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FFTA Celebrates National Adoption Month!

National Adoption Month 1

The Cost of Gay Fatherhood












Dear Friends,

In our continued effort to share great resources with you, we wanted to pass along the following article. The article offers an in-depth look at what to expect financially when considering building your family through adoption, foster, or surrogacy and is certainly worth a read.

Our very own co-founders, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW and Michael S. Goldstein Esq, LCSW, contributed to the article which can be found here:

Happy reading and feel free to share your comments below!

FFTA Welcomes Courtney Souza!!!

Courtney Photo 2Courtney Souza joined our FFTA family this past spring as our Administrative Coordinator. Courtney brings to FFTA her passion for child welfare, enthusiasm for helping others, and positive energy. We are thrilled she is part of our team.

Courtney is a graduate of the University of San Francisco where she earned her degree in Communications with a concentration in Journalism. After completing graduate studies in Child Advocacy in Boston, she returned home to Connecticut, where she currently resides with her husband. In her free time, Courtney enjoys travelling, photography, reading, and cooking.

Courtney has thoroughly enjoyed connecting with our FFTA families and assisting them along their adoption and parenting journey. She has especially enjoyed helping clients navigate the approval process, from answering questions regarding parent training and updating documents to reviewing birth parent letters, and witnessing successful placements during her time with us.

She truly believes creating families is the most rewarding job there is and looks forward to helping many children find their forever families in the years to come. Please be sure to say hello to Courtney when you call FFTA. She will surely answer with a smile on her face.


finishing the race cropped

Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc in Rye Brook, New York and 2015 IRONMAN Sam Karliner from Mamaroneck have exciting news to share…

Sam Karliner, FFTA’s own IRONMAN and Secretary of the Board, completed the 2015 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid for his 4th time this past weekend. Sam not only completed it in his own record time, he surpassed his expectations and finished with an official time of 11:46:57 – again Sam was under the 12 hours he hoped to achieve!

Sam recounts the dramatic events that took place before and during the race:

“There’s nothing like a 5-alarm fire the night before an ironman race to get the adrenaline pumping. Building across the street from our hotel has been raging on fire for hours. No injuries. But we were evacuated while Lake Placid’s finest battle this beast. Many athletes had to evacuate and be relocated; I ended up sleeping in the car, hoping to collect my wetsuit and goggles from the hotel room before dawn. It was a LONG night, but I managed to go back to our hotel and get some needed sleep. It was a rough race- it began with an overcast cloudy day -then bright skies, hot sun, and temperatures pushing 80 degrees, but I completed it, all the time thinking of all my wonderful family and supporters.”

Sam chose to dedicate this 2015 race, IRONMAN Lake Placid on July 26, 2015 to raise awareness and funds for Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA). FFTA is a non-profit 501c3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption, and Sam proudly sits on FFTA’s Board of Directors. Through his donation web link and some direct donations, Sam raised over $6,000 for FFTA.

The link is still open at Please consider a donation to honor Sam and his amazing accomplishment.

Sam and Jill Karliner adopted their twin sons, Elliott and Jacob, 20 years ago and created a family. Today, their home and lives would not be complete without them. Nearly 60% of Americans are touched by adoption in some way.

Adoption enabled Sam to create his family. However, like the IRONMAN, the road to adoption can be a challenging one. There are times it seems like you’ll never reach your dream. Both the IRONMAN race and the adoption process require you to dig deep, to persevere — especially when things get tough. Most of all, both are a journey made possible by the love and support of family and friends.

Sam made a huge commitment to train for the IRONMAN. Each stroke in the water (covering 2.4 miles), each push of the pedal (covering 112 miles), and each foot to the pavement (covering 26.2 miles) brought Sam closer to his goal. He covered the 140.6 miles with a triumphant finish accomplishing this goal and proud to again be called an IRONMAN finisher!!

~ Joy & Michael Goldstein
Co-Founders FFTA and support team of IronMan Sam Karliner
Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc.
62 Bowman Avenue, Rye Brook, NY 10573
#914-939-1180 /

Exciting News for LGBTQ Families

Forever Families Through Adoption would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of our same-sex families regarding the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold same-sex marriage today. The long anticipated decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case has now officially legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, and requires all states to recognize these unions. President Obama took to Twitter in support of the decision, saying “Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins.”

FFTA is a recipient of the Human Rights Campaign All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition since 2011 for our continued support of LGBTQ+ rights. We are proud to work with so many loving and deserving same-sex adoptive families and look forward to working toward helping them create their forever families.

To read more about this monumental decision, see here.

Open Adoption: A Reference Guide for Families









We often discover wonderful adoption resources and feel inspired to share them. “Open Adoption: A Reference Guide” was recently featured in The Adoptive Families Magazine (Making Open Adoption Work) and is one of those resources.

The article, written by our friend Joni Mantell, discusses the benefits and unique challenges of openness and helps families who desire to make it work navigate through addressing these challenges with flexibility, sensitivity to the birth family, and confidence in themselves as parents.

Our very own, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, Executive Director and co-founder of Forever Families Through Adoption contributed to the article which can be found here:

Please feel free to share the article and comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts!

New ICWA Proposal








Hello Friends,

We wanted to share the following article with you all. Michael S. Goldstein, Esq, LCSW, adoption attorney and co- founder of FFTA, has given his words of wisdom to this article and we think it is an important read for all in the adoption community. 

Bureau of Indian Affairs Purposes New ICWA Rule:

Please feel free to share the article and comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Mother’s Day

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In celebration of Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, FFTA wanted to share with you a favorite article of ours. We believe it will resonate with many of you on different levels. Whether you have struggled to conceive a child and find yourself on a different path to parenthood than anticipated or have become a parent only to find the experience entirely different than you imagined, you will likely relate to the thoughts expressed. Enjoy and please feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts! Happy Mother’s Day!

WELCOME TO HOLLAND by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

Adoption Myths and Misconceptions








Many prospective adoptive parents reach out to Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA) thinking they will not be able to adopt. Therefore, we have put pen to paper and hope you find this reassuring as you move ahead with your family building.

Myth #1: Domestic Adoption is a Difficult and Time-Consuming Process.

For many individuals and couples who find themselves considering adoption, this misconception is a particularly discouraging one, yet another daunting hurdle in the quest to create or expand their family. However, the truth is that more than 20,000 American families successfully adopt babies born in the U.S. each year, according to the National Council on Adoption, and most of them successfully adopt within two years of beginning the adoption process.

Myth #2: Domestic Adoption is too Expensive

This misconception has led many to believe that domestic adoption is simply too expensive an option for their family, when in reality domestic adoptions can cost considerably less than international placements. For those seeking financial assistance, there are loans and grants specifically designed to help families afford the adoption process. The IRS also allows eligible taxpayers a tax credit to offset the expense.

Myth #3: Domestic Adoption is a Risky Process

While the fear that domestic adoptions are risky remains widespread, it had been said that less than 1% of domestic adoptions today are legally contested after the relinquishments of parental rights, and revocations are extremely rare. Additionally, domestic adoption has become more transparent in recent years. According to the Donaldson Institute, as of 2012, 95% of adoptions are open or semi-open adoptions. Increased openness in the adoption process between adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoption professionals has numerous benefits. Although not required, adoptive parents and birth parents, with the assistance of adoption professionals, often decide together the nature and frequency of the contact that will take place after the adoption. Information about the medical and social background of the child is often also shared. Openness provides birth parents the necessary reassurance that their child will be loved and provided for by his/her adoptive parents, thus significantly limiting any issues that may arise after the adoption takes place, and helps provide the adoptive child with additional contact and information as they mature.

Myth #4: Being Single or a Same-Sex Couple will Prohibit Me from Successfully Adopting

Many individuals and same sex couples successfully adopt in the U.S. each year. National trends continue to show an increase in acceptance toward the non-traditional family unit. In fact, some say that same sex couple adoptions have nearly tripled in the past decade. According to the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law, 65,000 adopted children currently live in same sex households. Birth parents are increasingly involved in selecting the adoptive parents for their child and while some birth parents will express a preference to place their child within a traditional (two parent heterosexual) family, others will not.

Myth #5: Age will Prohibit Me/Us from Successfully Adopting

Statistics on the ages of adoptive parents are unavailable as there is not a federal agency or organization that maintains such information. However, what we do know is that over the past two decades age barriers that once prevented prospective parents from domestic adoptions have fallen steadily. The definition of what constitutes a suitable adoptive family is expanding as adoption professionals and birth parents are recognizing the benefit that comes with mature parents. The U.S. does not have a specific age maximum, and at Forever Families Through Adoption we have found birthparents open to 40 and 50 year olds with little hesitation.

We hope the myths and realities discussed above help alleviate some of your concerns and help you proceed with optimism.


*For more information on adoption contact Courtney Souza at  or call 914-939-1180

FFTA will be hosting a free Information Session on Monday, April 20, 2015 at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library from 6:30-8:00pm.

FFTA welcomes Jenna M. Beirlein, Esq. as FFTA’s Agency General Counsel

Jenna graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science in 2007, and she received her Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law in 2010. Since being admitted to the New York and New Jersey Bars, Jenna has served Westchester County, NY families as a matrimonial and family law attorney in the private and public sectors. Not only does Jenna have the legal expertise to work in the adoption field, but she is also an adoptee who is pleased to share her adoption story.

Jenna shared that she was born in Bogotá, Colombia and lived in an orphanage until she was adopted by two amazing parents when she was six months old. When Jenna arrived in New York, she was greeted by lots of family, love, and an older sister who was also adopted from the same orphanage in Bogotá, Colombia about a year earlier! Jenna grew up in Rockland County, New York and has always been so proud to be an adoptee. In fact, Jenna attributes her successes and accomplishments to her family who provided her with endless love, support, and devotion.

Jenna hopes that all adoptees will have great adoption experiences. Jenna wishes to use her professional and personal experiences to help ensure that children in need of permanent, loving homes are adopted by forever families.