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Adam Pertman
President and Co-Founder

Adam Pertman is President, CEO and Founder of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, a unique national nonprofit organization that provides research, resources, education, training, consulting and advocacy to improve the lives of children, families and the professionals who serve them. NCAP’s mission is to update child welfare policy and practice in the U.S. so that they progress beyond their traditional “child-placement” model to a new paradigm focused on enabling children and their families to succeed.

Pertman brings his experience and expertise from two highly successful careers to NCAP. For the past decade, he established himself as one of the most effective and respected thought leaders in the child welfare world as head of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national nonprofit that he built into the pre-eminent research, policy and advocacy think tank in its field. The research Pertman has instigated and participated in – along with his writing, testimony and advocacy – have been utilized to improve practice, shape law and policy, and educate professionals, students, the media and the public. Pertman also served as Associate Editor of the scholarly journal Adoption Quarterly and is a widely published author, including of the new edition of his classic book Adoption Nation, which has been reviewed as “the most important book ever written on the subject.” Previously, he distinguished himself for over 20 years as a senior reporter and editor with the Boston Globe, where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his writing about adoption.

Pertman has delivered hundreds of keynotes, trainings and other presentations internationally, and the research reports he instigated, helped to conduct and edited – along with his writing, testimony and other advocacy – have been utilized to improve practice, shape law and policy, and educate professionals, students, the media and the public. His commentaries on families and children have appeared in major print and online publications nationwide, on National Public Radio, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox News, as well as in media around the world. As a leading expert on family issues, he is widely quoted by online, broadcast and print journalists, such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, among others, and he has been a guest on many programs, including “Oprah,” “Today,” “The View” and “Nightline.”
Pertman’s honors include a 2016 Adoption Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; an Adoption Angel in Adoption award from the U.S. Congressional Coalition on Adoption; the Special Friend of Children Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; the Dave Thomas Center for Adoption Law’s first award for “the nation’s greatest contributor to public understanding about adoption and permanency placement issues;” the President’s Award from the African American Cultural Council of Virginia; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Adoption Council; and, when he was a journalist, an award from the American Adoption Congress “for his eloquent witnessing of contemporary adoption.”

Pertman’s Boston Globe positions included Foreign Editor, Washington News Editor, Diplomatic Correspondent, National Political Correspondent, Family and Children’s Issues Reporter, and restaurant reviewer. His assignments included the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Philippine revolution, the first Gulf War, the Mideast peace process, the Oklahoma City bombing, the O.J. Simpson civil and criminal trials, and several presidential elections.

Pertman is a member of the National Joint Commission for Policy and Practice of the Child Welfare League of America, the Council on Contemporary Families and the Editorial Advisory Board of Adoptive Families magazine. He also serves as Senior Advisor to the Massachusetts Chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America. He and his wife are the parents of two children by adoption.

Consulting Areas

Adam is available to provide keynotes and other speaking engagements and presentations, as well as training or consulting in areas including: organizational, board and staff building and development; media and communications, including publication-ready writing and editing on reports, white papers, issues briefs and commentaries and for external relations or marketing; program, project and strategic planning and implementation; fundraising and development planning and implementation; and policy and advocacy planning and execution.  

Commentaries by Adam

For over a decade, Adam has been a leading commentator, analyst and educator on issues relating to adoption, foster care, child welfare and contemporary families. His work and interviews appear in the media across the U.S. and around the world, and he writes regularly for The Huffington Post and on his blog.