Our prehistory begins with calls for papers for special sessions in the Modern Language Association newsletter in 1993, frequent unofficial meetings at the MLA, and a special session and a special event approved in 1996. At our organizational meeting at the MLA, December 28, 1998, we adopted a constitution, and in 1999 we published our first newsletter. The newsletter, now published electronically, continues as an annual event and is our main official communication to members.  An electronic Mailman list for scholarly exchange has been developed since the May 2010 conference, improving on our earlier listserv. The dues are now $20 per year and always include the newsletter; they include the journal if it is published in the year the dues are paid.

In 2004 we began planning our first conference, and decided to invite historians  and other scholars as well as literary critics and filmmakers to the University of Tampa in November 2005. Our second conference occurred at the University of Pittsburgh, and the main discipline we added was anthropology. Our third conference, at MIT,  added especially philosophers and legal scholars. Throughout we have also included psychologists, activists, and other writers interested in cultural issues related to adoption. Our constitution reflects the literary interests of our beginnings, which we maintain, but our conferences and publications include scholarship from other fields as well.