Meet The Friends In Adoption Professional Team

Friends in Adoption (FIA), a not-for-profit newborn/infant adoption agency, is a network of dedicated, experienced, compassionate, and friendly adoption professionals in NY and VT. Our focus is compassionate adoption. Although our offices are located in Saratoga, NY and Castleton, VT, we are able to provide free and confidential adoption services for pregnant women/couples anywhere in the United States. Our team members are deeply passionate about adoption, and many have experienced the miracle of adoption in their own lives. We all feel a personal connection with every adoption process. We cry and rejoice with every story. We have made a life commitment to adoption. We are Friends in Adoption.

Friends in Adoption promotes equal opportunity for all employees and applicants and does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, ancestry, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, citizenship, military service obligation, veteran status or any other basis protected by federal, state or local laws. Our policies and personnel practices are intended to ensure that all are treated equally with regard to recruiting, hiring, and advancement, and decisions on employment are made to further the principle of equal employment opportunities for employees.

The Best of Adoption Professionals

Tara

Saltis

Executive Director

Whitehall, Washington County, NY

Tara Saltis has been part of the Friends in Adoption leadership team since 2004, and assumed the role of Executive Director in 2019. Tara works closely with the FIA team to make sure that every pregnant individual is supported and educated about their options so they can make informed decisions. She also aims to ensure the process is as efficient and affordable as possible for prospective adoptive parents. Tara is passionate about raising adoption awareness and providing ongoing post adoption support for all members of the adoption triad (the child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents).

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Kate

Kaufman Burns, MSW, LCSW

Social Work Supervisor

Loudonville, Albany County, NY

Kate is an experienced licensed social worker who is an expert in a variety of adoption issues, including transracial and visible adoption. In addition to providing home study services for pre-adoptive families, she supervises all social workers who provide FIA home studies.

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Brandi

LaDuc

Supervisor of Case Management and Community Outreach Provider

Fair Haven, Rutland County, VT

New York Capital Region and New England

Meet Brandi, Senior Case Manager and Community Outreach Provider. Brandi works from our Vermont office and focuses on attending to our adoptive families. She is a go-to support system for our families and individuals who are looking to adopt, are in the process of adopting, and who have recently adopted. If you have seen information for or been to one of our “Get Acquainted Workshops” for our prospective adoptive parents, then you have seen some of Brandi’s hard work! If you reach out to Friends in Adoption, Brandi may be someone you speak with as she also provides resources, support, and information to inquiring individuals. She is dedicated to creating a safe space where individuals feel listened to, cared for, and are free to explore all of their options without fear of judgement. Whether you are someone who is pregnant and interested in placing a child for adoption or an individual/couple inquiring about adopting, Brandi will work closely with you to support your needs and empower your choices.

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Patty

Smith

Senior Case Manager and Community Outreach Provider

Glenville, Schenectady County, NY

Patty has been with FIA for more than seven years. She manages cases, provides in-service training workshops and community outreach and education.


“Deciding to place my baby for adoption was nerve racking and difficult. Obviously I came to the conclusion on my own that I was making the right decision, but I don’t know how I would have made it through without Patty Smith. She was there for me right from the beginning, and literally all the way through delivery!! I don’t know if I’ve ever known someone who was as perfectly suited for her job as Patty is for hers. She is one of the kindest and most compassionate women I have ever met, and I am so happy to have her in my life.”
– Kim, birth mother


Patty with adoptive family and birth mother
From left: Patty, Kim, Chris, Baby Ryan and Keith

“When we embarked on the adoption process for the first time, Patty provided incredible support at every step. Her genuine warmth, humor, and kindness throughout really smoothed the process. She also created a great platform for us and our son’s birth mother to build a strong and enduring relationship with one another. When we adopted our second son Jake two years later, it was a huge relief to have Patty working with us again. She’ll forever feel like family to us and we’ll always be grateful for all of her hard work.”
– Chris, Keith, Ryan & Jake, adoptive family


“There couldn’t possibly have been a better fit for us than Patty as our case manager! It was easy to forget that she actually worked with anyone else besides us! We’ve always told our daughter, Cecelia, that Patty was her first friend. She has come to know and love Patty as we do. Cecelia said, “I like Patty because she likes me…I look forward to seeing her.” Although we see her only twice each year, she is with us daily, in our hearts. We are so grateful for the care and consideration she so readily gave us.”
– Gary and Carrie, adoptive parents

Patty Smith with Cecelia
Patty with Cecelia at a recent Friends in Adoption Annual Picnic

“Patty has the kind of steady hand that is so important to a successful adoption. Having traveled the adoption journey herself, we think Patty brings the perfect blend of professionalism and personal touch to her work. We admire her and love her.”
– Nina Rumbold and Denise Seidelman, Adoption Attorneys


“Patty had frequent conversations with us … I remember the excitement and relief when we were told that we could select the family that our baby would become a part of. [After we had selected the family,] we called Patty with our decision and from then on Patty had ever “t” crossed and every “i” dotted! We feel such pride, honor, and gratitude in our lives for Patty Smith, who will forever be a special angel in our lives.”
— Lisa, a birth mother


Patty Smith is Friends in Adoption Case Manager and Community Outreach Provider. She also manages cases with expectant women/couples and adoptive parents, provides in-service training workshops and community outreach and education. Patty is universally adored, and she has been an integral member of the FIA team since 2007.

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Jean-Charles

DeOliveira Scappaticci

Adoption Marketing Specialist

Ossining, Westchester County, NY

Jean-Charles handles all aspects of digital marketing and website development for FIA. He also expertly guides FIA families through the process of developing prospective adoptive family profiles. He and his team work with FIA to develop and produce all print and online publications.

Jean-Charles is also an FIA Alumnus. He and his husband Joe adopted 3 girls with the help of Friends in Adoption.

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Olyvia Conger, Case Manager and Community Outreach Provider

Olyvia

Conger

Case Manager and Community Outreach Provider

Castleton, Rutland County, VT

Olyvia works with biological parents considering making an adoption plan for the child or unborn baby in New York, Vermont, and throughout the country. She primarily focuses on intakes, managing cases with expectant individuals/couples and adoptive parents. If you reach out to Friends in Adoption, Olyvia may be someone you speak with as she also provides resources, support, and information to anyone calling in. She is dedicated to creating a safe space where individuals feel listened to, cared for, and are free to explore all of their options without fear of judgement. Whether you are someone who is pregnant and interested in placing a child for adoption or an individual/couple inquiring about adopting, Olyvia will work closely with you to support your needs and empower your choices.

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Portrait photo of Remy Romero, Case Manager for Friends in Adoption

Remy

Romero

Case Manager and Community Outreach Provider

Schenectady, Schenectady County, NY

Remy’s bio coming soon!

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Portrait photo of FIA's case manager Keri Kresler

Keri

Kresler

Community Outreach and Development Manager

Cohoes, Albany County, NY

As one of our Community Outreach and Development Managers, Keri works from Albany County, NY, where she contacts professionals in the healthcare field in New York, Vermont, and throughout the United States to offer them the many resources that Friends in Adoption offers. She also conducts training workshops that focus on the mechanics of what an adoption plan looks like, and how Friends in Adoption can be a resource not only to pregnant individuals and couples considering making an adoption plan for the child or unborn baby, but to social workers and healthcare professionals in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and beyond.

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Olivia Pope, Community Outreach and Development Coordinator

Olivia

Pope

Community Outreach and Development Manager

Albany, Albany County, NY

As a Community Outreach and Development Manager, Olivia operates on the road with a moving office! She travels three days a week to various counties throughout New York and New England to provide resources to professionals in the healthcare and social work field. Olivia meets weekly with various professionals to equip them with information and knowledge of Friends in Adoption so that they might refer to us when they have an individual in need. She also provides professional staff development workshops that focus on in depth conversations about adoption as an option and Friends in Adoption as a community resource. When not on the road, Olivia works from her office in Albany county.

A highlight Olivia would like to share: “After one of my workshops, a professional came up to me and mentioned that she was amazed by my passion for the work I do. I’m really proud of this agency and the work we do as a team to serve our community. Friends in Adoption has made me an ally in choice and an advocate for adoption. I love the opportunity I get each week to educate professionals and pass on resources.”

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Portrait photo of Jennifer Brenlla, Adoption Counseling and Support Services

Jennifer

Goodbody Brenlla, LCSW

Independent Counseling and Support Services

Yonkers, Westchester County, NY

Westchester County, NY: Jennifer is a clinical social worker in private practice in Westchester County, NY who works with FIA to provide counseling to pregnant women and expectant couples. She is an expert in adoption issues and also provides adoption home study services to prospective adoptive families.

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

portrait of Clarice Lazary, adoption counselor

Clarice

Lazary, LMSW

Independent Counseling and Support Services

Fairport, Monroe County, NY

Monroe County, NY: Clarice Lazary is a Licensed Social Worker who has specialized in family support services for over 30 years. As a consultant for FIA she provides counseling to pregnant women and expectant couples in the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions. Clarice also provides Community Outreach services to professionals interested in learning more about adoption as an option for their clients and patients.

Meet the Friends in Adoption Team

Please Share, Thank You!