Ruth McRoy, Ph.D., is the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professor Emerita at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, and Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professorship at Boston College School of Social Work. Prior to joining the Boston College faculty, McRoy was a member of The University of Texas at Austin School of social work faculty for 25 years and held the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professorship. She received her BA and MSW degrees from the University of Kansas and her PhD degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Her  research and scholarship has focused on many topics including racial disproportionality in child welfare, family preservation, kinship care, longitudinal study of outcomes of  openness in adoptions for birthmothers, adoptive parents, and adopted children, adoptive family recruitment and retention, minority recruitment, racial identity development, transracial adoptions, older child adoptions, and post-adoption services.

Over the years, McRoy has had numerous federal, state, foundation, and local research grants. Currently as part of the federally funded AdoptUSKids project, which is operated through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Children’s Bureau, McRoy and her research team recently completed two nationwide studies (2002-2007) on barriers to adoption and factors associated with successful special needs adoptions. Currently, she is leading an evaluation team which is conducting a ten year (2007-2017) evaluation of all components of AdoptUSKids.

She has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters and twelve  books, including: Openness in Adoption: Family Connections (with H. Grotevant), Challenging Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare (with D. Green, K. Belanger, and L. Bullard), Building Research Culture and Infrastructure (with J. Flanzer & J. Zlotnik) and Transracial and Intercountry Adoptions: Culturally  Sensitive Guidance for Professionals (with R. Fong)

Professional Interests

Open adoptions, outcomes for birthmothers, adoptive parents and adopted children, trans-racial adoptions, family preservation, special needs adoptions, post-adoption services, female sexual abuse perpetrators, racial identity, adolescent pregnancy, effectiveness of residential treatment services.