Meet Your AAC State Representatives

Your American Adoption Congress State Representatives
By Region

 
New England - Regional Director - VACANT
 
  Connecticut - Vacant
Maine -  Roberta Bampton Beavers - S. Berwick, ME
AAC Maine State Representative (since 2001) Roberta (Bobbi) Beavers co-authored the Maine Adoptee Human Rights Law of 2007 (first try was in 2006), which went into effect in January 2009. Since then over 1,500 people have requested their original birth certificates. She also co-hosted the OBC for ME legislative and then support group (both online and in person) for since 2005. Bobbi was inspired by the process to run for the Maine legislature and was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2010 and will end her third term in December 2016, where she is a member of the Energy, Utilities and Technology committee and has sponsored or co-sponsored several bill to help adoptees and foster children. She worked for over 40 years as a chemist, business analyst, business owner, and career counselor in NJ and PA, and gallery manger in ME prior to her efforts to change the Maine law. She was active in the Morristown, NJ support group for 5 years prior to moving to ME in 2001. She currently participates in the Kinship Advocacy Network in Maine and in Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine events. Bobbi has been a reunited mother since 1995 (son Mark born 1996) and has a good relationship with him and his family, in spite of our 3000 mile difference in location.
  Massachusetts - Vacant
  New Hampshire - Vacant
Rhode Island - Mary Ann Shallcross - Pawtucket, RI
As CEO of Dr. Day Care, I have over 40 years experience in the early childhood profession. I began as a family daycare provider and now own 16 centers in RI. I have my Doctorate in Education & Leadership. I manage a professional team who leads my learning centers. I consult with struggling childcares to assist with profitability and adherence to regulations.  My centers offer an integrated special needs program, curriculum aligned to state standards, assessment, and have begun statewide Tiered Quality Rating & Improvement System process. Elected to the RI General Assembly as a State Rep, I advocated for children, families, education, and small business. I received the Angel in Adoption Award for my leadership in allowing adopted adults to obtain their original birth certificate. I founded business owners in child care networking group. Together with state regulatory agencies, we shape the future of the childcare business in RI. My latest endeavor has been writing Edgar Graduates. This early childhood book enhances a child’s vocabulary and the options available for continuing education. As a world traveler, I have visited 63 countries to study child development.
  Vermont - Vacant
 
Mid Atlantic - Regional Director - Vacant
 
  Delaware - Vacant

State Representative since 1999
Maryland / Washington, D.C. - Linda Clausen - 
Linda may be contacted at: 202.966.1640
A Birthmother, reunited (26 years) with two sons relinquished to adoption (one son deceased (4/2016); in relationships with adoptive parents and grandmother of 2 birth grandchildren.
  • AAC State Representative for more years than I remember
  • First career for 26 years in Hospital Medical Education Administration
  • MSW Social Worker, retired from Foster Care/Adoption; currently licensed in Maryland and D.C.
  • Facilitator of Concerned United Birthparents monthly support group for DC, MD, and Virginia
  • She is the founder of ACCESS Maryland, working on OBC legislation reform fom 1993-current.  Has worked on and continues to work on ACCESS/Maryland bill which is current law and needs updating – ACCESS begins in 2021 for adoptees age 21.
  • Linda has served on Legislative, Film, and AAC Conference Planning Committees; and has also been a book reader for AAC Internet reading list.
  • On Maryland Legislative Women’s Committee and had adoption program for years of Bills. 
  • An advocate for adoptee human rights, and all constellation members. Strongly believes all adoptees should have a clear picture of their identity, heritage, and genealogical history a copy of their own birth certificate. 
Being an AAC State Rep could mean:  
  • Being available for reaching out to individuals and groups who have adoption education related questions; D
  • Doing some advertising,
  • Giving talks;
  • Getting a group together once in a while to show an adoption movie with a discussion following;
  • Have displays of adoption books at local libraries for November, National Adoption Month.  MOST IMPORTANTLY at this time it means if you live in State in which adoptees do not have ACCESS to their original birth certificate, begin that progress. 
  • If you do not know about legislation, AAC has some guidelines. 
  • Also, of course, get familiar with your State’s legislative system and be prepared to lobby
  New Jersey - Vacant
New York 
Tim Monti-Wohlpart - Brooklyn, NY
Tim Monti-Wohlpart is a New York born adoptee, in reunion since 1998.  In 2002 and 2003, he served as Vice President and Legislative Liaison for New York Statewide Adoption Reform. At that time, he lobbied for unrestricted original birth certificate access for adult adoptees.  In 2015, he began a grass-roots effort to restore the unrestricted access bill after it was changed in June 2015.  His public petition, supporting that effort, has been provided to key legislators and the Governor.  Tim joined the AAC Legislative Council in 2016.  He holds a B.S. in marketing, with minor in political science, and a Master of Education.  He lives in Brooklyn.
  Ohio - Vacant
  Pennsylvania - Vacant
Virginia - Dave Horne - Alexandria, VA
Dave may be reached at: 703.998.8657
The birth parent of  a daughter born in New Jersey in 1958.  Tried to eloped with the birth mother, but were unsuccessful in getting married due to being under-aged.  On being apprehended we were jailed, denied permission to marry by birth mother's father, placed on probation and under court order not to communicate.  Our daughter was placed for adoption in a coerced procedure.  We were reunited in 1994 as a result of birth daughter and birth mother retaining an investigator to find me after birth daughter found her birth mother.  In spite of a thirty-five year separation we have been successfully reunited since and have a normal father-daughter relationship.  My birth daughter's adoptive parents are long dead and had no extended family so if not for her birth family she would have no family today.
  I have been active in the Adoptee-Birth Parent Support Network (http://adopteebirthparentsupportnetwork.org/) since 1995 and have provided support and encouragement to members.
 Provided reunion and search advice to individuals and to adoptees and birth parents who are either in reuion or are anticipating reunion.
I monitor adoption legislation in Virginia and have lobbied for open adoption records.  I received an AA in engineering from Palomar College in 1972, A BA in political science, Magna Cum Laude, from Old Dominion University in 1981 and a JD from George Mason University School of Law in 1989.  I am retired.  I served in the US Marine Corps from 1960 to 1980.  I participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis,  the Vietnam War (three one-year tours), and Cambodia operations after Vietnam operations had ceased.  After retiring from the Marine Corps I worked as an engineer in various capacities before attending law school.  After law school I continued to work as an engineer on the F/A-18 and AV-8B aircraft programs at Naval Air Systems Command.  I also practiced appellate law in the federal courts.  I was a member of the Virginia Bar and several federal bars from 1990 to 2003.  I am divorced but have been in a relationship since 1989.  I have six children, three daughters including my birth daughter, a son, and two step sons  I have five grandchildren and another on the way. 
  West Virginia - Vacant (Dave Horne acts for West Virginia currently)

South - Regional Director - Vacant
 
  Alabama - Vacant
  Arkansas - Vacant
Florida - Susan Friel-Williams - Cape Coral, FL
Susan may be reached at: 239.772.2727
Susan Friel-Williams is currently the Vice President, Membership Chair and acting Southern Regional Director of the American Adoption Congress. She also administrates the AAC Facebook and Twitter accounts, edits and produces ‘The Beacon’ and is the Chairman for the Nominations and Elections process of the Organization.  Susan has been active as a Florida State Representative since 2010, and expertly balances her career as a licensed private investigator with her volunteer positions with the AAC.
 
Georgia - Archie Hyde - Hartwell, GA
Archie may be reached at: 706.376.1957
Archie is an Adoptee from Missouri living in Georgia. Information was given to him on his birth family, by a Court "certified" searcher from Kansas City but was proven incorrect per a DNA test from Family Tree DNA. He has been a member of AAC since 2003 and a AAC Georgia State Representative since 2007, and has assisted with providing information to Georgia families seeking guidance in the adoption triad. In 2013, he gave a presentation before the Georgia State Legislators who were considering a Bill for opening access to information for adult adoptees. 
Archie received the first AAC State Representative Award in 2015 at the AAC conference in Boston,  
This past year he assisted in the passage of Missouri Bill "SCS HCS HB -1599",  opening the OBC records for Adoptees, and obtained his original birth certificate in Jefferson City, Missouri {the Capitol}, on August 29th,2016.
Archie went for 2 years to Oklahoma State Technical College in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and then later he graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens , Georgia with a B.S.is Trade and Industrial Education.  And was a V.I.C.A. advisor to both Secondary and Post Secondary students in the field of Drafting and Design for 8 years
Archie is a retired Vocational Educator, and had both T-4 ,and VR-4 teaching Certificates from Georgia, Florida, and Hawaii.  Archie retired as a Navy Chief draftsman with close to 27 years of affiliation.  He was also a Naval command career counselor for over 19 years, and has worked in the following areas:
  • Maintenance and Safety Trainer for industrial facilities.
  • Electrical Systems Designer for the Chemical, Paper Pulp, Poultry, and Government facilities ie; Emergency Power for Communication, 
  • Security Systems for Consulates and Embassies & UN, Runway and Airport Security Systems.
  • Associate Facility Engineer for Saturn SB 2 Lifting body NASA
  • Maintenance Supervisor for a Poultry Processing Plant processing 1 million pounds of Chicken per day.
Archie is married with twin daughters, with one of the twins having a set of twin boys, and the other twin having 3 children- a boy, and 2 girls, and also 2 great grand children.
Kentucky - Robert Chastang - Newport, KY
Bob may be reached at: 859.261.1900
Bob lives in Northern Kentucky adjacent to the city of Cincinnati. Ohio. He has experienced adoption in three different formats. First and foremost as an adopted child, second as an adoptive parent, and last as a grandfather who lost his first born grandson to the adoption mill. All three experiences gave him the fire to help correct some of the defects I found within himself and the systemic ills within the past and present adoption system.  He is too passionate about adoption reform and truth because there are too many lies surrounding the current.system.
He continue to be present to help in whatever capacity he can, from fielding phone calls, to marching in protests against closed adoption records, to presenting movies and speeches. Bob has been very active over the years with the Kentucky Citizen Foster Care Review Boards. They review 25 to 35 children's cases per month. His duty is to make sure these children receive the best care from the state and that the state is actively trying to return these children to their families!  He was appointed by the State District Court Judge approx. 6 years ago to this position.
Bob marched in the Access Denied protest in Chicago in the summer of 2011 and continues to forward AAC pamphlets, brochures and movies to the Campbell and Kenton DSS
offices, as well as the local library. Bob has talked to various social workers in state offices as well as to his local contact person for the Citizens Foster Care Review board.
Louisiana - Linda Woods - Kenner, LA
Linda may be reached at: 504.443.1012
A reunited Birth mother and adoption advocate.  For over 15 years, Linda has been involved in many volunteer groups and organizations dedicated to adoption issues and adoption reform, including her work with a voluntary search and support group in the New Orleans area and co-founding the Louisiana Adoption Advocates.  In 199, Linda became Louisiana's AAC State Representative.  As a member of the Louisiana Adoption Advisory Board (LAAB), Linda has represented this board at many events on the local and national level. Most notably, Linda has served as Conference Chair for LAAB's mission to bring various members of the adoption community together to discuss different perspectives, seek common understanding, and promote solutions that pertain to special needs adoption.  She has chaired nin state-wide adoption conferences for the board, successfully attracting national speakers and drawing national attention.  In addition, Linda has submitted written testimony in the House of Representatives on adoption issues and has lobbied the Louisiana State legislature for fourteen years.  In 2001, Linda was recognized as an "Angel in Adoption" by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.  Linda is passionate about her work in adoption and in particular, adoption reform to promote openness in adoption.  Her contributions at the State and National level have increased Louisiana's stature and presence within the national adoption community.  Linda is an inspiration to all who know her.
  Mississippi - Vacant
  North Carolina - Vacant
  South Carolina - Vacant

State Representative since 2005
Tennessee - Holly Spann - Nashville, TN
Holly may be reached at: 615.812.2551
Holly Spann is a birthmother and life-long political and adoption reform advocate who replaced Denny Glad as the AAC rep for Tennessee in 2007.  Thanks to Denny and many others touched by adoption, Tennessee rewrote its entire code on adoption in 1995 and passed legislation giving adoptees access to their adoption file.  Holly is past President of the Nashville Chapter of the National Organization for Women, the Nashville Women's Political Caucus and the Davidson County Democratic Women.  Holly also served as Vice-President Legislation for the Tennessee Women's Political Caucus and served three terms on the board of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  She is the 2009 recipient of the Tennessean Newspaper’s "David Cobb Award" for "Promoting the Values Embodied in the Bill of Rights."  In 2010, she was nominated for the Nashville ATHENA Award which honors business and professional women for their career successes, service to community and encouragement of women.  She is a member of the Tennessee State Museum and Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art.  She is employed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and lives in Nashville.

Midwest Regional Director - Vacant
 
  Illinois - Vacant
Indiana - Melissa Shelton - Carmel, IN
Melissa may be reached at: 317.519.7127
Melissa is a Wisconsin adoptee reunited with birth family in 2005. She is an adoptive mother to two children. Married to husband, Bob, for 19 years
She has been member of the American Adoption Congress since 2003. Melissa was the AAC Virginia State Representative, AAC 2004-2007. Became the Indiana State Representative to AAC  in 2007-present
She has served in the US Army, Major, Air Defense Artillery (PATRIOT) and Quartermaster Corps. Volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and as a Foster Care Review Board member
Experience in working in the VA medical system and private adoption agencies in the social work field. Conducting intake assessments on potential birth families and prospective adoptive couples.
  • Interview, assess needs and provide counseling, community resources, and support to birth families.
  • Conduct training seminars to adoptive families.
Conducts home studies and complete dossiers for International Adoption from China, Guatemala, Ukraine, Russia and Vietnam.  Ensures security and safety of family through post placement supervision in international adoption.
  • Conduct bio-psycho-social assessments.  Complete home studies, initiate and track interstate documents, conduct follow-up post placement supervision in domestic adoption.
  • Conduct community outreach and Public Relations through radio and newsprint interviews.
Worked on legislation for eight years for the state of Indiana. The bill that I worked on was passed into law in 2016. Adoptees born between 1941 to 1993 will have the ability to receive their original birth certificates beginning July 1, 2018.
  Iowa - Vacant
Michigan - Tina Caudill - Hazel Park, MI
Tina may be reached at: 248.399.1290
I am reunited birth mother of 27 years who founded the first search and support group in the State of MI in 1972  I directly led or oversaw Adoption Identity Movement of MI for 38 years and have served as a Confidential Intermediary in Macomb County since 1996.  During those years we provided education and support to our members, were involved in radio and television interviews, held protests at the county courts and worked on legislation reform.  I also joined the AAC during those early 1970's  formative years and previously served as a Region 3 Secretary during the mid 1980's and more recently was appointed the AAC MI State Representative in January, 2010. While semi-retired and still working part time, I continue to provide individual consultations to individuals and education via 2 email fan out networks (private individuals and the professional adoption community). 
Minnesota - Penelope Needham - Eden Prairie, MN
Penelope may be reached at: 612.616.3139
Penelope is an adoptee: reunited and in relationships with biological family (birth parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, niece, nephews) as well as on-going adoptive family relationships.  She is also an
  • Educator, semi-retired: holds current Minnesota K-12 public school licensure 
  • Facilitator/trainer of adoptee support groups for adolescents in schools 
  • Co-facilitator and founder of AdopteesMN, a peer support group for adult adoptees
  • Executive Board member of Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform (www.MnAdoptReform.org) and volunteer advocate for legislative reform (OBC legislation)
Penelope is the current Minnesota State Representative for American Adoption Congress (2014- present), and has served as the former Midwest Regional Director for American Adoption Congress (2014 – 2015); and hs served on Legislative, Film, and Scholarship committees.
  • Former Facilitator and Trainer for the Adoptees Have Answers (AHA) project of MN ADOPT (formerly Minnesota Adoption Resources Network) administered through a grant by the Minnesota Department of Health  (2010-2012)
  •  Married; mother of 2 (biological) sons, grandmother of 2 granddaughters, and godmother to birth-niece
Penelope is an advocate for adoptees and is supportive of all adoption constellation members. She strongly believes that everyone is valued and should have knowledge of their own identity, parentage, and family history - including access to their own original birth records.
  North Dakota - Vacant
  Nebraska - Linda C. Willson - La Vista, NE
Linda may be reached at: 402.537.4387
Coming Soon
  South Dakota - Vacant
  Wisconsin - Vacant

Southwest Regional Director - Vacant
 
Arizona - Deb Allen - Lake Havasu City, AZ
Debra’s father was adopted in 1908 and re-homed three times to his birth mother before the age of 11! Debra began reuniting families back in the 1980's using her father adoption experience as her motivator. Because of the long lasting trauma, her father faced during his childhood gave Debra a greater understanding of the adoption system, its flaws, and areas needing change.
Debra has reunited thousands of families separated by adoption and uses her training and search expertise she obtained during her career for 25 years in law enforcement.
Debra is a mother of five and a grandmother of four and lives in sunny Arizona for the past decade. Once retired, Debra immersed herself into a full-time obsession to reunite families. Debra became a licensed Private Investigator in California and Arizona. She then was certified as a Confidential Intermediary for Arizona Supreme Court. Debra is a frequent guest lecturer regarding adoption. Debra is honored to serve as the Arizona representative for the AAC and
looks forward to assisting where she can with duties and changes within Arizona as needed
  Colorado - Vacant
Kansas - Marilyn Mendenhall Waugh - Topeka, KS
Marilyn may be reached at: 
785.235.6122
Is a reunited birth mother, Director of Adoption Concerns Triangle of Topeka, past AAC President and current KS State Representative. For over 23 years she's been in the Post Adoption Services of the KS Division for Children and Families (DCF) searching/reconnecting families. Adult adoptees, as well as birth parents, can request a free-of-charge search through DCF. Kansas has always allowed adult adoptees access to the Original Birth Certificate (OBC) and the complete adoption record. KS Vital Statistics includes an informational sheet, with Marilyn’s email and telephone number, to all adoptees requesting their OBC.
  Missouri - Vacant
  New Mexico - Diana Edwards - Silver City, NM
Coming Soon
Oklahoma - Samantha Franklin - Bixby, OK
Samantha may be reached at: 918.697.2002
I'm an adoptee born and bred in Tulsa, OK (private "60's Scoop" infant adoption), and I've been married 25 years to my husband, Brian and we have one son, Andrew. I am so blessed to know my natural family since 1990, when I obtained my OBC and found that we all live in the same town. I enjoy walking together with other adoptees and natural mothers in our search and reunion journey's and we have a small get-together (support group) that meets once a month at a local Tulsa library.
Texas - Mary Wilson - Mansfield, TX
Mary may be reached at: 682.553.9235
Mary Wilson is a reunited birthmother who has been a volunteer adoption searcher for over 18 years.  She was first exposed to AAC when recognized as one of the 2013 Spokeo Search Angels.  She joined AAC that year and the next year applied to be a Texas State Representative.  Active in education about the need for adoptees to have access to their original birth certificates with TxCare in the late 90’s, 2013 and 2015 Texas legislative sessions.  She testified before both the 2015 House and Senate Committees.  Facilitates Support Group in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area since 2013.  In 2016 was nominated and voted to be the Secretary of the AAC and will fill that position at the 2017 annual AAC conference.
  Texas - Lana Addington - Keller, TX
Coming Soon
Utah - Liesl Einerson LCSW - Salt Lake City, UT
Adoption Program Coordinator, Children’s Service Society of Utah.  Liesl has her Masters of Social Worker from UNC Chapel Hill and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Utah.  She has worked extensively with birthparents, adoptees, and adoptive parents. She has worked as a post adoption therapist and has facilitated adoption education and support groups.  She is a transracial adoptive sister and has experience with search and reunification, foster care, open adoption, special needs, international, transracial, and kinship adoption. Liesl has a certificate in advanced therapy with foster and adoptive families and is a certified in Trust Based Relational Therapy by Dr. Karyn Purvis of The Connected Child.  She has a passion for working with all who are touched by adoption.

West Regional Director - Deborah Myers
 
  Alaska - Vacant
  California - Sarah Burns
Coming Soon
N. California - Janet Oelklaus - Mill Valley, CA
Janet may be reached at: 415.888.8162
Janet Oelklaus is an adoptee originally from the Midwest, who became connected to the adoption community and reform movement after concluding a long search for her birth mother. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and assists others with their adoptive experience, whether it is a personal search for family of origin or the resources to enhance understanding of the adopted individual and family. She also advocates for legal reform and increased awareness in the community about issues surrounding adoption and foster care and has worked for the Columbia Daily Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle.
  Central California - Betsy Holt - Ventura, CA
Coming Soon
  Hawaii - Vacant
  Idaho - Vacant
  Montana - Vacant
  Nevada - Vacant
  Oregon - Vacant
Washington - Deborah Myers Bainbridge Island, WA
Deborah may reached at: 206.842.6798
Deborah Myers received her BA from Central Washington University in Sociology and English Literature. She received an MSW from the University of Washington and worked as a planner for the Area Agency on Aging. Later, Deborah received her JD from Seattle University and represented plaintiffs in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. 
She trained as a confidential intermediary and volunteered with Washington Adoptees Reunion Movement (WARM). She served as a volunteer with WARM for over twenty years and also served on the board in several positions, including board president. Deborah was also a founding member of the Washington Coalition for Adoptees Rights and Equality (WA-CARE). WA-CARE was instrumental in passing an OBC access law in 2012. Deborah is currently retired and spends her time with family and friends, while still assisting triad members in searches for lost family members.
  Wyoming - Vacant