• Karen Doyle Buckwalter

Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao: Adoption and Development

Karen welcomes Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao to the show to discuss the impact adoption can have on a child's development.

Joyce Maguire Pavao, Ed.D.,LCSW, LMFT, is the Founder and CEO of Center For Family Connections, Inc., in Cambridge and New York, Adoption Resource Center in Cambridge, Pre/Post Adoption Consulting Team in Cambridge, and Family Connections Training Institute in Cambridge.


She is a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and is a Clinical Member of the American Family Therapy Association. She is a member and past Director of the American Adoption Congress, former Board member of the Open Door Society of Massachusetts, Kinship Alliance in Monterey, California, and Education and Policy Board of Adoptive Families of America in Minneapolis. She is currently on the Practice Board of the Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York, the Editorial Boards of Adoptive Families magazine and Foster Families Today magazine, the Adoption Advisory Board of the Child Welfare League of America, and the Library Board of the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center. Dr. Pavao has received many awards and honors, including the Children’s Bureau/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adoption Excellence Award for Family Contribution (2003), The Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy (2003), the North American Council for Adoptable Children award for Adoption Advocate of the Year (2001) and Child Advocate of the Year (2001), and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption award for Angels in Adoption (2000), as nominated by Senator Edward Kennedy and Congressman Mike Capuano.


Dr. Pavao has done extensive training, both nationally and internationally. She is a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and has lectured at Harvard, Smith, Wellesley, UCLA, USC, and Antioch, UC Dublin and Trinity in Dublin, among other universities. She has consulted to various public and private child welfare agencies, adoption agencies, schools, and community groups, as well as probate and family court judges, lawyers, and clergy. Additionally, she has worked closely with individuals, couples, and families with adoption-related issues, foster care issues, guardianship and kinship, as well as complex families formed through reproductive technology, single parent families, gay and lesbian families, and families through remarriage.


Her constant chant is that adoption is about finding families for children, not about finding children for families and although she is a family therapist with empathy for all parties, she keeps her focus on the best interests of the child. Her other mantra is that it takes a community to hold a family and the wider community needs to understand the Family of Adoption.

For More:

Pavao Consulting

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