OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Carolyn Mcleod | Chair
Carolyn is both an adoptive mom and a professor of philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. Her research at Western focuses on the ethics of assisted reproduction and adoption. Most recently, she was an invited participant to the International Forum on Inter-country Adoption and Global Surrogacy in The Hague, Netherlands. She also published the book Family-Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges, co-edited with Francoise Baylis and put out by Oxford University Press (2014).
For more on her research and writing, see her website http://carolynmcleod.com. In terms of her personal experience with adoption, she and her partner Andrew have adopted two boys internationally, one at the age of 3 and the other at the age of 5.
Stephen Weir | Secretary
Stephen is a new parent to 3-year old twin boys, having recently celebrated the one year anniversary of their placement with him and his wife, Wendy. Stephen and Wendy worked with CAS and JFCS, and have found tremendous support in several online and offline communities as they navigate the complexities of twins, toddlers, adoption and the associated permutations of complexity that comes with that exhilarating and exhausting combination. Stephen believes strongly in the power of community and organized advocacy, and hopes to advance both these causes through his work with A4L.
Professionally, Stephen is a Vice President of Brand Development at boutique branding agency, Trajectory. His work is focused primarily in the not-for-profit, public, and higher-education sectors, helping organizations big and small rebrand, reposition and reintroduce themselves to their diverse audiences. He works mainly in Canada and is based in Toronto, but has had the opportunity to explore different parts of Ontario through projects with the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay International Airport, Hastings County, the National Capital Commission, and more.
Lisa Cameron | Treasurer
Adoption has always been a part of Lisa’s life having grown up with a brother who was adopted. She is now also a proud mother of two energetic boys, one of whom was internationally adopted. Lisa and her family have benefited tremendously from having post adoption peer support and she is passionate to ensure all adoptive families have access to the supports they need when they need them. Lisa is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA,CA) with 20+ years of experience in various industries including consumer products, education and healthcare.
To get in contact with our Treasurer, including those who are interested in joining please email Treasurer@adopt4life.com.
DIRECTORS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS
Chris Walker | FUNDRAISING Committee Chair
Christopher is a professional fundraiser and board governance communicator with close to 15 years of experience developed in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador. He brings that experience to the board as chair of the fundraising committee. Day to day Christopher works with a LOFT Community Services a social service agency providing supportive housing and community supports to clients experiencing mental and physical health and addiction challenges across Toronto, York Region and Simcoe County. He is father of a beautiful 13-year-old adopted daughter. Christopher’s motivation for joining the board is to ensure that families embarking on the adoption journey have the support they need from people with lived experience.
To get in contact with our Fundraising Committee, including those who are interested in joining please email Fundraisingcommittee@adopt4life.com
LGBTQ2S+ Committee Chair [Position Vacant]
Jay Lomax | First Nations Metis Inuit (FNMI) Committee Chair
Jay is a survivor of the 70’s adoption scoop in Manitoba and has been living in Toronto for most of his life. Jay grew up in a predominantly white community in the Greater Toronto region. When he met his biological mother in 1990, he went back to his reserve in Manitoba to live and learn the traditional Dakota and Ojibwe teachings, ceremonies, and culture. Jay has studied and partakes in ceremonies with elders from across the country, learning new teachings about his people and the world. He passes his knowledge down to his two sons and daughter. During Jay’s master’s degree placement, he made a small video documenting his adoption experience. He has developed and created the first adoption ceremony in North America at his place of employment, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, where he serves as an Adoption and Permanency Planning Worker. Jay wishes to share part of his adoption story and how the ceremony came to be to other CAS agencies and First Nations child welfare agencies across Turtle Island.
To get in contact with our FNMI Committee, including those who are interested in joining please email: FNMICommittee@adopt4life.com
Judith Craig | AFRICAN-CANADIAN Committee Chair
Judith is an interracial, transracial, transnational, foundling adoptee from Haiti who was adopted into a white Canadian family in the early 1980’s. As a foundling Judith had no identifying information about her family or her history but always had a strong yearning to connect with her biological family. Being raised in an era where her sense of belonging in her adoptive family was always questioned by society intensified Judith’s desire to search and she returned to Haiti in 2007. She documented her experiences in the film Adopted ID (www.facebook.com/adoptedid). It took a further 10 years and scientific advancements for Judith to amazingly find her biological family. She is presently completing her memoir on her adoption, search and reunion.
Judith is a registered social worker specializing in fostering and adoption. Over the past 13 year’s Judith’s professional experience has reflected a diverse portfolio. She has worked in child welfare, fostering, private adoption, developed/facilitated workshops for adoptive parents and professionals and has been invited to be a panellist and keynote speaker at numerous events focused on adoption. Judith is the co-founder and facilitator of the Adult Adoptee Network a safe space for adult adoptees to share their experiences.
Judith’s mission is to share her personal experiences and professional knowledge to assist fellow adoptees, their parents and professionals as they navigate the journey of adoption, with a special focus on trans racial adoption. Judith is a passionate international speaker and author who has been featured in a variety of print, radio and television media outlets. When she’s not speaking, conducting workshops or screening her film Adopted ID Judith can be found dancing up a storm with her two lively and creative daughters. To learn more about Judith, please visit her website: www.judithcraig.com.
To get in contact with our African Canadian, including those who are interested in joining please email: African-CanadianCommittee@adopt4life.com
Mary-Jo Land | MENTAL HEALTH Committee Chair
Mary-Jo is a parent of five, one of whom is adopted. For the last two decades, Mary-Jo has provided psychotherapy to children, youth and their families. In the last 12 years, attachment, trauma and adoption have become Mary-Jo’s specializations. Mary-Jo is past president of The Association for Training in Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh, Minneapolis MN).
Currently, Mary-Jo works with the Adoption Council of Ontario as a facilitator in the Adoption Competency Training for professionals and the Pathways 2 Permanency 2 for parents. Along with an active private practice with adoptive families, Mary-Jo is Program Lead at THRIVE Child and Youth Trauma Service, OASIS Program, which serves Refugee and Immigrant children, youth and their families for Trauma and Acculturation stress. In both Canada and the USA, Mary-Jo provides training to professionals and parents in attachment, adoption and trauma. Mary-Jo lives in Grey County with her husband Kevin Land, where she manages her forest and plays with her grandchildren (not often enough). To get in contact with our Mental Health Committee, including those who are interested in joining please email MentalHeathCommittee@adopt4life.com.
Martha Chamberlain | OPENNESS Committee Chair
Martha Chamberlain is the adoptive parent to one child and the biological parent to two others. Professionally, Martha has worked as a lawyer in the area of child protection law for the last 18 years. She worked for the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto for 16 years and then was seconded to the Motherisk Commission for two years. Martha has now opened up her own legal practice and is working for children, adoptive parents and biological parents primarily in child protection proceedings. Martha has a keen interest in Openness post-adoption and has worked with many families to ensure that this can occur in a way that is supportive to the adoptive family.
To get in contact with our Openness Committee, including those who are interested in joining please email: OpennessCommittee@adopt4life.com.
Melissa Pierre-Sossoyan | ADVOCACY Committee Chair
Melissa brings professional knowledge and experience to the Board and Advocacy Committee from roles held in government, politics, banking and insurance. Originally from Montreal, she graduated from Concordia University in Political Science and Public Administration. Melissa is currently working at TD Insurance as a Customer Care Manager. She is a versatile individual with an expertise in executing different tasks in order to help customers and achieve organizational results.
The mother of two lovely active boys, Melissa brings this important lived experience and perspective to the Board as well. She and her husband adopted their toddler son as an infant and then not too long after welcomed his biological infant brother, both through CAS. As a multicultural and multilingual family, Melissa sees the importance of giving a voice to parents who are interracial and/or adopting children from a cultural minority and would also like to be able to provide support to future parents who are going through public adoption. As well, Melissa has a keen interest in assisting francophone parents, who may originally be from out of province, in locating and accessing specialized resources.
Melissa has learned, as a result of her education, professional experience, and now journey of parenthood through adoption, the value of advocacy and creating awareness to find solutions and bring about positive change and is committed to ensuring Adopt4Life—Ontario’s Adoptive Parents Association is able to be a credible and sought out voice for all those in our adoption community.
To get in contact with our Advocacy Committee, including those who are interested in joining please email AdvocacyCommittee@adopt4life.com.
Rachael Manion | STRATEGIC POLICY Committee Chair
Rachael first got involved with Adopt4Life in support of the Time to Attach campaign. Her life has been touched in many ways by adoption and she is delighted to bring her policy and advocacy skills to the team to help advance key issues of importance to the adoptive, kin and customary care community. As Chair of the Strategic Policy Committee, she draws on a decade of combined policy and legal experience providing insights on legislative and policy developments across the country to clients, including charities, to ensure that Adopt4Life is informed and confident in taking action to advance policies that support our community. To reach Rachael, contact StrategicPolicy@adopt4life.com
Tedd Konya | SOCIAL Committee Chair
Tedd is a father to 2 boys (biological brothers), adopted from CAS, with his husband Garry. They worked with a private adoption practitioner to become adopt-ready and were matched with their boys after attending one of the Adoption Resource Exchanges.
Tedd is a very strong proponent of the work being done by Adopt4Life due to challenges he faced in finding support post-adoption. He wants to help make sure all new adoptive parents have a network to reach out to in times of need or support for dealing with the challenges that come with adopting children.
Prior to moving to Canada, Tedd was a middle school science teacher in the United States. He currently works in a research at the University of Toronto.
To get in contact with our Social Committee, including those who are interested in joining please email SocialCommittee@adopt4life.com.
Tracy Moisan | MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Committee Chair
Professionally, Tracy leads engaging internal and external communications strategies for companies such as Adobe and DocuSign. Tracy further leverages her 15+ years of experience with messaging development, market positioning, storytelling, and strategic communications in order to effectively engage with senior leaders and executives. She has intuitively understood the connection between customer engagement and customer-centric employee engagement; and has leveraged this approach to lead organizational change and deepen company culture, while advocating for deeper employee and customer connections at all levels of an organization.
Tracy brings to the Board a passion for increasing the awareness and understanding of the unique needs of adoptive families in Ontario. As a proud mom to three siblings, Tracy and her husband formed their family through public adoption with the Children’s Aid Society. Through her own first-hand experiences with common post-adoption issues related to early childhood trauma and loss, Tracy understands the critical importance of resources and supports for families. She is also an active member of the FASD Parent Action Group of Southeastern Ontario, formed to influence family advocacy for those living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
To get in contact with our Marketing & Communications Committee, including those who are interested in joining please email MarCommCommittee@adopt4life.com