Elizabeth Bartholet: Short Biographical Narrative

Elizabeth Bartholet is the Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP) which she founded in the fall of 2004.  She teaches civil rights and family law, specializing in child welfare, adoption and reproductive technology. Before joining the Harvard Faculty, she was engaged in civil rights and public interest work, first with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and later as founder and director of the Legal Action Center, a non-profit organization in New York City focused on criminal justice and substance abuse issues. Bartholet graduated from Radcliffe College in 1962, and from Harvard Law School in 1965.

Professor Bartholet’s publications include: NOBODY’S CHILDREN: ABUSE AND NEGLECT, FOSTER DRIFT, AND THE ADOPTION ALTERNATIVE (Beacon Press, 1999); FAMILY BONDS: ADOPTION, INFERTILITY, AND THE NEW WORLD OF CHILD PRODUCTION (Beacon Press, 1999); Differential Response: A Dangerous Experiment in Child Welfare (2014): Creating a Child-Friendly Child Welfare System: The Use and Misuse of Research, 13 Whittier J. Child & Fam Advocacy 1 (2014); Intergenerational Justice for Children: Restructuring Adoption, Reproduction & Child Welfare Policy 8(1) J. Law & Ethics of Hum. Rights 103 (2014); The International Adoption Cliff: Do Child Human Rights Matter?, Ballard et al., eds., THE INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION DEBATE: DIALOGUES ACROSS DISCIPLINES (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, expected 2014); The Hague Convention: Pros, Cons, and Potential, Ballard et al., eds.,THE INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION DEBATE: DIALOGUES ACROSS DISCIPLINES (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, expected 2014); Creating a Child-Friendly Child Welfare System: Effective Early Intervention to Prevent Maltreatment and Protect Victimized Children, 60 Buffalo L. Rev 1323 (2012); Ratification by the United States of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Pros and Cons from a Child's Rights Perspective, 633 The ANNALS of Amer. Acad. Political and Social Science 80 (2011); International Adoption: The Human Rights Position, 1 Global Policy 91 (2010); The Racial Disproportionality Movement in Child Welfare: False Facts and Dangerous Directions, 51 Ariz. L. Rev. 871 (2009); International Adoption: The Child's Story, 24 Ga St. U. L. Rev. 333 ( 2008); International Adoption: Thoughts on the Human Rights Issues, 13 Buff Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 151 (2007); Where Do Black Children Belong? The Politics of Race Matching in Adoption, 139 Penn L. Rev. 1163 (1991); Beyond Biology: The Politics of Adoption & Reproduction, 2 Duke J. Gender L. & Pol’y 5 (Spring 1995); and Application of Title VII to Jobs in High Places, 95 Harv. L. Rev. 945 (1982).

Professor Bartholet has won several awards for her writing and related advocacy work in the area of adoption and child welfare. Other awards include a “Media Achievement Award” in 1994 and the Radcliffe College Humane Recognition Award in 1997.