OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chair: Tedd Konya
Tedd is a father to two boys (biological brothers), whom he adopted from the Children’s Aid Society, with his husband Garry. The couple worked with a private adoption practitioner to become adopt-ready. He found Adopt4Life while on adoption probation and struggling to find post-adoption supports. He serves on the Board because he wants to ensure all new adoptive parents have a place to reach out to in times of need. Tedd currently works in research project management at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
Vice-Chair: Melissa Pierre-Sossoyan
Melissa graduated from Concordia University in Political Science and Public Administration and has held roles in government, politics, banking and insurance. Melissa and her husband adopted their two sons, when the boys were infants, through the Children’s Aid Society. As the mother of a multicultural and multilingual family, Melissa is passionate about supporting interracial families, francophone families and parents adopting children from a cultural minority.
Michelle and her husband became parents through private adoption. With a passion for helping waiting and adoptive parents through the adoption journey, Michelle is a regular contributor to the Adopt4Life blog. Fluent in both French and English, she holds a certificate in American Sign Language as well as an Honours BA, with a major in psychology, minor in communications. Michelle is a published author living in Ottawa. Her work focuses on subjects related to adoption, infertility and mental health.
Lisa grew up with a brother who was adopted and is now the proud mother of two energetic boys, one of whom was adopted internationally. She is passionate about ensuring all adoptive families have access to the supports they need, since peer support was so important to her on her adoption journey. A Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA,CA), Lisa has more than 20 years experience, notably in the education and healthcare industries.
COMMITTEES AND CHAIRS
Represents the interests of the African-Canadian community at Board meetings and creates resources and events celebrating Black culture and educating African-Canadian and interracial families.
Chair: Judith Craig
An interracial adoptee from Haiti, and a mother of two, Judith was adopted into a white Canadian family in the early 1980s. As a foundling, she had no identifying information about her origins, but a strong yearning to connect with her biological family. She documented her return to Haiti, in 2007, in the film Adopted ID. It took a further 10 years—and advances in DNA testing—for Judith to reunite with her birth family. As a registered social worker, author and international speaker, Judith specializes in fostering and adoption, with a focus on interracial adoption. She is the co-founder and facilitator of the Adult Adoptee Network, a safe space for adult adoptees to share their experiences.
Represents the interests of the 2SLGBTQIA community at Board meetings and engages in outreach to the 2SLGBTQIA community in Ontario.
Chair: Avi Magidsohn
Marketing and Communications Committee
Participates in marketing and communications planning and provides guidance to the Board and Adopt4Life team in these areas, to raise our profile and presence in the adoption and kin and customary care communities.
Chair: Stephen Weir
Stephen and his wife, Wendy, are new parents to three-year old twin boys. Stephen has worked with Children’s Aid Society and Jewish Family and Child, and he found tremendous support in online and offline communities, to help him on his parenting journey. He believes in the power of community and organized advocacy and hopes to advance both these causes through his work with Adopt4Life. Professionally, Stephen is Vice President of Brand Development at boutique branding agency, Trajectory. His work is focused primarily on the not-for-profit, public and higher-education sectors.
Mental Health Committee
Represents families living with mental health challenges at Board meetings and creates resources and supports around mental wellness for our community.
Chair: Rick Carrol
Rick and his wife Amanda adopted their daughter at age 5, and have found the support of an engaged adoptive parents’ community to be important in the 10 years since then. Rick brings more than 20 years experience in supporting kids and families, having worked in both the private and public sectors as a counsellor and family therapist, with a special focus on adoptive families. He is also the author of the book “Resiliency: Teach a Deflated Ball to Bounce Back.
Represents families touched by open adoption and care arrangements at board meetings and creates resources and supports to strengthen families with varying levels of openness.
Chair: Martha Chamberlain
The mother of one adoptive child and two biological children, Martha has worked as a lawyer in the area of child protection law for 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. She has since opened her own legal practice to represent children, adoptive parents and biological parents, primarily in child protection proceedings. Martha has worked with many families to facilitate and strengthen open adoptions.
Reports to the Board on our community’s social needs and organizes and executes volunteer- and team-run events and activities.
Chair: Jackson Eidelberg
Jackson is the co-parent to a son adopted as a child in rural Ontario. From his own experience as an adoptive father parenting a youth with early childhood trauma, he learned the importance of post-adoption supports and community. Jackson describes adoption as the greatest passion of his life, and is proud to continue to support his son as a young adult adoptee. Jackson retired from his architectural practice of more than 40+ years to focus on family, and now shares his expertise in creating programs and events that engage community members, deepen connections, and encourage knowledge-sharing.
Strategic Policy Committee
Advises the Board on policy and legal issues to ensure Adopt4Life is informed and confident in taking action to advance legislation that supports our community.
Chair: Rachael Manion
Rachael became involved with Adopt4Life to support the Time to Attach campaign. Her life has been touched in many ways by adoption, and she brings policy and advocacy expertise to help advance issues of importance to adoption and kin and customary care. She draws on a decade of policy and legal experience, to provide insights on legislative and policy developments across the country to clients, including charities.
Develops a fundraising plan and provides guidance to the Board on potential grant opportunities.
Strategic Risk and Oversight
Provides professional guidance around the fiduciary and governance oversight role of the Board.
First Nations Métis Inuit (FNMI) Committee
Represents the interests of the FNMI community at Board meetings and engages in outreach to Ontario’s FNMI community to help families forge strong cultural connections.
Carolyn Mcleod—Former Chair of the Board
Carolyn and her partner, Andrew, adopted two boys internationally, aged three and five at the time. A professor of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario, Carolyn focuses on the ethics of assisted reproduction and adoption in her research. She co-edited the book Family-Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges (Oxford University Press, 2014) and was an invited participant at the International Forum on Inter-country Adoption and Global Surrogacy, in The Hague, Netherlands.