After years of adoption service provision in the Western New York area, Adoption STAR has an outstanding reputation for identifying families for children of all backgrounds, needs and circumstances. The children that the agency has predominately served are children who are voluntarily relinquished by their birth families.

Erie County Department of Social Services supports Adoption STAR for the services that they offer. These include counseling, support, education and advocacy. Adoption STAR works to ensure that all clients receive a consistent and high standard of care and service. They continue to expand and advance our support programs in response to the needs of clients and the community…. Adoption STAR wishes to identify adoptive families for children currently residing in Foster Care. They want to especially identify adoptive families for those children who have waited the longest for a permanent family.

From all indications the training was a big success. Many of the social workers approached me afterwards and commented on how informative the training was and expressed appreciation that we scheduled it. Elaine was excellent, she has a firm grasp of the material, was very engaging and just easy to dialogue with about almost anything. Thanks again for all your assistance!

I want to thank you for the most excellent presentation for our LPN students in Mt. Morris. The comments were very positive, including how much it expanded their knowledge and would be helpful to them as nurses. They were very impressed with your first hand experience with adoption, which made the presentation even more impressive.

I look forward to other presentations in the future. Thank you so much.

The training went very well! We had 17 people in attendance, mostly social workers and nurse educators, and all stayed and remained attentive to Elaine’s fine presentation throughout the 4½ hours, including more time on the evaluation that I usually expect. I thought it was quite worthwhile for us.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’m glad we participated.

It is with pleasure that I am writing to you today. Covenant House New York can’t begin to thank you for such an intriguing and educational “Understanding Infant Adoption” training this past month. The information that Mrs. Elaine Gilmartin and her co-trainer brought to the training was very informative, and instrumental in understanding Infant Adoption, its procedures and legal matters. This has become such an important topic to bring awareness too.

The power point presentation was very thorough and comprehensive. We could not have had a better and more valuable training for our staff.
We truly appreciate your support and are very thankful that your organization was able to come to Covenant House New York to present the training. We are now better able to serve our clients in the matter or issues related to adoption.

Thank you again for such a heart felt and enlightening training experience!

I want to thank you so much for arranging the absolutely excellent presentations by members of your staff last week. Everyone was so well informed, so passionate about what they were doing, and so open to questions and to sharing additional information. As someone trying to teach that adoption is more than just law, it is an important, unique, and valuable part of society, I simply couldn’t have asked for a better group of people than your staff. I am very thankful that we have such a comprehensive and superbly qualified agency literally in our own backyard. Thank you again for your generosity. If there is ever any way in which I can return the favor or help the agency or prospective parents, please call on me; I’m happy to help.

Thanks again,

Thank you both for your excellent presentation this morning to the Wyoming County Department of Social Services Family Services Staff. The twenty-four staff members present today work in Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, Foster Care Services, Preventive Services, and Adoption Services…. Your work this morning certainly contributed greatly to my goal of continuous professional development… Once again, my thanks for your presentation this morning and thanks too for the fine work of Adoption STAR.

I just had to pass along the accolades! I spoke to the birth mother’s attorney and he could not tell me enough how amazing you were and how easy to work with you are. He said he was worked with a lot of case workers and agencies over the years and you were one of the best. It was honestly 90% of the phone call just about how impressed he was with you.

Adoption STAR’s Senior Birth Family Caseworker, Sue Shaw, talks about the various ways that adoption has been a part of her personal and professional life:

I recently read that 6 out of 20 Americans are touched by adoption. I started thinking about how I have been touched by adoption before I started working in the field.

I remember being very young and knowing that my cousins were adopted. It was never really talked about, but it wasn’t a secret either. As far as I was concerned, my aunt and uncle were their parents and my cousins were my cousins and that was that.

When I was in grade school, my mother’s best friend was going through the process of adopting a child out of the foster care system. I remember her looking through the infamous “blue books” full of children that were waiting to be adopted. When we would go over to visit with her, we would look through the books, too.

When I was looking through the books as a young child, I remember thinking it was as if I was shopping in a catalog for a new friend. I also remember being told that these children’s parents were not able to take care of them and that they all needed a new mommy and daddy. As an adult, I now understand the magnitude of those “blue books” and hope that all the children in care ultimately find their forever families. (Today those books don’t exist, and many of the waiting older children are photo-listed online.)

In my late teens I learned a friend of mine was adopted. One day, my friend told me that she and her family were going to begin the search for her birth parents. I was thrilled by the idea and wanted to help in any way that I could. My friend made it clear that she did not want my help, and at the time I remember feeling hurt that she did not want to include me in the process. All these years later, I realize that this was something that my friend and her family needed to do themselves. It was their story and it was private.

When I was young, I never thought I’d wind up becoming an adoption caseworker. At that time, my dream was to be a cast member on Saturday Night Live! That never happened (obviously), but I do love being touched by adoption on a daily basis. I would not have it any other way.

I’m glad that I accepted a position in the adoption field. And I am forever grateful that I was wise enough to join Adoption STAR in 2006. I have found Adoption STAR to truly be an organization that cares about its employees, its clients and is always striving to be an agency that learns and changes for the best interest of children and their birth and adoptive families.

Adoption STAR’s mission is to offer the community an agency that is dedicated to excellence. I believe that they will strive to offer comprehensive educational and counseling services to adoptive families, birth families and adoptees. I strongly support them in this effort.