Expert Viewpoints

Adoption Experts Listed Alphabetically

Below is our hand-picked list of experts in the field providing information on all things adoption related. From opinions and personal accounts to illegal and research information, this section is a free resource meant to help you with all your adoption needs and questions.

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Dr. Jane Aronson

Dr. Jane Aronson is a pediatrician, adoption medicine specialist and the founder and CEO of Worldwide Orphans, a non-profit organization that provides direct services to orphans and at-risk children in Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Haiti, Serbia and Vietnam. Since 2000, she has had a pediatric practice specializing in adoption medicine, conducted medical missions to orphanages in over 14 countries and evaluated well over 10,000 children. Dr. Aronson is on faculty at Cornell University, Columbia University and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and speaks all over the world advocating for orphans, including Women in the World and the Unite for Sight Global Health Conference at Yale. Her many recognitions include the Angel in Adoption Award, Glamour Woman of the Year, Time 100 Nominee, Honored Alumna of Valley Stream North High School, Hunter College Hall of Fame, and Distinguished Alumna from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Aronson writes for Huffington Post Impact and is available to provide innovative problem solving for children living in adversity. She is regularly featured in the media, including frequent guest appearances on CNN and NPR. She is the author of Carried in Our Hearts: The Gift of Adoption: Inspiring Stories of Families Created Across Continents. She is the parent of two sons through adoption: Benjamin from Vietnam and Desalegn from Ethiopia.

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Maris H. Blechner, M Ed, LCSW

Adoption Consultant, Trainer, and Motivational Speaker – offering child welfare strategies for today and tomorrow.

Maris Blechner is an adoptive and birth parent, a licensed clinical social worker and educator, and a nationally respected trainer and speaker who has spent the last thirty-eight years working for the improvement of adoption and the child welfare system. One of the founders of the parent-led multi-service adoption agency that she directed for twenty-six years, Maris relates proudly that she comes from the citizen-activist child-advocacy community and brings that neighborhood and personal family experience to her professional work. These days she also enjoys mentoring for Children’s Corps, and teaching on Wednesday afternoons at her own school, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.

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Mardie Caldwell

Adoption Professional, Adoptive Mother, Certified Open Adoption Practitioner

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a nationally-recognized authority on adoption. A Certified Open Adoption Practitioner, Caldwell founded Lifetime Adoption in 1986. She has assisted in over 3,000 successful adoptions nationwide. Caldwell is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents and adoptive parents through teaching, motivational speaking, writing, and being the talk show host of “Let’s Talk Adoption.” Author of a number of award winning books, Caldwell has made more than 200 appearances on television, including NBC’s The Today Show, The 700 Club, The Larry King Show, CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, PBS, BBC, CBN, and The Dr. Laura Show. She has been featured on hundreds of national radio shows and is widely sought for print articles.

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Kathy Crissey, MS, LMHC

Kathy is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has worked with adoption related issues in her private practice as well as providing general counseling services to children, adults and families. Kathy has provided mental health services to individuals who are struggling with HIV/AIDS since the early 1990’s. She also has experience in working with clients who have issues related to infertility and grief and loss.

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Patricia Dischler

Author, Speaker, Consultant

Patricia Dischler is a nationally recognized speaker and author who inspires audiences with her creative ideas and inspiring presentations. Her personal story of placing her son in a ground breaking open adoption in 1985 and the lessons learned apply to all adoptions.

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Sherrie Eldridge

Author, Speaker, Blogger, Trainer in the Adoption Field

Sherrie Eldridge is passionate about communicating the adoptee’s true identity.

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Michele Fried

Michele Fried is the founder and CEO of Adoption STAR. Her foremost responsibilities are the implementation of strategic plans and agency growth/expansion, financial management, board partnerships and supervision of the staff. Michele has her hands full with these responsibilities as well as initiating marketing and public relation campaigns and executing and implementing policies developed by the Board of Directors.

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Beth Hall

Director of Pact, An Adoption Alliance

Beth Hall is the Director of Pact, An Adoption Alliance. She co-founded Pact in 1991 to combat the discrimination she witnessed against adopted children of color and their birth families. Pact is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve adopted children of color. In every case, the child is always our primary client. In order to best serve children’s needs, Pact provides not only adoptive placement but lifelong education, support, and community for adoptees and their families on issues of adoption and race. She is the co-author, with Gail Steinberg, of the book Inside Transracial Adoption (Jessica Knightly Publishing, 2013), as well as numerous articles on adoption and race. She is a nationally known advocate for adopted children of color who regularly lectures and leads workshops on ethical, non-racist adoption practices. In 2010 she received the Outstanding Practitioner in Adoption Award from the Adoption Initiative at St. John’s University. She is the white adoptive mother of a Latina daughter and an African American son (both now young adults), and grew up with an adopted sister. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband, Ted, and children, when they are home visiting.

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Lori Holden

Lori Holden blogs from Denver at and is a contributing writer to The Huffington Post. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, written with her daughter’s birth mom, is now available in hardcover. Lori delivers her open adoption workshop to adoption agencies and support groups.

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Gregory C. Keck, PhD

Dr. Keck is certified as a diplomate and fellow by the American Board of Medical Psychotherapy. He is also an adoptive parent.

Greg founded the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, which specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents who have experienced developmental interruptions. In addition, he and his staff treat individuals and families who are faced with a variety of problems in the areas of adoption, attachment, substance abuse, sexual abuse, and adolescent difficulites.

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Regina M. Kupecky, LSW

Regina M. Kupecky has Masters degree from John Carroll University. She has worked in the field of adoption for over forty years. She currently works with children with attachment disorder and their families at The Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio ( and does training nationally and internationally on many adoption and attachment related topics. Her services to children were recognized by the Ohio Dept. of Human Services in 1990 when she received the “Adoption Worker of the Year Award” She also received a Triad Advocate award from Adoption Network and Sara Berman Speaker’s award from NACAC (North American Council on Adoptable Children). In 2014 Notre Dame College named her as Alumna of the year.

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Joni S. Mantell, LCSW

“Psycho-eduction and counseling are the solutions to learning how to complete your family and your life.”

Jone S. Mantell, LCSW, CSW, Director of IAC Center is a psychotherapist who has been providing individual, couples, and group counseling for infertility and adoption issues since 1993. Founder and Director of the IAC Center, she has developed a unique lifelong short-term therapy model that successfully teaches people coping skills for dealing with emotional and social issues related to infertility and adoption.

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Christine Mitchell

Author, Illustrator, and Adoptive Parent

“We adopted our younger child from foster care at the age of four, I am very interested in adoption issues.”

She is working on two children’s books.

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Megan Montgomery, LMSW

Meg is a licensed master social worker in New York. She obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work from the State University of New York at Buffalo after completing her undergraduate degree in social work from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Meg has worked within the adoption field for many years. Previously Meg was the Social Work Manager for an adoption agency in Massachusetts, specializing in adoptions from China. During her time there she was able to obtain her License as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the state of Massachusetts.

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Adam Pertman

President, National Center on Adoption and Permanency (a division of Myriad Strategic Partners); Executive Director Emeritus, Donaldson Adoption Institute

Pertman’s honors include an Angel in Adoption award from the U.S. Congressional Coalition on Adoption; the Special Friend of Children Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; the Dave Thomas Center for Adoption Law’s first award for “the nation’s greatest contributor to public understanding about adoption and permanency placement issues;” the President’s Award from the African American Cultural Council of Virginia; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Adoption Council; and, when he was a journalist, an award from the American Adoption Congress “for his eloquent witnessing of contemporary adoption.” He is a member of the Council on Contemporary Families, the Editorial Advisory Board of Adoptive Families magazine and the National Adoption Advisory Committee of the Child Welfare League of America. He and his wife, Judy Baumwoll, are adoptive parents who live in Massachusetts with their two children, Zachary and Emilia.

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Kathleen Silber

Associate Executive Director, Independent Adoption Center; Author< Learn More