The AdoptTogether Resource Catalog is a collection of many experienced, diverse perspectives who have all allowed AdoptTogether to share their valuable resources & promote their work for people at all stages of the adoption process. We hope you take a glance through this list of contributors and take some time to check out the good work they are up to!

Spence-Chapin

Spence-Chapin is a licensed and accredited nonprofit organization that has been offering quality adoption services for more than 100 years.

“Our mission is to help find loving families for children whatever their needs or circumstances, and provide counseling and support for all children and the families to whom they have been born or entrusted. Our mission is driven by the simple belief that every child deserves a family.

Spence-Chapin focuses on finding adoptive homes for children who need families; promoting the understanding of adoption through counseling and public education; and improving adoption’s image and practice. Through our Modern Family Center we are helping each family member navigate their individual adoption stories with clarity and confidence. Spence-Chapin’s roots can be traced to the early 1900s and the pioneering work of Clara Spence, and Dr. and Mrs. Henry Chapin, who independently established nurseries out of concern for homeless infants abandoned in hospitals and shelters.

Today, Spence-Chapin is proud of our role as a prominent voice and leading advocate for adoption, and of our commitment to the wellbeing of all members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adoptive parents, and their children.”

 

Spence-Chapin has contributed the following articles to AdoptTogether:

South Africa Adoptions: 5 Things To Know

Top 10 Medical Needs In South Africa

Samantha Futerman


Samantha Futerman
 is a Korean American adoptee. Born in Busan, South Korea, Samantha was adopted by a loving family in Verona, New Jersey through Spence Chapin Adoption Services and the Social Welfare Society. She was raised with two older brothers, her parents’ biological sons.

Samantha began performing during her childhood and continued to pursue her talents while attending high school at the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City, and eventually graduating with a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University. In 2011, Samantha moved to Los Angeles to further her acting career. Her entire life changed in February of 2013 when she discovered that she had an identical twin sister. This remarkable experience ignited a desire in Samantha to explore the world of adoption by assisting fellow adoptees and their surrounding communities. Growing up without the insight of other adoptees, she wanted to share a positive outlook on adoption and explore the ways in which family is deeper than DNA. Samantha is also the Co-Founder of Kindred: The Foundation For Adoption
alongside her good friend Jenna Ushkowitz. Kindred’s initiative is to provide international and domestic adoptees and their families (both adoptive and biological) with services such as travel, translation, and support for those who wish to reunite; easily accessible hotlines; introduction to art and encouragement of artistic expression; and programs set in native countries to aid orphans living within the foster care and
government systems. No matter how big or small the need, the foundation’s goal is to aid adoptees and their families in finding stability and happiness.

Check out her interview with AdoptTogether HERE!

Jenna Ushkowitz

Jenna Ushkowitz is a Korean American adoptee from Seoul, South Korea who was adopted at 3 months old through Love the Children Adoption Agency. She grew up in East Meadow, New York with her parents Brad and Judi Ushkowitz, and an older brother, Gregg. As a child, Jenna worked in the entertainment industry acting in commercials, Broadway and television. She attended Holy Trinity High School, known for its prestigious theatre program, and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2007 with a BA in Theatre Performance. After performing in Broadway’s “Spring Awakening,” Jenna landed a role on the hit show “Glee” in 2008 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams in television and film. In 2014, Jenna was approached by friend Samantha Futerman with an amazing story on her own adoption. Knowing that not all adoptees had the same comfortable experience as herself and Samantha, the women felt compelled to take action by creating an inspiring resource for other adoptees so they know they are not alone, no matter what their personal journey has been. Jenna is also the Co-Founder of Kindred: The Foundation For Adoption alongside her good friend Samantha Futerman. Kindred’s initiative is to provide international and domestic adoptees and their families (both adoptive and biological) with services such as travel, translation, and support for those who wish to reunite; easily accessible hotlines; introduction to art and encouragement of artistic expression; and programs set in native countries to aid orphans living within the foster care and
government systems. No matter how big or small the need, the foundation’s goal is to aid adoptees and their families in finding stability and happiness.

 

Check out her interview with AdoptTogether HERE!

 

Alice Callahan

Alice Callahan is a successful actor and model in NYC, most known for her four season recurring role on the CW’s hit show Gossip Girl and her current role on Bravo’s hit show Odd Mom Out. Alice is a long-time partner of Kenyan based orphan advocacy organization Many Hopes – by traveling to visit the children in the program in Kenya, running NYC fundraising galas, and helping start the LA fundraising chapter. She is also an ambassador for the sister organizations, World Adoption Day and AdoptTogether, which seek to support adoptive families through finances, making it possible for them to grow their homes with the privilege of adoption. She and her husband are proud adoptive parents themselves and are passionate about the #PlanA movement, which encourages families and individuals to consider adoption as a first choice in family planning.

Check out Alice’s interview with AdoptTogether HERE.

 

Tacy Riehm

Tacy Riehm has been involved with working in Haiti for over 25 years. Her love and passion for Haiti and helping its people have led her and her husband to pursue adoption in Haiti. They are currently in process and hope to bring their son home in 2015.

Tacy serves on the board of Evolution Haiti and is passionate about the projects she is able to be a part of. Working in close partnership with their Haitian partner, Pastor Samuel Metelus, Tacy is committed to enriching lives of the people in southern Haiti through education, job creation and health care.

Tacy lives in Southern California with her husband and four children, including their adopted Haitian son.

The Riehm Family raised over $36,000 from more than 50 individual donors. 

“My experience with AdoptTogether has made me even more generous myself, I’ve felt so inspired and willing to give. It changed my heart.” -Tacy Riehm

Tacy has contributed the following articles to AdoptTogether:

5 Reasons Not To Adopt

5 Questions & Comments To Expect About Your Interracial Adoption

International Adoption: 5 Things To Consider First

Chloe Briggs

Chloe Briggs currently serves as AdoptTogether’s adoption consultant, helping guide families through the many procedures inherent within both the AdoptTogether & broader adoption process.

“Having been on the agency side of the process, I have walked with families through the entire adoption journey—from initial inquiry to placement and then post‐placement. I understand the financial aspect of adoption and how overwhelming and discouraging this can be for families. I care about helping families understand the fees associated with adoption, and have been able to guide and connect them with valuable resources like AdoptTogether. I have personally witnessed families not only meet (and sometimes exceed) their adoption goals, but ultimately be encouraged and affirmed by the generosity of family and friends. I see fundraising as an important part of the adoption process—it shows families their need for others, it invites people in to the journey, and ultimately prepares an even larger “extended family” to love and welcome their adopted child.”

Email: chloe@adopttogether.org

Read Chloe’s Full Bio HERE

 

Barbara Freedgood

Barbara Freedgood, LCSW is the mother of two children adopted at birth in the United States and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City. She is the author of the article: Loss and Resiliency Form a Family: A Relational Story of Adoption available through her website. She runs post adoption support groups for adoptive parents of children of all ages. http://www.barbarafreedgood.com/adoptive-parent-support.html

Barbara has contributed the following articles to AdoptTogether:

Parenting Across Race

What is an Open Adoption?

Five Questions Adoptive Parents Ask Most Often

Testimonial: Adoption Is Not One Thing

The Dave Thomas Foundation

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is driven by a single goal: finding a loving family for every child waiting in foster care to get adopted. We are America’s only national nonprofit charity dedicated solely to finding permanent homes for the more than 110,000 children in foster care. How We Work:

  • Award grants to adoption organizations that connect children with families.
  • Increase awareness across the nation about waiting children and the process to adopt.
  • Raise funds to support our awareness and education programs.
  • Provide free resources to professionals and prospective and adoptive parents.

Our Core Beliefs:

  • Every child deserves a safe, loving and permanent family.
  • No child should linger in foster care or leave the system at age 18 without a permanent family of his or her own.
  • Every child is adoptable.”

To learn more about the Dave Thomas Foundation, visit www.davethomasfoundation.org

The Dave Thomas Foundation has contributed the following articles to AdoptTogether:

5 Myths About Foster Care

5 Steps To Becoming A Foster Parent

Show Hope

We believe that each child has the inherent, God-given right to be a part of a loving, caring family. Our work is dedicated to restoring hope to the more than 140 million children living as orphans by breaking down barriers between waiting children and loving families. For us, a holistic approach in regard to the spectrum of care needed is crucial, ensuring that each stage of development and need is addressed.

Through Adoption Aid grants, Show Hope has helped more than 5,500 children from more than 50 countries, including the U.S. More than 2,300 waiting children with acute medical and special needs have received loving care through Show Hope’s Care Centers in China. Show Hope’s partnership with the TCU Institute of Child Development and Empowered To Connect has helped bring hope and healing to children around the world with encouraging, research based teaching in Pre+Post Adoption Support. And Show Hope prepares for the future with our Student Initiatives by educating and empowering the next generation of leaders to effectively care and make a difference in the lives of children who are orphaned.

Show Hope has contributed the following article to AdoptTogether:

Three Things You Should Know About Foster Care

Deborah Gray

Deborah Gray is a child psychotherapist who specializes in the areas of attachment, adoption, trauma, and loss. She is also the author of: Attaching Through Love, Hugs, and Play–Simple Strategies to Build Connections; Games and Activities for Attaching with your Child; Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents; and Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Trauma and Neglect. Visit her site at: http://www.nurturingattachments.com

Deborah has contributed the following articles to AdoptTogether:

Top 10 Tips for a Successful First Year Parenting

Fund Your Adoption

Jeremy Resmer is the Founder of Fund Your Adoption, an online resource meant to help parents successfully adopt debt-free. Jeremy summarizes himself as a “Child Advocate. Entrepreneur. Fitness Junkie. Parent.”
Jeremy is an adoption fundraising coach that provides creative strategies and resources that empower families to adopt without debt.

AdoptTogether is proud to be the exclusive crowdfunding partner of Fund Your Adoption, and all parents who join AdoptTogether receive a code to take their “Adopt Debt Free” Bootcamp valued at $150 and includes:

  • 1-on-1 Coaching Call and Fundraising Plan Review
  • Live Weekly Group Coaching Calls To Answer Your Questions
  • Lifetime Membership
  • 24/7 On-Demand Access
  • 12 Step-By-Step Training Videos
  • Exclusive Grant Matrix and Fundraising Templates
  • Private Facebook Group Access & Support

Celeste Liversidge

Attorney Celeste Liversidge has been practicing exclusively in the field of adoption law since 2001. She is a fellow of both the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers and a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children, Christian Adoption Legal Services, National Council For Adoption and the North American Council on Adoptable Children. Celeste earned her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Westmont College. She has served on numerous boards and as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine School of Law. Celeste is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker on a variety of adoption-related issues. Celeste is also the Founder of TruAdopt, which is a non-profit, full-service adoption law firm dedicated to representing expectant parents in an ethical, knowledgeable and compassionate manner.

Celeste has contributed the following article to AdoptTogether:

5 Great Resources for Birth Mothers

Jill Cucullu

After graduating valedictorian from Pepperdine School of Law, Jill Cucullu served as the founding director of Pepperdine’s Legal Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission. There she met Celeste Liversidge, who volunteered her family law expertise to the clinic. The
two were a fit and when Jill resigned from the Mission to have her first child she joined Celeste at Adoption Law Group. Jill and her husband now have six children – four through birth and two through adoption. After taking a few years’ pause to focus on family, she has resumed her adoption law career.

Jill has contributed the following article to AdoptTogether:

Birth Order & The Blended Family

Three Strands

Three Strands is making a difference by focusing solely on serving BirthMoms in the critical post-placement state.

In November 2013, Three Strands joined with Gwinnett Medical Center’s (GMC) Women’s Pavilion in Lawrenceville, GA to honor BirthMoms.  Today we serve BirthMoms throughout the country as we continue to expand into other states.

Once the BirthMom arrives at the hospital and delivers her baby,  a Three Strands Bag valued at over $250 is delivered directly to her prior to her departure from the hospital.  Thus, filling her arms and hoping to lift her spirits as she grieves the greatest loss of her life.  The bag contains a variety of items and each item was chosen by a BirthMom.  Three Strands also has a growing, encouraging private Facebook community for BirthMoms, Adult Adoptees and Adoptive Moms.  Three Strands hosts local quarterly gatherings to encourage and cultivate community, which are of no cost to BirthMoms.  Three Strands meets a BirthMom at the hospital, delivers the Bag, locks arms and walks with her on her new journey towards healing.

 

Jennie Hundley

Jennie Hundley is the Executive Director of Three Strands and a mother in many different capacities.

“I had not planned on placing my son for adoption.  I could not imagine leaving the hospital without MY baby! I already had a 2 year old son and could not imagine telling him I “gave away” his brother. But my reality was that I was in a very physically and emotionally abusive relationship.  I realized I could not bring another precious baby into this life I was living.

When I was about 5 weeks away from giving birth, I met with Sarah Jensen, the director of Adoption Center of San Diego.  She listened to my story, and my fears.  She told me about open adoption.  I had never even heard of it.  I realized in speaking and crying with her, that it was time for me to start making positive choices in my life!  It was the hardest and most gut wrenching decision I have ever made, but the best decision I could have made for everyone involved.

My Grandma wrote a quote on a notecard for me during that time in my life:  “A life can only be truly changed when courage becomes more important than convenience”.  Placing Liam did take great courage!  That decision gave me the strength I needed to leave the abusive relationship, to realize I needed to be the best mom I could be for my 2 year old, Brian.  That decision started me on a path of making selfless choices instead of selfish ones!

I now am married with 3 sons.  I have helped launch a nonprofit to serve BirthMoms called Three Strands.  I am so thankful that I now have the opportunity to share my story of hope and redemption with other BirthMoms.  I want to help them realize that they are heroes.  They do not need to live in shame!  I am so thankful for all God has done, and is continuing to do in my life!

Prior to launching Three Strands, I devoted my time to caring for my family.  I also spent some time caring for young children as a preschool teacher.”

Jennie has contributed the following article to AdoptTogether:

5 Ways Adoptive Parents Can Honor Birth Mothers

Darlynn Childress

Darlynn Childress is a speaker, coach and author specializing in “parenting the whole child.” Darlynn’s work is focused on quipping parents with skills that build emotional connection in families and promote critical thinking in children. Visit her site HERE and to book coaching sessions, read her blog, or book her to speak at your next event! You can also read more of her story on AdoptTogether HERE.

Darlynn has contributed the following articles to AdoptTogether:

10 Things Parents Should Do When Bringing Their Child Home for the First Time

4 Steps to Becoming a Peaceful Parent

5 Essential Resources Every Adoptive Parent Should Have

Sara & Steven Farnsworth

Sara & Steven Farnsworth are currently fundraising (as of March, 2017) for an international adoption. Here is their story as it appears on AdoptTogether:

“We began our adoption story decades ago. We both have siblings that are adopted and our stories wouldn’t be complete without them in our lives. When we started dating, we discussed how important adoption was to us and for our future as a family. We have two biological children who are just beside themselves with excitement to welcome siblings into our family. Recently, South Korea opened up adoption again and we are so excited to move forward with international adoption. We are nervous, terrified, excited, anxious, thrilled, and honored to have the opportunity to adopt.

We are so ready to expand our family through adoption. It’s such a beautiful way to form a family.”

Sara has contributed the following articles to AdoptTogether:

Testimonial: How We Chose Our Adoption Agency

Leslie Tulip

Leslie Tulip likes to consider herself a walking SNL encyclopedia. She Tweets and Instagrams. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, has crushes on used bookstores, drinks a lot of tea, and dreams of being a comedy writer. She wants to laugh a lot and do what she can to help people in need.

Leslie has contributed the following articles to AdoptTogether:

Testimonial: Why We Chose Adoption Over Biological Children

Testimonial: A Single Parent International Adoption

Bill & Nicole Radtke

Bill & Nicole Radtke successfully fundraised over their goal of $14,000 and adopted baby Manny Scot Radtke in 2012. They were one of the earliest AdoptTogether families and lend their helpful crowdfunding tips to families in this brief video:

AdoptTogether Fundraising Tips From the Radtke Family

The Radtkes have also contributed the following articles to AdoptTogether:

Two Reasons We Chose Our Adoption Agency

Testimonial: AdoptTogether Alumni & Foster Parent Bill Radtke

Erica Shaw

Erica Shaw grew up in beautiful Southern California, all while racking up frequent flier miles as she traveled the world with her family.  After graduating with a BA in design, she is back at home designing, coaching, freelancing, and sharing the beauty she finds in everything through her iPhone lens. Erica is always bursting with creative ideas for a new recipe to cook, a party to throw, or a daytrip to go on.

Erica is one of the creators of the Joie de Vivre Society, “a lifestyle journal, is that safe place where we hope each reader can benefit.  We hope that in this society we can engage in uplifting, loving, and truthful conversation with each other and our readers.”

Erica has contributed the following article to AdoptTogether:

3 Pieces of Advice: From One “Birth” Mom to Another 

Andrea Wittig

Andrea Wittig‘s family was the first family ever to fundraise for their adoption on AdoptTogether. The Wittigs were able to crowdfund over $35,000 to adopt their child form Uganda. Watch her interview here with our AdoptTogether Editorial Team and learn how you can successfully turn crowds into communities by allowing them to walk alongside you family through the adoption process!

Check out her interview with AdoptTogether as she discusses what it was like to be the first AdoptTogether family and how future families can crowdfunding successfully:

Andrea Wittig Interview

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