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National Council for Adoption records

Identifier: SW0263

Scope and Content

The records comprise audio cassettes of speeches or papers presented at annual meetings of the National Committee/Council for Adoption (NCFA) between 1985 and 1999. There is are also a small number of similar audio recordings from other conferences devoted to adoption. All the cassettes appear to have been prepared by a commercial service that records conference proceedings; all cassettes are labeled and numbered in a consistent fashion. The recordings are not indexed.

This collection also includes the personal papers of NCFA founding president Dr. William Pierce. The files contain primarily correspondence, news clippings, and Pierce's notes, and are arranged alphabetically. In addition to the main alphabetical run, there is a section of miscellaneous files (beginning with "AIDS project") that is alphabetized within itself and falls at the end of the series.


  • 1974-2004


Language of Materials


Use of Materials

Open for use in Social Welfare History Archives reading room.


Please contact the Archives for copyright information.

Historical Note

The National Council for Adoption (NCFA) was founded in 1980 as a nonprofit organization that supports adoption services. The NCFA has members in all 50 states and many foreign countries. The organization has been involved in creating legislation at both the state and national level that encourages fair and ethical adoption. NCFA member agencies administer the adoption of children—regardless of age, national origin, or physical disability—into a safe, permanent home.

Biographical Note

William L. (Bill) Pierce founded the National Council for Adoption—originally named the National Committee for Adoption—with Ruby Lee Piester, then executive director of what is now the Gladney Center for Adoption, in 1980. He would serve as president for twenty years. Pierce was active in the press and in politics and fiercely advocated for the passage of a number of pieces of legislation, including the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (1994), the Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997), and the Infant Adoption Awareness Act (part of the Children's Health Act of 2000). He was also a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Hague and helped draft the 1993 Intercountry Adoption Convention while serving in that capacity. In 1994, he attended the work session on the Convention as executive director of the U.S. committee for the International Association of Voluntary Adoption Agencies and NGOs (IAVAAN). A staunch believer in closed adoptions, he was vocal in his opposition to the Draft Model State Adoption Act (such opposition being one of the pillars of NCFA's founding mission) and to all proposed “open records” legislation.

In late 1998, Pierce announced that he would leave the NCFA. After his departure, he continued to serve as executive director for IAVAAN and in 1999 became a senior fellow at Discovery Institute, which describes itself as "an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued."

Prior to his work with the NCFA, Pierce was the assistant executive director of the Daycare and Child Development Council, a national voluntary organization, and subsequently held that same title with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) starting in 1970. He also served as the director of CWLA's Center for Governmental Affairs. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Benedictine College in Atchinson, Kansas, and his graduate degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His early career included work as a college English professor in St. Paul, Minnesota; associate editor of the diocesan newspaper in Des Moines, Iowa; federal employee of the war on poverty campaign in Kansas City, Missouri; and field instructor at the National Catholic School of Social Service.

*The majority of this biography was drawn from the William Pierce papers, SW262 (Box 12: Pierce, William—Biographical File). Information was also obtained from the websites of the National Council for Adoption ( and Discovery Institute (


43 Linear Feet (39 record cartons)


The records comprise audio cassettes of speeches or papers presented at annual meetings of the National Council for Adoption (formerly the National Committee for Adoption) and personal files of the Council's founding president, Dr. William Pierce.


The cassettes are arranged chronologically by year and in approximate numerical order thereunder. The Council had an index to the recordings, but thus far it has not been made available to the Archives.

The William Pierce personal files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Other Finding Aid

Please contact Archives for more information.

Acquisition Information

The records were received in March 2002 as a gift from the National Council for Adoption, authorized by Patrick Purtil, executive director.

Related Records

For additional information regarding the National Council for Adoption, researchers should consult the William Pierce papers, SW262.
National Council for Adoption records
Dave Klaassen, revised by Madeleine Vasaly
May 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 5/15/2018: Added audio cassette series top matter.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Social Welfare History Archives Collecting Area