foster and adoptive placements. Organization in-service training, Minneapolis MN.

October 11, 2014 – Presentation

October 11-12, 2014 – Families with Children from Asia – Midwest: Heritage Retreat (Culture Camp)

September 21, 2014 – Middle Brother Post-Show Discussion

Information about the show is at the Mu Performing Arts website.

July 11, 2014 – Catalyst Foundation Vietnam Culture Camp

July 11, 2014 – Catalyst Foundation Minnesota Vietnam Culture Camp, Northfield, MN

Culture camps, cultural festivals and even restaurant outings all became popular after JaeRan’s generation of adoptees. But giving children the tools they need to grow into an adult of color in the U.S. requires more than a restaurant visit. JaeRan will discuss how the wide disconnect from language and culture often makes it more difficult for intercountry transracial adoptees to connect with ethnic communities in the U.S. than it is for American transracial adoptees.

June 27-29, 2014 – Perspectives From the Inside: Adoptee Scholars and Adoption Research

2014 KAAN Conference, Minneapolis, MN

This roundtable discussion featuring adult adoptee researchers in the fields of History, Sociology, Social Work, and Gender Studies. Panelists will discuss how they negotiate their locations as adoptees and researchers in their work on transracial, domestic and/or international adoption. They will reflect on how their scholarship is considered by non-adoptees in academia and consider how adult adoptee scholars are impacting mainstream understandings of adoption. The roundtable discussion will also include their reflections on what prompted them to enter the field of Adoption Studies. Co-panelists include Dr. Kimberly McKee, Dr. Liz Raleigh, Dr. Oh Myo Kim, and Kelly Condit-Shrestha.

 Transracial Adoptees: Finding Commonalities Across Countries

2014 KAAN Conference, Minneapolis, MN

This panel of internationally adopted persons from Colombia, India, Vietnam and S. Korea will discuss the many ways adoptees can seek collaboration and find commonalities beyond their peers from their country of birth. Co-panelists include Susan Branco Alvarado, Dr. Kripa Cooper-Lewter, and Adam Chau.

June 12, 2014 – International Adoption: Current Trends, Policy, & Social Work Practice Implications

June 12-13, 2014 – International Social Work Conference, Augsburg College, St. Paul, MN

The purpose of this international adoption panel is to disseminate and share information about international adoption with respect to current trends, policy, and social work practice implications. Each panelist will focus on her area of expertise in international adoption including current trends and policy, and consideration of special needs and identity issues. Co-panelists include Dr. Bibiana Koh, Alexis Oberdorfer and Bea Evans.

June 12, 2014 – The intersection of disability and child welfare

June 11-14, 2014 – Society for Disability Studies: Disability and Sustainability, Minneapolis, MN

Persons with disabilities have historically been oppressed and discriminated against by the child welfare system. Parents with disabilities are more likely to come under scrutiny by child protection where assessment, case planning, and interventions often are not appropriate to address parents with a disability. Parents with disabilities are vulnerable to having their children placed in out-of-home care or having their parental rights terminated. Children and youth with disabilities are also less likely to receive appropriate assessments and services. In particular, adolescents with disabilities in foster care often do not receive services regarding transitioning to adulthood. Additionally, children and youth with disabilities have historically been discriminated against in the child welfare system by being considered “unadoptable,” leading them to be more likely to remain in long-term foster care or other institutionalized settings.

In 2011, the Disability Child Welfare Collaborative formed to bring together professionals and researchers in the fields of child welfare, disability and education together to improve outcomes for parents and children with disabilities involved in the child welfare system. Members of the Disability Child Welfare Collaborative, will offer a short (10 minute) presentation on the group’s efforts to engage the community around issues related to parents and children with disabilities involved in child welfare and in particular to foster dialogue between the disability community and service providers involved in supporting parents and children with disabilities in holistic, integrated, supportive and appropriate services.

May, 2014 – Deconstructing disability and race in adoption

May 29-31, 2014 – St. John’s University Adoption Initiative Conference, Queens, NY

Disability, framed as “special needs,” is an integral part of all aspects of the adoption process. This panel examines the ways in which children are constructed as “special needs” based on race, age, gender and physical, cognitive, developmental or mental health functioning and the impact on adoptees and adoption practices. Co-presenters Dr. Subini Annamma, Dr. Elizabeth Raleigh and Katie Hae Leo, MFA.

 March, 2014 – Tracing adoption in the media

March 27-29, 2014 Fifth International Conference on Adoption and Culture, Tallahassee, FL

From initial stories of orphan waifs waiting for “good American homes” following American wartime involvement abroad to emotionally wrenching stories of the “crack baby epidemic,” powerful stories of adoption entered the American imaginary from the mid-twentieth century onwards. However, media coverage alone does not tell the full story of how Americans conceptualize and understand adoption. This panel critically engages how news outlets portray adoptive families and adoptees. Through these papers, we aim to engender conversation concerning the positive and negative impact of adoption in popular culture. In doing so, this panel will raise new questions concerning how practices of adoption may be effected as a result of notoriety in the press. Co-panelists include Dr. Kimberly McKee and Dr. Kim Park Nelson.

November 15, 2013 – Reframing the Adoption Discourse

Sponsored by the Adoption Policy and Reform Collaborative, John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Macalester College

9:30 am. – Activism panel (panelist) – with Michelle Johnson, Mary Martin Mason, Jenni Fang Lee, and Sandy Whitehawk

3:30 p.m. – Mental Health panel (co-facilitator) with Susan Branco Alvarado, Fintan Moore, Hei Kyong Kim, Elana Schuster and Robert O’Connor.

 November 7, 2013 – How we got here: Understanding Baby Veronica

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Indian Child Welfare Education Day, William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN

This presentation will look at the historical roots of adoption in America to help us understand how a case like Baby Veronica happens.

 August 3, 2013 – Transracial Adoptees: Commonalities Across Countries

10:30 – 11:45 am, 2013 KAAN Conference, Grand Rapids, MIAs the authors of the book  “Parenting as Adoptees” have shown, adult transracial international adoptees from different countries  have a huge amount in common. Adoptees from South Korea, Vietnam, India, and Colombia, all of whom were part of “Parenting as Adoptees,” will lead a wide-ranging, adult adoptees-only, discussion.

Mark HaglandKevin Haebeom VollmersJaeRan KimSusan Branco AlvaradoStephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter

 August 4, 2013 –  Seeking Asian America: Finding Culture in Contemporary Literature

8:30-9:45 am – 2013 KAAN Conference, Grand Rapids, MI

Asian American authors provide windows to the social history that has shaped the perceptions of a “model minority” and the pervasive stereotypes and racist attitudes that are part of today’s American experience. This discussion group will use themes presented in books by popular authors as pathways to understanding Asian American culture today.

Terri SheridanJaeRan Kim

 April 7, 2013 – Coffee and Conversation with Families with Children from Asia – Midwest

2:00-3:30 pm. at Java Train – St. Paul

Families With Children from Asia Midwest and Land of Gazillion Adoptees are pleased to announce a three-part series for adoptive parents – Coffee and Conversation. We invite adoptive parents from all walks of life to join us at Java Train in St. Paul, MN and listen to three accomplished adoptees – Eric Sharp, JaeRan Kim, and Shannon Gibney – as they discuss their professional expertise over casual cups of coffee.

JaeRan Kim will be discussing the landscape of post-adoption needs and services for families. To register, click here.

March 15, 2013 – Minnesota Social Service Association 120th Annual Training Conference and Expo

Collaboration to Improve Services for Children with Disabilities in Child Welfare

In 2010, community members from child welfare and disability organizations and academic researchers came together to form the Disability and Child Welfare Collaborative. Their goals are to connect research findings with practice wisdom, to coordinate outreach and education for service providers in both child welfare and disability services, and to improve practice and client outcomes. The DCWC provides education and training for providers from multiple service systems, as well as opportunities for resource sharing.

Katharine Hill, MPP, MSW, PhD, LISW, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas; Traci LaLiberte, MSW, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, University of Minnesota; JaeRan Kim, MSW, Adoption, Permanency, and Stability Coordinator, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, University of Minnesota; Joe Wild Crea, Program Director, Ampersand Families

December 6, 2012 – Parenting as Adoptees book reading

Join authors of the anthology Parenting As Adoptees as they read and discuss their respective chapters: Shannon Gibney, Hei Kyong Kim, JaeRan Kim, Mary Mason, and Sandy White Hawk, with welcome and closing statements by Adam Chau and Kevin Ost-Vollmers. Through fourteen chapters, the authors of Parenting As Adoptees give readers a glimpse into a pivotal phase in life that touches the experiences of many domestic and international adoptees—that of parenting. The authors, who are all adoptees from various walks of life, intertwine their personal narratives and professional experiences, and the results of their efforts are insightful, emotive, and powerful.

This event is cosponsored by The Loft Literary Center, and free and open to the public. For more information click here.

November, 2012 – Strengths and Challenges of Bringing Insider Experiences in Teaching, Research, and Practice.

Presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Washington, DC with Shawyn Lee.

November, 2012 –  Graduate Student Perspectives on Diversity/Social  Justice Integration in the MSW Curriculum.

Presented at the Council on Social Work  Education Annual Program Meeting, Washington, DC. with Shawyn Lee.

October, 2012 –  Best Interests of the Child? Race, Religion & Rescue in adoption.

Keynote. St. John’s University 7th biennial adoption conference,New York, NY.

July 2012 –  Beyond   panels: Adopted persons as professionals.

Presented at the North American Council on  Adoptable Children (NACAC) 38th Annual Conference, Crystal City, VA. Presented with Susan Branco Alvarado, Kripa Cooper-Lewter, and Paula O’Loughlin.

July, 2012 –  Building an adoption competent mental health Workforce: Moving from development to national replication.

Presented at the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) 38th Annual Conference,  Crystal City, VA. Presented with Debbie Riley, Edith Swidler, and Janine  Szymanski.

May, 2012 – Korean adoptees: The model minority of the model minority.

AK  Connection, Minneapolis, MN.

June, 2011 –  Virtual Boundaries: Ethical Considerations for the Use of  Social Media  in Social Work.

Presented at theNational Association of Social Workers, Minnesota Chapter (NASW-MN) 21st Annual State Conference, St. Paul, MN with Ericka Kimball.

April, 2011 –  Generations after adoption: A conversation with adoptee parents.

 Presented at the Also-Known-As Conference, New  York, NY with Elizabeth Raleigh, Hollee McGinnis, and Kacy Ames.

October, 2010 –  Moving beyond Moodle: Connecting the classroom to the community.

Presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Portland, OR with Ericka Kimball and Shweta Singh.

July, 2010 –  Keynote: A lifetime perspective on the developmental tasks of adopted persons.

Pact Camp, Tahoe City, CA.

October 2006 –  Considering culture in placement decisions: Conflicting best practices for the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Multiethnic Placement Act.

Presented at the  St. John’s University 4th Biennial adoption conference, New York, NY.

%d bloggers like this: