The Friends in Adoption Professional Team at a recent meeting in Albany, NY
The Friends in Adoption Professional Team at a recent meeting in Albany, NY


Established in 1982 by Dawn Smith-Pliner, an adoptive mother who wanted to make sure all members of the adoption triad’s needs were met, Friends in Adoption (FIA) has championed compassionate adoption practices for nearly four decades.

Friends in Adoption was founded to promote empowerment, open adoption, inclusiveness, and lifelong support. These core values form the basis of how FIA operates and continue to guide the team in everything they do as the agency grows and evolves over time.


Dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion, Friends in Adoption is a recognized leader in supporting and serving LGBTQ+ families.

Friends in Adoption attained certification by the Human Rights Campaign in 2013, achieving Innovator status in 2019, as recognition of their commitment to providing exceptional service to all individuals, children, and families without discrimination or bias.

Today and Into the Future

Friends in Adoption’s Executive Director is Tara Saltis, who has been part of FIA’s leadership team since 2004. She works closely with the FIA team to ensure that every person in the adoption triad’s needs are met.

Tara is constantly evaluating internal processes to make sure that adoptive parents are supported every step of the way and that their costs are kept affordable. She also oversees the systems that ensure that birth parents have the care, guidance, and empowerment they deserve. In addition to carrying the FIA torch and providing ongoing post-adoption support, Tara is especially passionate about raising adoption awareness and is creating educational opportunities to that end, on an ongoing basis.

Thousands of families have been brought together by Friends in Adoption, and thousands more individuals and families have benefitted from FIA’s guidance and resources regardless of ultimately choosing adoption or another path.

Friends in Adoption is honored to be a positive force in so many adoption journeys. FIA continues to further its mission of providing compassionate adoption services, centered on the well-being of the child and tailored to the unique needs of all involved in the adoption process.

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