The Adoption Options Team
Our team offers caring, compassionate support. Unique to our agency is the fact that our founders and several staff members are birthparents, adoptive parents and adopted persons, many who played an active role in the development of grassroots adoption support and activist groups in Alberta. These same people now bring their professional expertise, along with their personal experience of and passion for adoption, to their work at Adoption Options. They serve in the broader adoption community as well, presenting workshops at local, national and international conferences, and sitting on adoption-related committees and boards.
Sheryl Proulx BSW, RSW
Executive Director, Calgary
I have been connected to Adoption Options since 1990, as I first came to the agency as a client dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Working with a professional social worker who provided a safe and non-judgmental environment for me to make a plan for my son and myself was incredibly impactful. I became a social worker and initially worked in Child Welfare as a case manager. In 2003, I was thrilled to join the AO team. My husband Steve and I have a beautiful little girl and an amazing relationship with my birthson and his family. I believe adoption is not for everyone, but a positive option to be considered. What I value most about Adoption Options is the incredible team of colleagues that I have the privilege of working with every day. They are dedicated to providing professional and caring services to every person who walks through our doors.
Liz Gifford BSW, RSW
Program Director, International
I have been working for Adoption Options for almost 25 years and have been Program Director International since 2008. Adopting internationally has become more complex and challenging over the past few years, and helping applicants manage these complexities is a large component of my work. I find helping couples and single applicants realize their dream of becoming parents, or perhaps parents to another child, to be extremely rewarding and satisfying. I most particularly enjoy working with families in the completion of international post placement reports, and observing how the child and the family transition to becoming a family or larger family. I value the gift the children are to their new family, home, community and country and feel fortunate to be part of this process.
My accent gives away the fact I was born outside of Canada; however, having lived in Calgary and other parts of Canada for many years I have embodied much of the spirit of what it means to be Canadian, and enjoy participating in many Canadian rituals and traditions (one of which is hockey, another is buying tea at Tim’s during roll up the rim campaign). My husband and I are parents to three sons and as such we are very busy with the joys and challenges parenting brings. Much of our time is involved in their sporting events and spending time with them camping or hiking in the vast and wonderful outdoor playground that Alberta has.
I love being a mother and the roles and responsibilities involved in this. I would be honoured to assist you in achieving your goal of creating a ‘forever’ family for a child or children and being able to experience all the rewards and emotions that being a parent brings.
Diane has been the heart of AO since 1987 and is currently our business manager. Diane has an incredible sense of humour and enjoys reading, bingo, spending time with her family and grandchildren, and camping. She has a deep commitment to Adoption Options.
Chantelle Beach BSW, RSW
I was in the middle of completing my Social Work degree when our Home Study was being completed, and from that moment on I knew I wanted to work in the adoption field once I completed my education. I began working for Adoption Options soon after completing my degree, and over the past eleven years have had all three of my children join my family through open adoption. So I have become very passionate about adoption over the years from both a professional and a personal perspective.
I have been working at Adoption Options since 2008. My role is as a general social worker supporting anyone who calls, texts or walks through our doors. I believe in the work of this agency and value my role in helping others.
Melinda Lombardo BSW, RSW
I am thrilled to begin my journey in the field of adoption with Adoption Options! After graduating from the University of Calgary in early 2015 with my BSW, my interest in working with children and families flourished. This passion led me towards work within a few community agencies involving family support with newborns as well as foster care. My time at these agencies further inspired an interest for me with Adoption Options, which lead me to pursue a career opportunity in March 2016. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work at the Adoption Options Calgary office full time, and am certain that this work will continue to mold me into the ever-learning social worker I strive to be!
I am truly honoured to work with such a passionate and caring team, as well as with such wonderful birthparents and adoptive families. There is so much compassion and love within this community! I look forward to the meaningful people and experiences that are to come. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my partner and our families, friends, and pets - whether we are cooking (and eating), watching movies, or exploring the outdoors.
Desiree Gebaeur BSW, RSW
Contract Social Worker, Support Worker
I have been working for Adoption Options since 2007. I will never forget my job interview as it was just hours after getting of off a long haul flight from the UK where I had been living and working as a Social Worker for Child and Family Services for four years. I instantly connected with Adoption Options as the agency and the staff shared the same values that I professionally and personally hold. No matter what the life circumstances birthparents are in, they deserve to have options, support and the ability to choose. They say if you are passionate about the work you do that you will never work a day in your life, I can honestly say that my work in adoption has never felt like work just an honour and privilege to be part of people's lives. Becoming a mother is quite possibly the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life. Helping couples create their forever family and experience parenting through International or Domestic Adoption is more rewarding than I can articulate. When I am not chasing after my three little boys you may see me occasionally working for AHS at the hospital from time to time.
Jean Mulligan BSc, MEDes
Director of Outreach
Purpose and passion came together when the opportunity to join the Adoption Options’ team arose in 2015. This new position is focused on raising awareness of and diminishing misunderstandings and misconceptions about open adoption. I facilitate personal connections and education sessions with professionals, as well as with students in high school classrooms to extend our outreach. My role also includes fund development.
I am excited to bring experience in community relations and stakeholder engagement in high risk environments to Adoption Options. I believe this is a perfect fit with my guiding principle that people have the right to be informed and involved in decisions that impact their lives. I’m passionate about the great work Adoption Options does because I believe in the incredible difference made in the lives of so many women, children and families – mine included. I am blessed with two amazing boys, and I love their birthmothers beyond words.
Administrative Manager, Calgary
I am responsible for the Administrative work in the Calgary office for Adoption Options. I have 2 children and 3 grandchildren so I’m truly blessed. It has been 10 years that I have been working at the busy Adoption Options office, so I have a little bit of knowledge and am always available to answer your questions. I truly love working with all the wonderful social workers and love seeing the happy couples and babies when they come to the office. It makes my day!
Barb Keppy Dip. SW, RSW
The work of adoption comes with many highs and lows; however, it is work that I feel privileged to be a part of. I get to witness the strength of people making big decisions about entering into the world of adoption - whether it is the adoptive or expecting/birth parents.
Erika Moore Dip. SW, RSW
My passion for the field of social work began at a young age, and was impacted by an innate belief in the integral strength and resilience in all of us. I joined the profession in 2004, graduating from Grant MacEwan University, in Edmonton.
Adoption has impacted my life on both a personal and professional level, and I have been fortunate to have had a number of opportunities with Adoption Options over the years. My professional experience with the agency began in 2004, when I had the pleasure of completing a field-placement practicum in the Adoption Options Edmonton Office. In the years that followed, I maintained a volunteer connection with Adoption Options, while gaining additional professional experience working with children and families in a number of capacities with other community agencies. These experiences were complimented by my coinciding journey of becoming a parent to my two children, Kole and Elise. My experiences of gratitude, humility, and compassion have increased tremendously with their presence in my life.
I entered my current role with Adoption Options in a part time position in 2012, working in the Calgary office. In early 2015, my family and I relocated to Edmonton, where I have been fortunate to continue working with our northern team; where my career in social work began. My belief in the fundamental principles of Open Adoption extends into many facets of my life, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to work in a field I am incredibly passionate about.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and children, doing yoga, reading, and painting.
Nathalie Robinson BSW, RSW
I started my journey with Adoption Options as a birthmom, and I haven’t quite been able to shake this amazing agency since. It inspired me to pursue a career in social work, and after completing my practicum with Adoption Options I graduated with my BSW. Although I am originally from Calgary, a job position opened up in the Edmonton office so I figured “why the heck not?”, and I brought my newly wedded husband up here to Edmonton in September 2014 to pursue my dream career. Alongside working with an absolutely amazing team, I am reminded every day about how much love is involved with not just every adoption plan, but within all of the adoptive families and birthparents that I have the pleasure of working with. I am so grateful for what I have already experienced, and I look forward to all of the amazing things that are to come.
Cara Hoffman BSW, RSW
Contract Social Worker, specializing in private direct adoption
A life-long student, I love dancing, playing piano, and doing crafts and puzzles. I love working in adoption because I love building families and believe that open adoption is a great option for birthparents making a very tough decision.
Administrative Manager, Edmonton
I work at the reception desk in our Edmonton Office. I love, love, love my job and the people that I work with. Each day is new and exciting and I enjoy meeting new people either over the phone or in person. I am married, have 3 children, two daughters-in-law and 5 grandchildren. I love to travel and feel the best way to do it is on a road trip. I cannot believe that it has already been two and a half years that I have been with Adoption Options and would like to be here many more years.
Adoption Options also contracts several wonderful, caring professional social workers who
serve and support our clients throughout Alberta.