Adoption Network Cleveland Timeline
Founded as a grassroots organization and originally run only by volunteers, Adoption Network Cleveland has enjoyed tremendous growth and success. Please enjoy this look back at our many achievements since 1988.
- Adoption Network Cleveland founded
- Hosted American Adoption Congress Regional Conference in Cleveland
- Established Rocky River and Cleveland Heights General Support and Discussion Meetings, Adoption Helpline, and newsletter
- Began legislative involvement
- Co-sponsored Triad Members Together conference
- Offered Adoptive Family Parallel Groups for the first time
- Initiated bill to allow adult adoptee access to Ohio adoption records
- Moved office from Betsie Norris’ home to the Shore Cultural Center in Euclid, Ohio
- Doubled the number of General Support and Discussion Meetings from two to four monthly
- Obtained first foundation grant – $20,000 from the George Gund Foundation
- Hosted American Adoption Congress International Conference in Cleveland. Over 35 states and 6 countries were represented
- Held our first annual Cleveland area Birthmother's Day Ceremony
- Doubled our membership from 250 to 500 people
- Appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes
- Became a member of Greater Cleveland Community Shares
- Hired Betsie Norris as the first Executive Director
- Legislative success! House Bill 419 signed into law increasing access to information and decreasing time children wait for homes
- Re-structured our volunteer search program, resulting in a 37% increase in reunions during the first year
- Expanded staff by hiring Program & Volunteer Coordinator
- Increased Adoption Awareness Month programming, attended by over 200 people
- Celebrated 10th anniversary with first annual benefit dinner
- Expanded Program & Volunteer Coordinator position to full-time
- Added Lorain County General Support and Discussion Meeting to meet demand
- Started our website www.AdoptionNetwork.org
- Opened Lorain County branch office
- Hosted Adoption Conference for Allied Professionals at MetroHealth Medical Center
- Developed a birthmothers retreat
- Developed Speaker's Bureau program
- Launched a new General Support and Discussion Meeting in Summit County
- Developed Weaving Cultures, Nurturing Families for parents considering adopting transracially or transculturally
- Launched monthly International Adoption Support Meeting with Rainbow Center for International Health Services
- Hosted Adoption Awareness Coalition workshop on Reactive Attachment Disorder with 100 attending
- Hosted book signing and dinner with Adam Pertman, author of Adoption Nation
- Created and filled new part-time Communications and Fund Development Coordinator position.
- Developed Raising Adopted Children: The Early Years program
- Moved to Loftworks building at 1667 East 40th Street, Cleveland
- Launched Adopt Cuyahoga's Kids Initiative at the request of the Community Vision Council
- Increased office space, hired over 10 new staff and contracted with 15 area adoption agencies
- Awarded Federal Adoption Opportunities Grant to develop Project CONNECT for teens in foster care
- Facilitated the 1,500th member search and reunion
- Staff grew to 25.
- Awarded a $500,000 grant from the Skirball Foundation to be used for matching seed money for an endowment campaign
- Adopt Cuyahoga's Kids Initiative places 332 youth for adoption in three years, doubling the goal of 165
- Advocated successfully for Senate Bill 238, giving adoption triad members full access to non-identifying information and allowing youth over 18 to be adopted
- Moved into the Prospect Park Building at 4614 Prospect Ave., Cleveland
- Received Anisfield-Wolf Award for outstanding nonprofit organization
- Awarded Outstanding Youth Advocate Award from the North American Council on Adoptable Children
- Chosen as new investee by Cleveland Social Venture Partners
- Made Adopt Cuyahoga’s Kids Initiative part of the core base of programs
- Betsie Norris named to “Women of Note” by Crain’s Cleveland Business
- Chosen as a Champion in Action by Charter One Bank
- Played key role in passing Ohio House Bill 7 to promote Child Centered Recruitment and decrease barriers to public child welfare adoption
- Launched Creating Futures 20th Anniversary Campaign to initiate an endowment and build organizational capacity
- Launched new array of Post-Adoption services, with funding from United Way
- Received a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Adoption Excellence Award
- Co-hosted National Adoption Conference with American Adoption Congress
- Recruited 20 churches, salons and barbershops to become Ambassadors to recruit adoptive families as part of Partners for Forever Families, an Adoption Opportunities Grant in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services.
- Led effort to organize a community forum with Rep. Marcia Fudge on foster care and adoption with Partners for Forever Families.
- Assisted at the Ohio Supreme Court Summit on Children about adopting children and youth from permanent custody.
- Completed challenge grant from the Skirball Foundation to establish the William N. Skirball Endowment Fund.
- Began working with the state of Michigan to replicate the Adoption Navigators program, as part of their statewide foster youth placement program.
- Published a scholarly article for Child Centered Recruitment in the Protecting Children Journal, a professional publication of the American Humane Society called "Adopt Cuyahoga's Kids: Securing Adoptive Placements for Older Youth in Cuyahoga County's Public Child Welfare System."
- Co-hosted a two-day child welfare legal symposium called Permanency Solutions with Partners for Forever Families, Cuyahoga Department of Children and Family Services and Capital University Law School.
- Executive Director, Betsie Norris received U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Adoption Excellence Award in the category of increased adoptions for older children.
- Board of Director's Chair, Bernadette Kerrigan received the 2011 Congressional Angels in Adoption Award for her efforts for children in need of homes.
- Worked with the state of Michigan to replicate the Adoption Navigators program, as part of their statewide foster youth placement program.
- Completed the transition of Child Centered Recruitment to the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services.
- Established a Transracial Adoptive Family Group.
- Launched Adoption 201: Adopting Infants Domestically as a follow up to Adoption 101: Where Do I Begin?
- Received the 2012 Drenda Lakin Memorial Award for Continuing Services to Adoptive Families from Voice for Adoption in Washington, DC.
- Executive Director Betsie Norris received a Champion Award from the National Center for Adoption Law and Policy.