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Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics

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 Intercountry Adoption

Dear Friends,


Our conference this year will be focused on the important and complex topic of intercountry adoption. All who address this issue have a deep concern for the plight of orphans worldwide. In the Bible, James declares, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." Praised by some and criticized by others, intercountry adoption remains a matter of deep contention on the global stage. Proponents see it as a way to give a purported 18.5 million adoptable orphans a family and a better life, while critics call it a door to corruption and cultural imperialism.


This conference seeks to find understanding and common ground among these voices, while exploring the complex legal, religious and ethical issues raised by intercountry adoption. Our objectives for this conference include:

  •  Finding common ground among conflicting points of view regarding intercountry adoption
  • Exploring current barriers to intercountry adoption such as legal regulations in both sending and receiving countries
  • Viewing faith and social science together to form a more complete picture of intercountry adoption
  • Providing knowledge and guidance for families with adopted children and those looking to adopt

We hope you can join us as we bring together lawyers, scholars, pastors, adoptive families, and adoptees to investigate the future of intercountry adoption.


All our best,


Robert F. Cochran, Jr.
Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law and Director, Nootbaar Institute

Jay Milbrandt, Esq.
Interim Associate Director, Nootbaar Institute and Director, Global Justice Program