Thanksgiving and the Adopted Child

November 28, 2013 in Domestic Adoption by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

Thanksgiving and the Adopted Child – Who’s really lucky?

As an adoptive parent I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard:

“She is so lucky to have you!”

“He is going to be so thankful when he realizes what kind of life you have provided for him!”

I get the message but it doesn’t quite ring true. My 7 year old doesn’t quite think she’s lucky when she has to empty the dishwasher, brush her hair and march out the door at precisely 7:30 am.

My 6 year old is thankful his mommy and daddy are around to watch him perform at school, cheer him on for a great day or kiss his boo-boos but quite frankly, not much else.

My husband and I are lucky. My parents, my in-laws, my sisters and brothers, our biological children- we are lucky. We are lucky that we were chosen to parent these amazing children. We are lucky they fit so perfectly in our family. We are thankful each and every day for the sacrifices their birth parents made for them to be with us.

Adoption is rooted in loss, unfortunately. That depth of that isn’t lost on me. My adopted children had a primal loss in order to become ours so while we are lucky they are here, the circumstances aren’t lucky. While we are thankful they are in our family, we are most thankful for those who made it possible.

This Thanksgiving, like each one before, we give thanks for our family.

It’s National Adoption Month!

November 18, 2013 in Domestic Adoption by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

November is already half way over- how have you celebrated National Adoption Month?

I think it’s no coincidence NAM and Thanksgiving are in the same month- they both have the same meaning in our family. Here are some suggestions for celebrating your child this month:

  •       Talk about your adoption story. As my husband I tucked our 6 year old into bed last night we told him his adoption story, yet again. He had forgotten parts and it was a great reminder of how he came into our family. He went to bed with a huge smile on his face.
  •       Celebrate birth families. If you are lucky enough to have a relationship with your child’s birth family, send them a note, give them a call, make a gift. Do something small (or big!) to let them you know are thinking about them.
  •       Relive adoption memories.  For us that means watching videos of the day we met our children. I’m not much of a scrapbooker- but if you are, now is a great time to get that out again and look through it.
  •       Involve family and friends. It’s a great reason to bring up adoption in conversation, share adoption articles on social media and educate. Start any conversation with “So did you know this month is National Adoption Month?”
  •       Get involved. There are adoption events all over the country all month- check the Adoptive Families website or google “adoption events” to find adoption support groups, culture camps and meet-ups all over the country.
  •       Remember how you all came together. The craziness of everyday life gets in the way sometimes. Remember that your children were a gift to you and your joy was most definitely someone else’s heartache, don’t let that be lost on you.






Every month can be adoption month– we should celebrate our children all year! Let me know other ways you are celebrating!

Adopt Wisconson

November 18, 2013 in Members by Stephen Gardner  |  Comments Off on Adopt Wisconson

Adopt America

November 18, 2013 in Members by Stephen Gardner  |  Comments Off on Adopt America

CBS News

November 15, 2013 in News by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

You’ve seen her on the network shows, now Lori Ingber joins us in-studio to tell us what to expect from the adoption process, and an organization that helps make it easier! For more information, visit
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)


NJ Biz

November 15, 2013 in News by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

Lori Barer Ingber, founder of Parent Match, says her service will improve inter-communication between adoption agencies, improving the efficiency of the process.

Lori Barer Ingber knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur, but upon finishing up her Ph.D. in public health, she was still waiting for inspiration to strike.

“I knew I wanted to do something to really make my skills useful,” she said, “and I quite frankly wasn’t exactly sure what that was.”

She soon found her answer in a dramatic way.


Ingber’s sister and brother-in-law had been waiting for months to adopt a child, but the agency in their home state of Connecticut had yet to find a match. They expanded their search by signing with a second agency, in Florida, but to no avail.

One day Ingber, who adopted two of her four children from Korea, was surfing adoption-related sites on the Internet and came across something that didn’t make sense.

“I found out about a baby in Alabama who didn’t have parents,” she said. “The adoption agency had this baby and they had no available adoptive parents. We certainly didn’t believe that.”

Ingber passed the message to her sister, who called the agency and confirmed the story.

“She flew down to Alabama and picked up my niece the next day,” Ingber said.

Six weeks later, the Alabama agency called Ingber’s sister a second time, saying they had another child in need of a home. Ingber’s sister soon had a son, too.

“That was my a-ha moment,” Ingber said. “I knew right then and right there that this can be done differently.”

Ingber called up a patent attorney and spent the next two years working with a Web developer to create Parent Match, an online platform to connect adoption agencies and attorneys. Ingber said the goal is to improve inter-agency communication, thereby improving the speed and efficiency with which those agencies are able to match children with adoptive homes.

“Nobody can believe this doesn’t happen, especially people who aren’t in the adoption world,” Ingber said. “They don’t believe people aren’t talking, but they weren’t. Not until we came along.”

Subscribers pay a fee of $299 per month for access to the site. Ingber said when a new family or expectant mother signs up with an agency, the agency can enter about five minutes’ worth of information, then let Parent Match search for matches based on a set of basic criteria. All matches are done confidentially.

Marni Denenberg, director of domestic adoption programs at Alliance for Children Inc., in Summit, said Parent Match is one of many tools her agency now uses to make adoption matches. “It’s not an everyday thing that I’m finding matches on Parent Match,” she said. “It’s just one way we can outreach to further this goal (of placing children in adoptive families).”

Denenberg said her agency already had relationships with some outside agencies, but Parent Match enabled them to quickly connect with dozens of new agencies. For the most part, that’s a good thing, though Denenberg said it can be something of a mixed bag because other agencies might not have the same standards, such as pre-adoption counseling for adoptive families or birth mothers.

Though parents can’t become members — only licensed adoption professionals may sign up — they can use the site to find agencies that use the service.

“It’s not only provided an opportunity for us to work inter-agency, but it’s also served as a way for families within our state to find us,” Denenberg said.

At least one lawyer cautioned that a website like Parent Match, while useful, is no substitute for doing due diligence before adopting. “It cannot be a substitute for independent verification of the adoption professionals that you get from the website,” said Jennifer Weisberg Millner, a partner in the family law department at Fox Rothschild LLP, in Princeton.

Millner has not used the site, but lauded its mission, saying it could serve as a valuable tool.

Parent Match now has 10 employees, spread out across the United States. Most meetings are held via phone or Web conference, Ingber said.

“We really practice what we preach — we are a technology-based company, and that’s how we operate,” she said.

Ingber said the patent for Parent Match is strong enough that she doesn’t expect competition. Instead, the challenge is gaining a critical mass so that the service becomes ubiquitous for adoption agencies.

“When that happens, the process of domestic adoption will change incredibly,” she said. “It will become more confidential, it will become more private, it will be more streamlined — and hopefully, it will cost less for everybody.”

Parent Match had 40 subscribers last month, though it just became available to adoption attorneys in February. The company advertises on social media and at industry conferences. It also hosts chats and webinars designed to engage the adoption community. Ingber hopes parents will be their best salespeople.

“The reality is, every parent wants (agencies) to do this,” she said. “This is private. This is confidential. This doesn’t cost parents anything, and there’s really no reason not to.”



November 15, 2013 in News by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

The adoption process can take years and mounds of paperwork before you bring your new child home. Dr. Lori Ingber, an adoptive mother of four from New Jersey, knew there had to be a way to use technology to speed up and simplify the process, so she created Parent Match. Parent Match is the first and only national, secure, and searchable technology for adoption professionals that allow agencies to communicate and match children with families in a way that was previously unavailable.ss_101227885-225x300

Ingber created Parent Match exclusively for agencies and their clients. Both adoptive parents and expectant mothers can specify what they want in a match in the Parent Match database. Once their private and anonymous information enters the system, the agencies who subscribe to the company will be able to match families.

In a recent survey about technology and adoption, 44 percent of those under age 44 trying to adopt in the United States said they worked with more than one adoption agency. Parent Match eliminates the need for another agency.


November 15, 2013 in News by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for families hoping to adopt domestically. A new service can help agencies bring families together faster.

Parent Match is the nation’s first and only secure and searchable network for adoption professionals. It provides agencies with something they’ve never had: one central database that connects agencies around the country with a few simple clicks of the mouse. This means faster and better connections between expectant mothers and adoptive parents.


“I’m an adoptive mom, so I know the challenges of finding that perfect match,” says Dr. Lori Ingber, founder of the company. Agencies specify their clients’ wishes for a match in the database. Those criteria remain confidential and secure as the system works to find a match. Using this system, for example, an agency for adoptive parents in Connecticut can quickly learn of an expectant mom in Iowa.

In a recent survey, nearly half of those under age 44 trying to adopt in the United States said they worked with more than one agency. Parent Match can eliminate the need for another agency.

Chicago Now

November 15, 2013 in News by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

As we saw during the Adoption Portraits series, prospective adoptive parents find it very hard to wait for a match with a birthmother or with a child. I remember when we were trying to adopt, and as the months ticked by, we considered signing on with a second agency to increase our chances of finding a baby sooner.

But the costs of such a strategy were prohibitive, and the idea was a fleeting one. I have learned recently of a technology that adoption agencies can use to increase communication with other agencies and eliminate the need for parents to sign up with multiple agencies.

For those of you trying to do a domestic adoption, check with your adoption agency to see if they have heard of a technology called Parent Match.

Dr. Lori Barer Ingber, an adoptive mom, launched Parent Match after witnessing her sister struggle to find a baby to adopt. Her sister was signed up with an agency in Connecticut as well as one in Florida, hoping that this would increase her chances of finding a baby more quickly. Meanwhile, Lori heard about a baby born in Alabama that was as yet unmatched with adoptive parents. Her sister, who was paying fees to agencies in Connecticut and Florida, ended up adopting the baby through an agency in Alabama.

Thinking about her sister’s experience, Lori decided to create a network for adoption agencies to be able to communicate with one another so that all agencies know about all babies, and babies don’t slip through the cracks.

I spoke with Dr. Ingber to find out more about Parent Match.

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say a new expectant mom joins Agency A to find adoptive parents for her baby. Agency A subscribes to Parent Match, and so they log into their private account and input basic information about the new expectant mom. The type of information that goes into the system includes details such as the expectant mom’s age, race, what requirements she is looking for in an adoptive parent, etc.

When Agency A clicks to add the expectant mom as a client, a list of potential adoptive families comes up who matched her criteria. Here is the great part- the list of families is pulled from every agency that subscribes to Parent Match, not just from Agency A’s pool of waiting families.

As soon as a potential match is made, both agencies get an alert. For privacy reasons, the agencies see ID numbers but not the profiles of clients from other agencies. Then the agency that represents the expectant mom and the agency that represents the waiting adoptive family contact each other to see if they want to proceed with additional information exchange.

I wish this had been around when we were adopting! For those of you currently working to do a domestic agency adoption, ask your agency if they use Parent Match. There are currently 25 agencies on the system, and they report that potential matches are made all the time.

Check the Parent Match website to find a participating agency. You can also find Parent Match on Facebook.

Best of luck to all of you on the adoption journey!


November 15, 2013 in News by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

My sister Lori Ingber is not only an amazing mother of four, she’s made helping other mothers and fathers create their families her life’s work. When my husband and I wanted to adopt here in the U.S., we found a wonderful adoption agency but a seemingly endless wait. As time went by, we nearly lost hope of finding a baby of our own. Lori jumped in to help. She followed a lead about an agency in the South with more available children than adoptive parents. Shocked at the possibility and afraid to get our hopes up, my husband and I traveled to meet with the new agency. The story was, in fact, true. We were quickly matched to both our daughter and our son, adopting them as infants within six weeks of each other. Remarkably, my original adoption agency in the northeast had no way of knowing about the agency in the southeast who had waiting children and not enough adoptive parents. Full of the passion and purpose I so admire in my sister, Lori decided she was not content to help only me. She knew that we were one family among many navigating the difficulties of adoption and was haunted by children waiting for their forever families. She set out to make a difference for us all. She spent three years developing a patent-pending database for domestic adoption agencies that allows them to connect with each other confidentially, securely and, most importantly, easily. Today, the adoption agency helping me could have immediately found that my children were waiting for me several states away with a few simple clicks of the mouse. Her company, Parent Match, is being quickly embraced by adoption agencies all around the country, creating a truly national network they’ve never had before. But most importantly, because of Lori, adoption agencies have a powerful new tool to find those perfect matches between parents and child, just as she did for me.

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