Blog// LGBT Adoptive Parents

Service Provider Spotlight - Meredith Shepard

Over the years, we've cultivated a robust network of trusted adoption service professionals to refer our adoptive families and birth parents to. This series features Q&As with a few of our referrals from across the country.

What is your title & specialty?

I'm Executive Director for Heart of Adoptions, Inc. Our agency primarily handles domestic, newborn adoption, but we also handle older child adoptions, DCF Interventions, home studies, and post-placement services. I oversee five office locations and caseworkers/staff throughout the state of Florida. I am also the Director of Programs for Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc. Through that agency, I primarily work with international families wanting to adopt from the United States as well as providing home study and post-placement services for families that have already adopted internationally.

What areas do you serve?

All of Florida as well as adoptive parents and birth parents whose adoption plans have a connection to Florida.

What do you like most about what you do?

Seeing an adoptive family meet their child for the first time. I also love hearing the success stories of birth families who have created an adoption plan and have gone on to fulfill their goals, whether that is to finish school or complete a caseplan to be able to parent other children.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

Reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

What advice do you have for prospective adoptive parents?

Don't be afraid of your child's birth family. Just because they have chosen to create an adoption plan and not to parent doesn't mean they are bad people. Furthermore, don't ever stop providing the updates/post-placement contact that you agreed upon with the birth family. Sometimes that annual update is all a birth parent needs to remind them they can do tough things, they made the right choice, and that they matter.

What's your most memorable or rewarding moment from working in adoption?

Seeing birth and adoptive parents build a family together for the sake of the child. Recognizing they are not in competition with each other and not in a coparenting situation, and realizing that at the end of the day doing what is right for the child is what matters. Honoring a child's birth family, so they can be proud of all of their history is rewarding to see when a child grows up to respect their birth parent's decision rather than be ashamed they were adopted.

Do you have a personal connection to adoption?

I do not have a personal connection, though it is amazing that once you start working in this field, you learn of all the people in your life that do have a personal connection and I love getting to hear people's stories of how adoption has impacted their life.

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