Your Experts in Adoption ™
The Adoption Connection team has a combined total of over 100 years of adoption experience to give you the knowledge, confidence and support you not only need, but that you expect to receive from your adoption agency..
|Cherie McCarthy MSW, LISW-S- Director
Cherie has worked in the field of adoption since 1995. Her experience in adoption includes preparing domestic and international home studies, birthparent assessment and counseling, post adoption support services, search and re-union and facilitating pre-adoption education and training. Cherie previously worked at Adoption Connection from 1998 – 2004. Before returning to Adoption Connection in 2009, she was the Co-coordinator of International Adoption Services at Graceworks Lutheran Services. She is a Certified Ohio Adoption Assessor and a Licensed Independent Social Worker with supervisory credentials. Cherie is a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the International Adoption Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, has been a committee member and speaker for the annual Tri-State adoption conference, and is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Wright State University and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1996.
Contact Cherie at CMcCarthy@jfscinti.org
|Angie Bowling, Adoption Case Aide
Angie’s responsibilities begin at the time of application and continue through post-adoption needs. With care and compassion, Angie handles specific details pertaining to each individual case. She is available Monday-Friday to answer any general adoption questions you may have. “My work experience over the years has solely included nonprofit agencies. This allowed me to fulfill my passion of interacting directly with families and individuals to help them reach their goals. When I began working with Adoption Connection in 2005, I realized adoption is the area I wanted to stay in. By helping both adoptive families and birth families, I have found great satisfaction guiding them through their unique adoption process.”
Contact Angie at email@example.com
|Patty Bonem MSW, LISW-S
After working as a therapist with children and families for ten years, Patty joined the staff on a part time basis at Adoption Connection in 1994. She is a certified Adoption Assessor and a Licensed Independent Social Worker with supervisory credentials. Patty leads the pre-service training for prospective adoptive parents and conducts homestudies. She also facilitates Celebrate Adoption, an adoptive parent support, education and social network, which she helped found in 1989. Patty earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University and her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky. “I am passionate about providing families with information and support related to adoption issues. Adoption has a special place in my heart, as my husband and I have two daughters through adoption.”
|Joan S. Thomas, MSW, LISW-S
Joan has worked in domestic and international adoption for the past 22 years. She has five additional years of social work experience in the areas of foster care, mental health, and crisis counseling. Joan received a B.S. degree in Family and Children’s Services from Virginia Tech, a M.A in Psychological Counseling from Southeast Missouri State University, and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Kentucky. She is a Certified Ohio Adoption Assessor and a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the International Adoption Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. "My primary areas of expertise include pre-adoption education, adoption home studies, post placement services, and immigration and dossier education. Although I feel honored to work in all areas of the adoption field, I have a passion for helping adoptive parents successfully navigate their way through an international adoption."
|Karla Reinelt Doerrer, MSW, LISW-S
Karla has had experience working in all aspects of adoption over the past 20 years and has worked for Adoption Connection the past seven years, focusing on international adoption. She received her Bachelor in Social Work from Bowling Green State University and her Master in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati. She received specialized training in early childhood services and completed training in family therapy. She is currently certified as an Ohio Adoption Assessor. "I have great respect for all involved in the adoption process and truly enjoy providing services to adoptive families and birthfamilies."
|Kristen Riekert, MSW, LISW
Kristen has worked in social work since 1990 and in adoption since 1995 - first with birthmothers, then with families adopting domestically and internationally. Prior to becoming involved in adoption work, she worked extensively in the area of domestic violence and child welfare. Kristen earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia and is both a Licensed Independent Social Worker and an Ohio Adoption Assessor. “Even after almost fifteen years, I still feel privileged to help build families through adoption. It is such a passion that I helped coordinate a host program for 14 Ukraine orphans during the summer of 2008. At last count, this hosting program has led to 10 adoptions!”
|Jaime Mahaffey, MSW, LSW
Jaime has had a wide variety of experience in the social work field from non-profit work to public child protection services. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and with a Master’s degree in Social work. Jaime is a Licensed Social Worker by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board and is a certified adoption assessor. “I discovered my passion for adoption through my master’s student internship with Adoption Connection. Helping families come together through adoption is an honor and privilege for me and I look forward to continuing to work in this field for many more years.”