Sharon is an accomplished educator, consultant and author who has devoted her decades-long career to foster care, adoption and permanency. She has conducted numerous trainings, presentations and other highly respected work on all aspects of child welfare, nationally and internationally. In addition, she has provided – and still provides – direct services to families and organizational consulting on adoption’s lifelong issues and generational impact.
Sharon proposed the first clinical training to achieve competency for child placement and mental health professionals in the field. She also was a pioneer in open adoption, and created landmark educational work for developing practice relating to openness, as well as to LGBTQ families, in adoption. She is the coauthor of two books, has contributed to others, and has produced valuable training videos and written curricula for adoptive families and professionals.
The two books she co-authored are “The Open Adoption Experience: A Complete Guide for Adoptive and Birth Families, from Making the Decision through the Child’s Growing Year” and “Cooperative Adoption: The Official Handbook.” She was a contributor “Creating Kinship,” “Working with Older Adoptees: A Sourcebook of Innovative Models,” “Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care,” and “Traumatic Separations and Honored Connections.” She has also had her work published in magazines, and has been interviewed as a leading expert by many journalists.
Sharon has often been honored for her work, including an Angel in Adoption award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, recognition by the Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children (ATTACh), and the Annette Baran and Reuben Pannor Award for Outstanding Work in Adoption. The framework for her training and writing are the Seven Core Issues of Adoption. Sharon has parented by birth, adoption and foster care, and has seven great-grandchildren.
Sharon is available for specialized consultation with therapists, social workers and all family members on a broad range of issues relating to fostering, adoption, kinship care and complex, blended families. She has long experience and expertise on topics including (but not limited to) crisis pregnancy; infertility; infant adoptions; placements from foster care, including of older children and sibling groups; the Seven Core Issues of Adoption; LGBTQ, transracial and transcultural issues; and attachment.
Adam Pertman, President and Co-Founder
Allison Davis Maxon, Executive Director
Joyce Taylor, Research and Evaluation Director
Co-Founder and Executive Director Emerita
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