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Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics

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Guest Speakers 

Christopher Balding, Ph.D., is an associate professor business and economics at the HSBC Business School of Peking University Graduate School and is a non-resident fellow at the ESADE Center for the Global Economy and Geopolitics.  An expert in sovereign wealth funds, he wrote a book entitled Sovereign Wealth Funds: The New Intersection of Money and Power published by Oxford University Press.  His work has been cited by a variety of media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times and published in such leading journals as the Review of International Economics, the International Finance Review, and the Journal of Public Economic Theory on such diverse topics as CDS pricing, the WTO, and the economics of adoption and abortion.  Prof. Balding received his PhD from the University of California, Irvine and worked in private equity prior to entering academia.  He is married with two daughters and lives in Shenzhen, China.

Kathleen Bergquist, Kathleen Bergquist is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has her MSW at Norfolk State University and PhD in Counselor Education at the College of William and Mary, both in Virginia. She is also a practicing attorney, having completed her JD at UNLV's Boyd School of Law. Dr. Bergquist's area of research includes intercountry adoption and violence against women in the Asian Pacific American community to include domestic violence and human trafficking.

Taylor Brown, MSc graduated with an MSc in Evidence-based Social Intervention from the University of Oxford and is now fulfilling an appointment at the National Science Foundation before beginning her PhD in Sociology. Her interests lie at the intersection of law and public health, from a gendered and comparative perspective.

Andrea Cardarello holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Université de Montréal (Canada), has done research on issues related to kinship, adoption, foster care, poverty, and children's rights. She has taught anthropology and sociology in universities in Brazil and in Canada, where she is currently teaching at Concordia University and is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Université du Québec en Outaouais and a member of GRAVE (Research and Action Group on Child Victimization).

Galina Carson, Student, age 19, from Kazakhstan. Participated in Kidsave's Summer Miracles family visit program in 2003, adopted in 2004. Currently a freshman at Pepperdine University, Malibu.

Katlyn J. Christensen (BA, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse) is a master's student at Winona State University, focusing on counseling education. Upon graduation, she hopes to continue her research endeavors in a university setting.

Jenna Cook, undergraduate at Yale University. Jenna was adopted from Wuhan, China in 1992 and was raised in Massachusetts. She hopes to become an adoption researcher and professor one day.

Susan Soonkeum Cox, Vice President, Policy & External Affairs, Holt International
Susan Soonkeum Cox has been an international adoption and child welfare professional for more than twenty five years—Adopted from Korea in 1956, Susan's life experience and her search and reunion with her birth family give her a unique and personal perspective. She is a delegate to The Hague Conference on Private International Law Special Commission on the Practical Operation of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention, has trained government officials in Korea, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia and New Zealand regarding ethical adoption, and, through a UNICEF program, trained officials and journalists in Romania on effective media advocacy for child welfare.

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs Ph.D. is assistant professor of English and director of American Racial and Multicultural Studies at St. Olaf College. Her debut collection, Paper Pavilion (White Pine Press 2007), received the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and the Sheila Motton Book Award; and her advocacy and articles have appeared widely in Chosun Ilbo, Daesan Literary Journal, Foreign Policy in Focus, Hankyoreh, Korea Herald, Korean Financial Times, Korean Quarterly, Korea Times, Pressian, Yonhap News, among others.

Sara Docan-Morgan (PhD, University of Washington) is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She is a Korean adoptee whose research focuses on interpersonal communication in adoptive and birth families.

Marie A. Failinger, Professor of Law, Hamline University School of Law. Failinger is the editor of the Journal of Law and Religion and a member of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics Advisory Board. She is an adoptive parent, and writes frequently on Lutheran theology and law.

Gary Feldman, MD, is the Medical Director of the Stramski Developmental Center, the Stramski International Adoption Program and the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center at Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach, California. He holds an MBChB degree from the University of Cape Town Medical School, South Africa. He completed residency training in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric neurology at Red Cross Children's hospital, Cape Town South Africa. This was followed by a 5-year solo pediatric practice. In 1999 he immigrated to the U.S. and completed a 3 year fellowship in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Rainbow Babies and Children's while being trained in International Adoption Medicine. Dr. Feldman is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in General Pediatrics as well as Sleep Medicine. He is married and has 2 daughters.

Angela Gee M.A., MFT, a Chinese-American adoptee and adoptive mother to her 20 year-old daughter born in Guangzhou, China. Angela is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in adoption related issues and who is committed to programming that explores the varied experience of adoption.

Mark Goldfeder, Esq., Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgia State University School of Law received his J.D. from NYU, his L.L.M. from Emory, and is finishing his doctoral dissertation on the interaction of family law, criminal law, and religion in regard to the issue of polygamy.

Deleith Gossett, Assistant Professor of Legal Practice at Texas Tech University School of Law, now in her third year of teaching, began her legal career as a federal law clerk to the late John Hannah, Jr., then Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, and also clerked for Federal District Judges Leonard Davis and Michael H. Schneider, and federal Magistrate Judge John D. Love. In private practice, she served as local counsel in patent cases and represented governmental actors in qualified immunity cases and employers in Title VII cases.

Lisa A. Harlow holds a Master of Science Degree in International Studies from Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut, where much of her work was focused on intercountry adoption and Guatemala.  An elementary school educator with over ten years of experience, she is also the parent of a child adopted from Guatemala.

Erin Heim, PhD Candidate, University of Otago, is a graduate of Denver Seminary, MA, and the University of Minnesota, BMus. Her doctoral research is focused on the Pauline adoption metaphor and identity formation in early Christian communities.

Nikolai (Kolya) Hicker, age 22, from Russia. Participated in Kidsave's Summer Miracles family visit program in 2004, adopted in 2006 at the age of 15. urrently a sophomore in college at Brooks Institute for Photography, Santa Barbara.

Katie Hoffman, PhD. Katie recently completed her PhD at the University of Kent in the UK. She is currently working as a consultant researcher and assisting with the preparation of a collaborative ESRC research bid between the Open University in the UK and Renmin University in China.

Kathryn Joyce is a journalist and author of two books: The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption (PublicAffairs, forthcoming in 2013) and Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement (Beacon, 2009). She is an associate editor at Religion Dispatches and her articles and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The Nation, Salon, Slate and many other publications.

Steve Kalb, LMSW, is the Director of Adoptee Services at Holt International Children's Services. For 8 years, Steve has worked with Adoptees through Holt's youth programs and birth search services. His advocacy work deconstructs the oppressive tendencies of the International Adoption Industry upon the Adoptee.

Caitlin Kee J.D. is a Minnesota attorney, adoptee rights advocate, and community organizer. She serves as a steering committee member for Pan-Asian Voices for Equity—Minnesota, advocates for the rights of transnational adoptees and original families, and has been a core member of AdopSource's Justice for Adoptees campaign.

David C. Koelsch, Associate Professor, University of Detroit Mercy Director, Immigration Law Clinic Professor Koelsch directs the Immigration Law Clinic at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He and his law students represent unaccompanied alien children, applicants for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, child trafficking victims, and international adoptees.

Faisal Kutty, J.D., LL.M., Ph.D. (Cand.), is an assistant professor at Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana and an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. His areas of interest are legal writing & reasoning, comparative law, international law, human rights and Islamic law. His most recent work on the intersection of common law and the Shari'ah is a chapter in Debating Sharia: Islam, Gender Politics, and Family Law Arbitration, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2012.

Tara Linh Leaman, J.D., Co-Founder and Vice President, AmerAsians Building Bridges As an African Vietnamese American transracial adoptee, Tara understands the challenges and successes of claiming more than one transformative experience. She is the, which provides training and resources that enrich the lives of adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents and their allies; and creates partnerships with Vietnam Vets to promote the rights of Amerasians living in the U.S. and Vietnam through education and advocacy. She has worked internationally and nationally to advance economic, social and cultural rights, including service as a deputy director at a NYC-based adoption research institute, a teacher in Johannesburg, South Africa, and currently serves on the board of Holt International, the oldest and one of the largest intercountry adoption agencies in U.S.

Sarah MacDonald is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation research focuses on the role that United States international adoption agencies play in facilitating adoptions within the transnational adoption market.
Melinda K. Mains, J.D., M.S.W., is an attorney-at-law and president of Mains Group, Inc. Mains is a magna cum laude graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Henry Mitz, Student, age 15, from Colombia. Participated in Kidsave's Summer Miracles family visit program in 2008, adopted in 2009. Currently a freshman at Windward High School, Los Angeles.

Mark Montgomery, Ph.D., Donald L. Wilson Professor of Enterprise & Leadership, Professor of Economics, Grinnell College. Mark Montgomery and coauthor Irene Powell have taught economics at Grinnell College, In Iowa, for 22 years. They have a birth daughter (27) living in Rwanda, a son (21) adopted in infancy from Texas, and a son (17) adopted from Sierra Leone at age 6.

Leland Morrill (born Leland Kirk, Navajo Nation) is an advocate, actor, blogger, jewelry artist, and writer who for the past two decades has researched and written about the experiences of undocumented Native American adoptees vulnerable to removal and detention under the Real ID Act of 2005. Most recently, his writing has appeared in Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects (Blue Hand Books 2012).
Kit Myers is a Ph.D. Candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His dissertation project focuses on the intersection of desire, race, family formation, and the violence of love in US transracial/national adoption from Asia.
Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute and Associate Editor of Adoption Quarterly. Pertman, a Pulitzer-nominated former journalist, is a nationally known expert and lecturer on adoption issues; appears regularly in the media; and has written extensively on related topics, including two recently published books, Adoption by Lesbians and Gay Men: A New Dimension in Family Diversity (co-edited with Dr. David Brodzinsky) and Adoption Nation, which has been reviewed as "the most important book ever written on the subject."

Kit Myers is a Ph.D. Candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His dissertation project focuses on the intersection of desire, race, family formation, and the violence of love in US transracial/national adoption from Asia.

Dennae Pierre, Educational Coordinator and Writer for Together for Adoption. Her background in Biblical Studies and Social Work has given her unique experiences working with traumatized children. She teaches foster and adoptive courses that families must take in order to become licensed foster or adoptive parents. Dennae is a resource to families who are at-risk of disruption. Through trainings, seminars, and individual support, Dennae enjoys supporting families in the difficult seasons of parenting children who have been traumatized.

Ellen Pinderhughes, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University. Dr. Pinderhughes is a developmental and clinical psychologist who has worked as a therapist and a clinical consultant; her research focuses primarily on the complex interplay of family dynamics in adoptive and biological families with children at risk for problem outcomes. She serves on several professional editorial boards, including Adoption Quarterly, and has written extensively on adoption-related issues in books and journals.

Mark Riley, Alternative Care Consultant and Child Advocate at The Alternative Care Initiative is an experienced consultant having worked for many years with the Welsh Assembly Government delivering both public and private consultancy programs. Mark has been actively involved in Alternative Care for children and encouraging changes to institutional care since he first visited Uganda in 2001. Based in Uganda since 2010 Mark is currently supporting the Ugandan Government on Alternative Care and has developed a number of toolkits to assess and monitor child care institutions. Despite being an international adoptive parent himself, Mark has been an outspoken critic of unethical international adoption practices and is working with the Ugandan government to address the current issues within the Ugandan system.

Jini Roby, JD/MSw is an attorney, social worker and Brigham Young University professor, who has over three decades of experience in child welfare. She is a former adoption social worker, and president of the Utah Adoption Council, founder and director of an agency to prevent and treat child abuse, and a court-appointed attorney for children in public child welfare systems in the U.S.

Karen Rotabi, PhD, MSW, MPH is an Associate Professor at the United Arab Emirates University where she is assisting in launching the first MSW program in the Arab gulf region. She co-edited the 2012 book entitled: Intercountry Adoption: Policies, Practices, and Outcomes. She has published extensively on intercountry adoption, emphasizing Guatemalan practice dynamics. Rotabi has evaluated numerous adoption agencies for Hague Accreditation with the Council on Accreditation. She is currently in early stages of researching informal child adoption practices (kefala) in the United Arab Emirates in addition to research on global surrogacy practices in India, Guatemala, and elsewhere. Her publications are outlined at http://independent.academia.edu/KarenRotabi

Sheryl Ryan, Ph.D. candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary, in the School of Intercultural Studies, in the department of Children at Risk. She is an adoptive parent and her research is with families who attend heritage camps.

Amber Stime, Executive Director and Founder, African Cradle, is credited with opening Ethiopian adoption to the U.S. and is a recognized leader in multi-cultural and transracial adoption and education. She has placed over 300 Ethiopian children with American families; African Cradle has placed children from Ghana, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Uganda, Tanzania and the U.S.

Elizabeth Styffe, RN PHN MN, is the director of Global Orphan Care Initiatives of the PEACE Plan at Saddleback Church. Elizabeth founded this initiative and is a recognized leader in developing innovative and sustainable solutions to the global orphan crisis with an emphasis on permanency for every child. She specializes in helping churches launch effective responses which are church-initiated, focused on ending the orphan crisis. Elizabeth's strong and compassionate voice for orphans has been featured on Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, and UNICEF Faith-Based Council and on the White House Roundtable for Orphan Care.

Randi Thompson, CEO/Executive Director and Co-founder of KidSave International holds a B.A and M.A from the University of Maryland, has been featured in the book, "Do Your Giving While You're Living" and was named "2009 Philanthropist of the Year" by the LA Business Journal.

Edna Chinyere Udobong, Assistant Professor of Law, Liberty University School of Law where she teaches Adoption Law, International Law, International Human Rights, and Immigration Law. Recipient of 2008-2009 Fulbright Scholar Award, 2006-2007 American Bar Association Section of International Law 2006-2007 Unsung Hero Award and the 2007 Special Achievement Award for contributions, ethics and dedication to the rule of law mission in West Africa.

Júlia Vich-Bertran is currently a PhD candidate in anthropology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Her PhD dissertation is an original case study of the China/Spain Transnational Adoption Program.

Leslie K. Wang, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Grand Valley State University. Her research examines transnational issues of gender, family, childhood and adoption to understand China's changing relationship with the global north.

Professor Lynn D. Wardle, Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. writes about family law, comparative family law, and biomedical ethics & law. He was President (2000-02) of the International Society of Family Law, is a member of the American Law Institute, and is President of the International Academy for the Study of the Jurisprudence of the Family.