UMass Psychology

Adoption Mentoring Partnership

Program Summary

The Adoption Mentoring Partnership is a unique effort designed to match community mentors who have been adopted, with children from the Amherst community who have also been adopted, in order to provide them with a friend who has a very special, shared experience. This program is rooted in a community effort to increase resources for local adopted individuals and families, and represents a true collaboration between the Rudd Adoption Research Adoption Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County.

Six matched mentor / mentee pairs began one-on-one relationships in the Fall of 2010 and we are thrilled that those same six pairs will continue on into Fall of 2011. We can’t envision a greater marker of success than these current mentors and mentees wishing to continue their friendships together! In meeting with the children, their parents, and the mentors, it is clear that the program is living up to its purpose. Conversations with participants revealed burgeoning friendships between mentors and the mentees, parents taking pleasure in seeing their children form a close relationship with someone who knows what it’s like to be adopted, and great personal growth in the mentors themselves. 

In celebrating the success of the first year, and looking forward to continued success in the next, the program is working to support our current continuing matches, recruit new mentors and children, and make known the amazing contributions of this program to all members of the adoption community. We hope to continue to spread the word among Pioneer Valley families to cultivate a diverse waitlist so we may continue to make the best possible matches between the mentors and mentees.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County continues to build support for the program through

existing community connections, funding sources, and schools. Additionally, the Rudd Adoption

Research Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst offers funding support, as well as resources that allow us to spread the word about the program to researchers, practitioners, and members of the adoption community across the country. The program has been incredibly well received by practitioners, scholars, and families, highlighting the multidisciplinary appeal and recognition of the important work this program is undertaking.

In summary, the program has been an incredible success thus far, and continues to outpace expectations. As we look forward to the future of the Adoption Mentoring Partnership, we will be heavily focused on program expansion, evaluation, and securing additional funding to ensure program longevity.

We are continually looking for adopted adults in the Amherst community who are interested in participating as mentors in this wonderful program for adopted children in the Amherst area who are on a waiting list and hoping to find a mentor.

For more information contact Jen Dolan, Program Manager of the Rudd Adoption Research Program at jdolan@psych.umass.edu

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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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