What Are My Options? Who's Going to Adopt My Baby? Frequently Asked Questions Where Can I Turn For Help? Meet Some Waiting Adoptive Parents
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What's New At FFTA?

FFTA welcomes Jenna M. Beirlein, Esq. as FFTA's Agency General Counsel. Jenna graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science in 2007, and she received her Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law in 2010. Since being admitted to the New York and New Jersey Bars, Jenna has served Westchester County, NY families as a matrimonial and family law attorney in the private and public sectors. Not only does Jenna have the legal expertise to work in the adoption field, but she is also an adoptee who is pleased to share her adoption story.

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FFTA welcomes Jenna M. Beirlein, Esq. as FFTA's Agency General Counsel

Jenna graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science in 2007, and she received her Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law in 2010. Since being admitted to the New York and New Jersey Bars, Jenna has served Westchester County, NY families as a matrimonial and family law attorney in the private and public sectors. Not only does Jenna have the legal expertise to work in the adoption field, but she is also an adoptee who is pleased to share her adoption story.

Jenna shared that she was born in Bogotá, Colombia and lived in an orphanage until she was adopted by two amazing parents when she was six months old. When Jenna arrived in New York, she was greeted by lots of family, love, and an older sister who was also adopted from the same orphanage in Bogotá, Colombia about a year earlier! Jenna grew up in Rockland County, New York and has always been so proud to be an adoptee. In fact, Jenna attributes her successes and accomplishments to her family who provided her with endless love, support, and devotion.

Jenna hopes that all adoptees will have great adoption experiences. Jenna wishes to use her professional and personal experiences to help ensure that children in need of permanent, loving homes are adopted by forever families.

ZUMBAthon Charity Event - December 2014

ZUMBAthon December 2014

ZUMBAthon Local Charily Event Sunday, December 9, 2014 - Local adoption agency Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) hosted a special Holiday charity ZUMBAthon fundraiser event at the Posillipo Centre in Rye Brook, NY on Sunday December 14, 2014. The event drew a large crowd of dancers and l4 ZINs who all donated holiday gifts to local foster children.

Volunteer instructors included several "ZINs" (Certified Zumba Instructors) from the Westchester County area. Adriana Zygmont, Andrea Robinson, Brien Ling, Erika Bustamante, Gustavo Lopez, Junixsa Henry, Lailina Nadell, Lydia Magnoli, Martha Oceguera, Olga Osorio, Rufus Gibson, Shalaine Mac, Tatiana Flowers Robinson and Tony Santiago, and their loyal followers were all in attendance to help "Dance for the Children" and raise money for FFTA. DJ Hopeton Lemon was also in the building making sure the music stayed pumped up, and motivating the crowd! Read More.

FFTA News You Can Use!

As we welcome the Holiday Season and the New Year and look ahead to 2015, we are excited to share a few highlights from 2014: We have had a wonderful year and helped many children find their forever homes!!!

We also had great success with our new "Family of the Month" Facebook/website promotion program and are happy to share information with you if you are considering this as an additional option. We have expanded our outreach to include additional adoption service providers, advertised in new publications and locations, and continued to connect with colleagues across the country to collaborate and exchange resources.

FFTA has recently been approved by the Irish Central Authority as one of the Hague Accredited Entities in the USA to work alongside Shane Downer from Arc Adoptions to assist Irish families to adopt "harder to place" American born children. This is an exciting new collaboration and we look forward to adding more smiling faces to our success stories!!

Although the "wait," particularly a longer-than-anticipated wait, can be filled with frustration and uncertainty, we encourage you to work alongside us, in partnership, in the coming year. With patience, persistence and a positive approach you will achieve your goal of adopting.

Check out our ideas below for some innovative ways to reach those who may be considering their options or who may know someone who is considering adoption.

For those waiting to adopt: Be proactive! Write a networking letter and send an "adoption" card. Share it with your dentist... your hairdresser... your cousin... your clergy... your colleagues... you never know which path may lead to your success. Post your Birth Parent Profile on a NYS approved profile sight such as Adoptimism.com, Adopting.com, Adoptimist.com or Adoption.net. Be bold! Post a free advertisement on Craigslist. Create an adoption Facebook page or even post a video on YouTube and don’t forget "Family of The Month"!!

For those who have already adopted: Send us photos to brighten up our days and to share on Facebook or our website, and don’t forget our annual holiday book. While you are sitting around the Christmas tree or having a cup of hot chocolate with your child thinking back to the time you were waiting to become parents and worried it would never happen, consider being a mentor for a prospective adoptive parent waiting to adopt – what a wonderful way to give back ~ let us know and we will gladly pass your name along!!!.

To ALL: Remember to like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, send us a story for our blog and enjoy every day as it is a gift!!!

We wish you all the best for a joyous Holiday season. May 2015 be a year filled with peace and may it be one in which your greatest wishes are fulfilled. We would love to hear from you and welcome you to contact us anytime!

From all of us at FFTA,

Joy, Debbie, Jenna, Kate, Stephanie, Jackie, Amanda, Sacha, and Devin

Rye Brook Adoption Agency Hosts Sixth Annual Food/Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Event at The Crawford Park Mansion

An Evening at Crawford Park MansionOn October 9th, Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized non-profit adoption placement agency and resource center based in Rye Brook, hosted "An Evening at Crawford Park Mansion," its sixth annual gourmet food tasting and silent auction event. Generous local sponsors and auction item contributors were vital to the evening's success.

FFTA's Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, who co-founded the agency in 2007 with her husband and adoption attorney, Michael S. Goldstein, Esq., LCSW, was inspired by the generosity and dedication of attendees, community volunteers and contributors. "These collective efforts greatly enhance our ability to sustain and expand our outreach and education efforts in the community for which FFTA receives no fees," said Mrs. Goldstein. Proceeds raised enable FFTA to develop new programming with the continued goal of increasing knowledge and understanding of adoption issues. "Our mission is to increase positive adoption awareness, empower families and serve the community and we pride ourselves on offering services and support to those who need it," she said.

In addition to FFTA staff, members of its Board, and committed volunteers, also lending support to the event was notable guest Maria-Alana Recine, Court Attorney Referee to the Honorable Kathie E. Davidson, Supervising Judge of the Family Court/Ninth JD and New York State Senator George Latimer, a local Rye resident who acted as Auctioneer.

During the event there quests watched a powerful slide show of forever families created with the help of FFTA and which also documented the number of children waiting for permanent homes in the foster care system. The presentation reinforced a simple but important fact — children belong with families — and highlighted the critical fork in the road when states and government attempt to become substitute parents to these 125,000+ children.

Seven local restaurants prepared and displayed delicious tasting dishes for the event. Participants included Rye's Morgan's Fish House in Rye, Ruby's Oyster Bar in Rye, Euro Asian Bistro in Port Chester, Westchester Burger Co. in Rye Brook, Blue Moon Café in Bronxville, Lisa Catering and Creative Bakes in Port Chester, and Acuario's in Port Chester. The wine was provided by Aries Wine and Spirits in White Plains. All Star Beverages in Yonkers and BrewSA in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ kept the cold beer flowing while music for the evening was provided by rock trio "Pat and The Hats" from New Hampshire and string duet "Bluefox" from NYC. Additional sponsors transforming the Mansion with graceful finishing touches included White Plains Linen and Frank's House of Flowers in Mamaroneck, who donated all of the stunning floral arrangements.

ZUMBAthon Charity Event - August 2014

Zumba - August 2014

Local adoption agency Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) hosted their first ZUMBAthon fundraiser event at the Posillipo Centre in Rye Brook, NY on Thursday, August 7, 2014. The event drew a large crowd of more than 70 dancers and 10 ZINs and attendees traveled from up to an hour and half away to take part in the charity event. Volunteer instructors included several "ZINs" (Certified Zumba Instructors) from the Westchester County area. Adriana Zygmont, Judy Slominski, Jessica Frasca, Junixsa Henry, Luz Angelica Mendez, Martha Oceguera, Lailina Nadell, Olga Osorio, Tracie Lopez, David Diaz, Toni-Michelle Rubio and their loyal followers were all in attendance to help "Dance For the Children" and raise money for FFTA. DJ LuisDavid Oceguera was also in the building making sure the music stayed pumped up, and motivating the crowd!

Forever Families Through Adoption is a non-profit 501(c)3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption.

Local adoption agency Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) hosted their first ZUMBAthon fundraiser event at the Posillipo Centre in Rye Brook, NY on Thursday, August 7, 2014. The event drew a large crowd of more than 70 dancers and 10 ZINs and attendees traveled from up to an hour and half away to take part in the charity event. Volunteer instructors included several "ZINs" (Certified Zumba Instructors) from the Westchester County area. Adriana Zygmont, Judy Slominski, Jessica Frasca, Junixsa Henry, Luz Angelica Mendez, Martha Oceguera, Lailina Nadell, Olga Osorio, Tracie Lopez, David Diaz, Toni-Michelle Rubio and their loyal followers were all in attendance to help "Dance For the Children" and raise money for FFTA. DJ LuisDavid Oceguera was also in the building making sure the music stayed pumped up, and motivating the crowd! Forever Families Through Adoption is a non-profit 501(c)3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption... Read More.

LOCAL "IRONMAN" SAM KARLINER, Esq SUPPORTS ADOPTION AGENCY Forever Families Through Adoption

IRONMAN Sam Kalriner

July 30, 2014 - Forever Families Through Adoption Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc in Rye Brook, New York and 2014 IRONMAN Sam Karliner from Mamaroneck have exciting news to share...

Sam Karliner, FFTA's own IRONMAN and Secretary of the Board, completed the 2014 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid for his 3rd time this past weekend. Sam not only completed it in his own record time, he surpassed his expectations and finished with an official time of 11 hours 38 minutes - way under the 12 hours he hoped to achieve! What an exciting event to be a part of! As a spectator the role is thrilling...supporting and cheering for many hours not only our own Sam, but also doing the same for the thousands of others that passed by our cheering section on the way to or from their many miles of biking and running. Our goal at the end of the day is to have no voice left--- meaning we did a good job cheering on all the IronMen and IronWomen. We continued our support into the late evening hours and for the last finishers close to midnight.

Sam recounts the dramatic events that took place during the race:

"About 40 minutes into the race a violent thunderstorm began, shooting lightning bolts right over the lake! It got so bad Race Officials cancelled the second lap of the swim and started pulling people from the water. Crazy! Fortunately for me, I was already out of the water and onto my bike. The storm was more violent, with wicked crazy winds. I was holding onto my bike and struggling to stay balanced in the wind. Needless to say, when it's pouring and 60 degrees and you're on the bike - I was freezing as well. If the wind didn't try to knock me over my shivering did. Did I say I was having fun yet? Not exactly, but I kept at it. All the time thinking of all my wonderful supporters. This kept up for about 90 minutes. Then the rain stopped and I was able to warm up and really get going."

Sam chose to dedicate this 2014 race, IRONMAN Lake Placid on July 27, 2014 to raise awareness and funds for Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA). FFTA is a non-profit 501c3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption, and Sam proudly sits on FFTA's Board of Directors. Through his donation web link, Sam raised over $4,500 for FFTA (Click here to donate).

Please consider a donation to honor Sam and his amazing accomplishment.

Sam and Jill Karliner adopted their twin sons, Elliott and Jacob, 19 years ago and created a family. Today, their home and lives would not be complete without them. Nearly 60% of Americans are touched by adoption in some way.

Adoption enabled Sam to create his family. However, like the IRONMAN, the road to adoption can be a challenging one. There are times it seems like you'll never reach your dream. Both the IRONMAN race and the adoption process require you to dig deep, to persevere — especially when things get tough. Most of all, both are a journey made possible by the love and support of family and friends.

Sam made a huge commitment to train for the IRONMAN. Each stroke in the water (covering 2.4 miles), each push of the pedal (covering 112 miles), and each foot to the pavement (covering 26.2 miles) brought Sam closer to his goal. He covered the 140.6 miles with a triumphant finish accomplishing this goal and proud to again be called an IRONMAN finisher!!

~ Joy & Michael Goldstein Co-Founders FFTA and support team of Sam Karliner

Pride Week 2014

This past week the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community and their allies celebrated Gay Pride throughout the country. On Monday, June 23, 2014, located nearby in Yonkers, NY, Mayor Mike Spano proclaimed that last week was Gay Pride Week in Yonkers and proceeded to raise a rainbow flag in front of City Hall—a historic event for the local community.

About 50 people attended the flag raising ceremony, myself included and we are all hopeful that the flag raising will become an annual event to show support of our local LGBTQ community.

Following this historic and exciting event, the 19th Annual Gay Prom took place across the street at the Grand Roosevelt Ballroom on Friday, June 27, 2014. Westchester Jewish Community Services' (WJCS) very own, Center Lane hosted the annual prom with first-time co-sponsor, Pride Works.

Center Lane is the only program in Westchester County dedicated to LGBTQ youth, ages 13-21 living in and around Westchester County, NY.

Debbie S. Wolf, agency counsel for Forever Families Through Adoption is accepted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA)

Family Fun Day 2014May 1, 2014 Debbie S. Wolf, agency counsel for Forever Families Through Adoption is accepted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys(AAAA).

We hope you will help us congratulate our very own Debbie Wolf, for being accepted into The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA)! All of us at FFTA are so proud of Debbie, who has been FFTA's agency counsel since 2008.

AAAA is an Academy of approximately 340 members throughout the US and Canada who are experts in the complexities of adoption law and the variety of interstate and international regulations surrounding adoption.

Members of AAAA must maintain their practice according to the highest standards of ethics, competence and professionalism.

CONGRATULATIONS DEBBIE!!!

FFTA's 2014 "Family Fun Day event"

Family Fun Day 2014On Sunday, March 30th, 2014, FFTA held their annual Family Fun Day Bowling event, at the Scarsdale Golf Club bowling alley. In attendance were many FFTA "forever families", along with staff, members of the board, friends and FFTA supporters. Those who attended came from near and as far away as Canada and the Hamptons, despite the bad rains and had a wonderful afternoon.

FFTA was appreciative to have received food generously donated from local restaurants such as Rye Ridge Deli, Starbucks-Rye Ridge, Panera Bread-Port Chester, Cosi's-Greenwich, EuroAsian Bistro-Port Chester, Villa Rustica-Rye Brook, Park Deli-Port Chester, Club Sandwich-Rye Ridge, Frank's Italian Restaurant-Port Chester, and Andy's Pure Food-Rye.

Funds raised continue to support the agency's passion for finding children their "forever families through adoption", as well as to help fulfill FFTA's mission to provide free education, awareness and outreach programming to hospitals, schools, prisons, OBGYN clinics, mental health clinics, and other community based service organizations, as well as to serve prospective adoptive parents, expectant parents, adoptees and adoption professionals with parenting and adoption issues. FFTA is looking ahead at an exciting year, having again achieved the Seal of Recognition from the All Children-All Families Human Rights Campaign.

~ Joy, Debbie, Kate, Mark, Devin, Anna, Jackie, Sacha, Jake and Bavani

Human Rights Campaign Awards Seal of Recognition to New York Adoption Agency for Work with LGBT Families

Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. earns All Children – All Families (ACAF) Seal of Recognition for LGBT best practices

Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized adoption placement agency and resource center in Rye Brook, NY, was awarded the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition again by the Human Rights Campaign.  The Seal signifies that FFTA is an organization that is welcoming, affirming and supportive of LGBT families, and has once again demonstrated skill and competency in 10 key areas of best practice.

FFTA originally received the seal in November 2011 during National Adoption Day at the Westchester County Family Court with the Honorable Judge Kathie E. Davidson presiding. National Adoption Day is recognized throughout the United States when an unprecedented number of courts open their doors to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children and celebrate all families that adopt. Judge Davidson has been recognizing and finalizing same-sex adoptions for many years, and joins in congratulating FFTA as the agency once again receives this important honor.

FFTA is truly proud and pleased to continue to place children with LGBT families and to always focus on the best interests of children in need of their forever family. Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, Executive Director and co-founder of the agency stated, "As we celebrate the awarding of the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition we are not only supporting the LGBT community, but are standing up for ethical practice by removing barriers to LGBT adults who dream of becoming parents and to children in need of a safe, permanent and loving family."

Every day FFTA is committed to treating all persons with respect, dignity and compassion and welcomes all families regardless of race, religion, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, nationality or disability.

The All Children – All Families initiative, launched in 2007, promotes policies and practices that welcome LGBT foster and adoptive parents. The program seeks to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children. More information about HRC and the initiative can be found at www.hrc.org/acaf.

Local Non-profit Gives Back to Support One of its Neighbors

Family Fun Day

Rye Brook non-profit adoption agency and resource center Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), has returned to the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester, giving back to the community by volunteering.

Don Bosco serves hundreds of children and youth each week in its after-school and Kids Café programs, providing the children with enrichment, safety and a hot meal, until a parent or guardian returns from work or school. On Thursday December 5, 2013, members of FFTA's staff visited with the children to provide a fun and festive art activity, inviting the children to make Christmas cards and holiday decorations for friends and family. Assisted by FFTA staff members, approximately thirty elementary school children energetically crafted their special creations, demonstrating focus and creativity in their work.

The children showed extraordinary cooperation and gratitude, while staff from Don Bosco and FFTA engaged with the children and one another with genuine care, warmth and encouragement. The FFTA staff also assisted with dinner service and spent time talking and interacting with the children. Recognizing an important need in their own backyard, FFTA also once again provided much needed items to the Church's Holy Rosary food pantry, which may serve up to 800 individuals and families each month.

Forever Families Through Adoption continues to be impressed by the services and programming offered to families and the community and feel honored to have connected with such a deserving organization providing such essential services to children and families in need. FFTA is committed to continuing to partner with Don Bosco, and has been inspired by sharing in the spirit and values central to Don Bosco's mission. For more information about the services of Don Bosco, please visit www.donboscocenter.com.

Rye Brook Adoption Agency Hosts Fifth Annual Food/Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Event at The Crawford Park Mansion

An Evening at Crawford Park MansionOn October 3rd, Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized non-profit adoption placement agency and resource center based in Rye Brook, hosted "An Evening at Crawford Park Mansion," its fifth annual gourmet food tasting and silent auction event. Generous local sponsors and auction item contributors were vital to the evening's success. FFTA's Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, who founded the agency in 2007 with her husband and adoption attorney, Michael S. Goldstein, Esq., LCSW, was inspired by the generosity and dedication of attendees, community volunteers and contributors. "These collective efforts greatly enhance our ability to sustain and expand our outreach and education efforts in the community for which FFTA receives no fees," said Mrs. Goldstein. Proceeds raised enable FFTA to develop new programming with the continued goal of increasing knowledge and understanding of adoption issues. "Our mission is to increase positive adoption awareness, empower families and serve the community and we pride ourselves on offering services and support to those who need it,"she said.

In addition to FFTA staff, members of its Board, and committed volunteers, also lending support to the event was notable guest Judge Kathie E. Davidson, Supervising Judge of the 9 th District of the Family Court, and Maria Recine, Esq, Court Attorney and Referee. The Judge, who is running for re-election unopposed, spoke about the valuable work of FFTA and the positive impact it has on those it serves.

The event also featured a powerful presentation of families that FFTA helped create, as well as the number of children waiting for permanent homes in the foster care system. The presentation reinforced a simple fact - children belong with families - and highlighted the critical fork in the road when states and government attempt to become substitute parents to these 125,000+ children.

Several local restaurants prepared delicious tasting dishes for the event. Participants included Rye's Morgan's Fish House and Ruby's Oyster Bar; Roasted Peppers in Mamaroneck; California Pizza Kitchen in Scarsdale; Blue Moon Café in Bronxville; and Acuario's in Port Chester. The wine was provided by Aries Wine and Spirits in White Plains. All Star Beverages and Yonkers Brewing Company, both in Yonkers, provided the beer. Gourmet desserts were provided by the Melting Pot in White Plains, and Cerbone's in Rye Brook. Music for the evening was provided by Fred A. Hudson, lll of South Carolina. Additional sponsors transforming the Mansion with graceful finishing
touches included White Plains Linen and Frank's House of Flowers in Mamaroneck, who contributed stunning floral arrangements.