Forever Families Through Adoption

News, Newsletters and More... [archives]

Sam Karliner, FFTA's own IRONMAN and Board Member, completed the 2013 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid

IRONMAN Sam Kalriner

July 31, 2013 Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc in Rye Brook and 2013 IRONMAN Sam Karliner from Mamaroneck have exciting newsto share…

Sam Karliner, FFTA's own IRONMAN and Board Member, completed the 2013 IRONMAN Triathlon in Lake Placid this past weekend. Sam not only completed it in his own record time, he surpassed his expectations and finished almost two hours earlier than his first IRONMAN in 2012.

What an exciting event to be a part of! As a spectator the role is thrilling…supporting and cheering for many hours not only our own Sam, but also doing the same for the thousands of others that passed by our cheering section on the way to or from their many miles of biking and running. We continued our support into the late evening hours and for the last finishers after midnight.

A little rain did not dampen the day - with cheering fans and friends along the many miles Sam flew thru the 2.4 miles of water in 1:19, smoked 112 miles of biking in 6:31, and finished with a relaxing 26.2 miles on foot crossing the finish line before dusk!!!

Sam chose to dedicate this 2013 race, IRONMAN Lake Placid on July 28, 2013 to raise awareness and funds for Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA). FFTA is a non-profit 501c3 adoption placement agency and resource center in Westchester County, NY which believes every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA works with families and pregnant women to ensure a smooth and successful adoption, and Sam proudly sits on FFTA's Board of Directors. Through his donation web link, Sam raised over $3,600 for FFTA. . Please consider a donation to honor Sam and his amazing accomplishment.

Sam and Jill Karliner adopted their twin sons, Elliott and Jacob, 18 years ago and created a family. Today, their home and lives would not be complete without them. Nearly 60% of Americans are touched by adoption in some way.

Adoption enabled Sam to create his family. However, like the IRONMAN, the road to adoption can be a challenging one. There are times it seems like you'll never reach your dream. Both the IRONMAN race and the adoption process require you to dig deep, to persevere — especially when things get tough. Most of all, both are a journey made possible by the love and support of family and friends.

Sam made a huge commitment to train for the IRONMAN. Each stroke in the water (covering 2.4 miles), each push of the pedal (covering 112 miles), and each foot to the pavement (covering 26.2 miles) brought Sam closer to his goal. He covered the 140.6 miles with a triumphant finish accomplishing this goal and proud to be called an IRONMAN finisher!!

Local Non-profit Gives Back to Support One of its Neighbors

Family Fun DayRye Brook non-profit adoption agency, Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), has returned to the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester, giving back to the community by volunteering with this special local community-based non-profit. Don Bosco serves hundreds of children and youth each week in its after-school and Kids Café programs, providing the children with enrichment, safety and a hot meal, until a parent or guardian returns from work or school.

On Valentine's Day, Thursday February 14, 2013, members of FFTA's staff visited with the children to provide a fun and festive art activity, inviting the children to make Valentines' Day cards and decorations for friends and family. Assisted by FFTA staff members, approximately twenty elementary and middle school children energetically crafted their cards, demonstrating focus and creativity in their work. The children showed extraordinary cooperation and gratitude, and staff at Don Bosco engaged with the children and one another with genuine care, warmth and encouragement.

The FFTA staff also assisted with dinner service and enjoyed spending time talking and interacting with the children as well as Don Bosco staff. Recognizing an important need in their own backyard, FFTA also once again provided much needed items to the Don Bosco/Holy Rosary food pantry, which may serve up to 800 individuals and families each month.

Participating staff members at FFTA continue to be impressed by the services and programming offered to families and the community and feel honored to have connected with such a deserving organization providing such essential services to children and families in need. FFTA is committed to continuing to partner with Don Bosco, and has been inspired by sharing in the spirit and values central to Don Bosco's mission.

FFTA's 2013 "Family Fun Day event"

Family Fun DayOn Sunday, February 10th, FFTA held their Family Fun Day event, the second such fundraiser at the Scarsdale Golf Club bowling alley. In attendance were many FFTA "forever families", along with staff, members of the board, friends and FFTA supporters. Those who attended/donated came from near and far despite the recent snow storm and had a wonderful afternoon.

FFTA was appreciative to have received such generous items donated as raffle prizes including those from local merchants such as Zaltas and Jessica Elliott Designs. The delicious food and desserts were generously donated by Hash-O-Nash in Mamaroneck, California Pizza Kitchen in Scarsdale, Club Sandwich, Rye Ridge Deli, A & S Deli and Sichuan Pavilion in Rye Brook, as well as Hand Rolled Bagels in Rye and Cerbone's Bakery of Rye Brook.

Funds raised continue to support the agency's passion for finding children their "forever families through adoption", as well as to help fulfill FFTA's mission to provide free education, awareness and outreach programming to hospitals, schools, prisons, OBGYN clinics, mental health clinics, and other community based service organizations, as well as to serve prospective adoptive parents, expectant parents, adoptees and adoption professionals in parenting and adoption issues.

FFTA is looking ahead at an exciting new year, having achieved successful Hague reaccreditation, expanded intercountry services, and a continued commitment to giving back to the local community, there is much to be excited about. Please keep in touch and continue to visit FFTA's website, blog and upcoming calendar of events. Remember, FFTA is on Facebook and Twitter!

~ Joy, Debbie, Anna, Dustin, Jackie, Anika and Bavani

FFTA's WGCH 1490-AM Radio Interview

Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, Executive Director and co-founder of FFTA was interviewed this morning on WGCH 1490-AM radio in Greenwich, CT by Tony Savino. Joy spoke about the upcoming FREE information session being sponsored by FFTA on Monday, February 4, 2013 at the Port Chester-Rye Brook library. Joy continued by speaking about the mission of FFTA and the overall trends in adoption.

Local Adoption Non-Profit Proud Recipient of
Westchester Toyota Give Back

January 25, 2013 -Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) was the proud recipient of the grand prize of the Westchester Toyota 6th Give Back charity campaign on Facebook. The awarding of the winning donation of $1,500 took place at 2:00pm on January 22, 2013 at the Westchester Toyota Dealership at 2167 Central Park Avenue in Yonkers. Members of FFTA's staff were present to receive the award presented by the Westchester Toyota Team and were interviewed by local media outlets. FFTA's co-founder and Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW expressed appreciation to Westchester Toyota and all those who showed their support by voting on Facebook, "We have an amazing network of support and Toyota made it easy for them to get involved with just a few clicks. We are truly appreciative and couldn't be more pleased." Funds donated to FFTA will help support the agency's community outreach and educational programs in the community. Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA) is a New York and Connecticut-authorized, Hague accredited, private, not-for-profit, adoption placement agency and resource center located in Rye Brook, New York.

FFTA was founded and is staffed by social workers, attorneys, adoptees, and adoptive parents, and believes that every child eligible for permanent adoption, regardless of racial or ethnic background, age, or physical oremotional challenge, has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home.

FFTA is committed to treating all persons with respect, dignity and compassion and welcomes all families regardless of race, religion, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, nationality or disability.

FFTA Volunteers at Local Don Bosco Center

On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, members of the Forever Families Through Adoption staff visited the local Don Bosco Center to spend time with the children in the after-school program.  The Don Bosco Center serves the underprivileged community in the Port Chester, NY area.  The staff hosted a holiday craft activity where the students were able to create their own holiday cards for their families and friends.  Approximately 30 elementary and middle school children, who were full of energy, enjoyed crafting their creative cards and the FFTA staff enjoyed assisting them in doing so.  After the craft time, the FFTA staff assisted the staff of the Don Bosco Center in serving the children their dinners.  As the children ate, the FFTA staff were able to spend time talking and interacting with the children.  In conjunction with their volunteer efforts, the FFTA staff generously donated a trunk-load of food and supplies to the Don Bosco Food Pantry.

Local Adoption Agency Runs Free Art Group for Adoptees

November 21, 2012 - Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), a local adoption agency and resource center in Rye Brook, is running the second session of the Art Group for Adoptees.  The groups are led bi-monthly by Becca Leitman, MSW, adoption counselor and Dustin Lindsey at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Rye Brook.  Participants range in age from seven to ten years old.  The group focuses on the expression of emotions through art, and creating an open forum for discussion about the participants' feelings about adoption.  Adoption is the common thread that holds the group together, and is addressed as it is brought up by the participants.

The participants are given art directives during each session which include, creating a group mandala, paper mache masks, and creating superheroes out of clay.  The goals of the Art Group for Adoptees are for children to have fun participating in art related activities, to get to know peers and adults who share the experience of domestic or international adoption, to normalize these experiences and the accompanying emotions, and to develop the skills and self-esteem of each adoptee.

In addition to the art group, Forever Families Through Adoption has been providing workshops on adoption education for hundreds of middle and high school students throughout New York and Connecticut as part of their community outreach programs since 2007. 

If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about registering for FFTA's Art Group for Adoptees or any of the school outreach programs available, please contact Joy at FFTA at (914) 939-1180 or JoyG@ForeverFamiliesThroughAdoption.org.  All correspondence remains confidential.

Rye Brook Adoption Agency Hosts Annual Food Tasting
and Silent Auction Event

An Evening at Crawford Park MansionOn October 11th, Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT- authorized nonprofit adoption placement agency and resource center held its fourth annual gourmet food tasting and silent auction event, "An Evening at Crawford Park Mansion."

Located in Rye Brook, FFTA hosted the event in the community again this year, following the success of last year's event and in keeping with FFTA's community oriented mission. Generous local participating sponsors and auction item contributors were vital to the evening's success.

FFTA's Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, who founded the agency in 2007 with her husband and adoption attorney, Michael S. Goldstein, Esq. LCSW, was inspired by the generosity of those participating and by the dedication of local volunteers and contributors. "All of these collective efforts greatly enhance our ability to sustain and expand our outreach and education efforts in the community for which FFTA receives no fees." Proceeds raised will enable FFTA to develop new opportunities and programming with the continued goal of increasing knowledge and understanding of issues of adoption. "We pride ourselves on our mission to increase positive adoption awareness, empower families and serve the community," Ms. Goldstein stated. In addition to FFTA staff, members of the board, and committed volunteers, also lending support to the event was notable guest New York State Assemblyman George Latimer, who bolstered live auction bidding and spoke about the impact of participation on those served by the non-profit agency.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Honors Executive Director and Founder of Local Non-Profit With Prestigious Angel in Adoption Award

Joy Goldstein & Senator GillibrandForever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized, Hague Accredited, private, non-profit, adoption placement agency and resource center located in Rye Brook, New York, is pleased and honored to announce that Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, has been selected by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as a recipient of the prestigious 2012 ‘Angel in Adoption' award. The Angels in Adoption award is presented by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to select honorees who exemplify the goals and values of the program, of raising awareness about children in need of a permanent loving family.

Recipients were chosen based on their commitment to improving the lives of children in need of permanent loving homes, and are honored for their dedication to adoption and positive child welfare practices. On September 11 th in Washington D.C., Joy was presented with the Angel award by Senator Mary Landrieu, a founding member of the CCAI, and instrumental in creating the Angel in Adoption award, believing in the need to raise public and congressional awareness about issues of adoption.

As an adoptive parent of three sons and an adoption professional with over 28 years in the adoption field, Executive Director Joy S. Goldstein co-founded FFTA in 2007 to realize her goal of not only serving children in need, but also to increase positive adoption awareness, empower families and serve the community. As a Westchester native and life-long resident, Joy has worked tirelessly to fulfill FFTA's mission of uniting children in need with their forever families, and to positively contribute to her community. Joy inspires those around her and is widely recognized in the field for her compassion and her expertise. "I was truly honored and humbled to receive this award. It was heartening and moving to be among so many devoted ‘Angels,'" Joy stated.

Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. was founded and is staffed by social workers, attorneys, adoptees, and adoptive parents, and believes that every child eligible for permanent adoption, regardless of racial or ethnic background, age, or physical or emotional challenge, has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing, secure, and forever home. FFTA is committed to treating all persons with respect, dignity and compassion and welcomes all families regardless of race, religion, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, nationality or disability.

Drawing from Joy's leadership and vision, with a focus on professionalism and service excellence, FFTA seamlessly blends private placement services, community education and awareness programming, and a progressive, inclusive approach to family building through adoption.

To learn more, visit FFTA on the web at www.ForeverFamiliesThroughAdoption.org or contact FFTA by email at adopt@ForeverFamiliesThroughAdoption.org or by phone at (914) 939-1180. To learn more about CCAI and the Angels in Adoption program, visit www.ccainstitute.org and www.angelsinadoption.org

FFTA is 5 years old!!! 

5 years!!!!FFTA celebrated its 5th Anniversary yesterday May 20th at a fundraiser held at the Scarsdale Golf Club bowling alley. Those that attended/donated had a wonderful afternoon along with several staff, Board members, adoptive families, friends, relatives and FFTA supporters. We are proud to have been involved with helping 56 children find their "forever families through adoption". In addition to our placements we believe very strongly in our mission to provide free in-service/education/counseling and outreach to hospitals, schools, prisons, community based agencies, OBGYN clinics, mental health clinics, prospective adoptive parents, expectant parents, adoptees and adoption professionals in all aspects of parenting and adoption issues. This year we began our free art group for adoptees and have received very positive feedback from the parents as well as the participants and plan to offer this free group again in the fall. As we move forward to our next 5 years we are looking towards our COA/Hague re-accreditation to continue to be able to provide international adoption services, both incoming and outgoing, and look to expand the countries in which we work. Please keep in touch with us by phone, email, Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing from all of you and hope you will consider joining us at our next fundraising event {Save the Date} on September 13, 2012 at Crawford Park for our annual wine/food tasting and silent auction. ~ Joy, Debbie, Becca, Anna, Dustin, Jackie, Lizbeth, Ben, and Bavani

FFTA has been interviewed and published in Its Conceivable magazine! 

LGBT Adoption: Interview with Forever Families Through Adoption  ~ Forever Families Through Adoption is a New York authorized and Connecticut-licensed, non-profit 501c3, adoption placement agency and resource center located in the Rye Brook/Port Chester area of Westchester County only 35 minutes outside of New York City. The agency was recognized as a 2011 leader in supporting and serving LGBT families by the Human Rights Campaign's All Children-All Families Initiative. Below, they answer our questions on LGBT adoption, including transgender adoptioninternational adoption, and what to expect if you are a gay or lesbian couple looking to adopt.

FFTA has been published in Adoption Today magazine!

Controversial but the world is a small place... Outgoing Adoptions

When The Hague Adoption Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, also known as "The Convention" entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, international adoptions in the United States changed drastically. The Convention provides a framework for countries that are signatory to it to work together to ensure that intercountry adoptions take place in the best interest of children and to prevent the abduction, sale or trafficking of children in connection with intercountry adoption, according to information here.

Motivating yourself in the New Year!

Now that the rush of the holiday season has drawn to a close, perhaps we are focused on resolutions we have made for the coming year and how to keep them alive. As we begin this new year, we offer several thoughts on staying motivated and inspired, no matter where in the adoption process you may find yourself.

If your dreams of expanding your family have been realized, like most parents, you are probably feeling both fulfilled and exhausted with your new family. If you are just beginning your adoption journey, perhaps all of the new information you are gathering is overwhelming and confusing. Prospective adoptive parents whose process is well underway may be feeling restless and may wonder just how long the rollercoaster ride will last.

Of course, all of these feelings are to be expected and although we are all unique, many of the experiences you have had and will continue to have are shared by many of us. Family building, regardless of the path or outcome, can reveal both our best and worst selves. It can also teach us about what's most important and draw us closer to one another.

So take this time to choose just one step that will lead you to feel more satisfied. Learn something new about your child's birth history or culture and create a special way to share it with them. Take pictures of yourselves everywhere you go even if it's just at the supermarket; you never know where you will take the picture that leads to being chosen by an expectant parent. Finally, reach out to the adoption professionals you are working with to let them know one thing you feel is working, one concern you have had, and one thing you'd like to do differently in the new year as you move ahead. Being more actively engaged often helps quell feelings of anxiety, doubt or disappointment, and may even awaken a renewed sense of purpose and excitement. Here's to a beautiful, peaceful 2012 in which all we set out to achieve is accomplished!

Anna Sandbank, LCSW
Program Director at Forever Families Through Adoption

Bah Humbug to the Holiday Blues

Holidays are supposed to be the best time of the year—filled with joy, laughter, love and family. You may be asking yourself, "How am I supposed to be happy watching relatives, neighbors and friends celebrate such a ‘joyous' holiday with their babies and children and I'm not?" We all hear, "'Tis the season to be jolly", "It's the most wonderful time of the year," and sometimes it's hard to believe.

We understand it's normal to have these thoughts during the holidays and that you may be thinking, "How many more Thanksgivings, Christmases, Chanukahs, Kwanzas or New Years until I/we are parents?" It's very easy to get caught in the whirlwind of emotions that the holiday season can bring and we are here to say, "Don't be a Mr. Scrooge and bah-humbug the season away!" If you need some ideas on how to beat the bah-humbug blues, see our helpful hints for not only surviving, but striving forward throughout the holiday season. And remember—we are always here for you.

Download full document....

FFTA awarded the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition by the Human Rights Campaign

All Children - All FamiliesOn Friday, November 18th, 2011, National Adoption Day, Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized adoption placement agency and resource center in Rye Brook, NY, was awarded the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition by the Human Rights Campaign.

The Seal signifies that FFTA is an organization that is welcoming, affirming and supportive of LGBT families, and has met criteria for fully inclusive policies and culturally competent approaches in working with the LGBT community.

National Adoption Day, recognized throughout the United States including in Westchester County provided an unusual opportunity to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children and to celebrate all families that adopt. Among these families were three FFTA families whose finalizations took place at the Westchester County Family Court with the Honorable Judge Kathie E. Davidson presiding. Judge Davidson, who has been recognizing and finalizing same-sex adoptions for many years, joined FFTA staff and Members of the Board, along with notable guests including Patti Lubin, Senior Counsel and Senior Advisor on Public Policy, representing the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Diane Balistreri, Director of Community Services and Senior Manager of the Westchester County Office for Women, representing the Office of the Westchester County Executive, DSS Commissioner, Kevin M. McGuire and Leora Neal, Adoption Training Specialist/CDHS, representing the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, as well as two FFTA families whose adoptions were being finalized, as the agency received this important honor. The Seal of Recognition was awarded by Lori Mcgown representing the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's All Children- All Families Initiative.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY FAMILY COURT HOLDS NINTH ANNUAL ADOPTION
DAY CELEBRATION

Judges will finalize adoptions of 35 children as part of day dedicated to raising awareness
of children in need of their "forever families"

Supervising Judge of the Family Courts for the Ninth Judicial District, the Honorable Kathie E. Davidson and other judges of the Family Court will finalize the adoptions of approximately thirty-five children who will receive their "forever families" on Friday, November 18, 2011 at the Ninth Annual Westchester County Family Court Adoption Day.

The purpose of National Adoption Day is to raise public awareness of the approximately 463,000 children currently in the foster care system across our nation, 114,000 of whom are available for immediate adoption. However, of equal importance is not only the celebration of those who have adopted, but also the encouragement of others to adopt, foster, or just to become involved in the life of a child in need of a permanent life connector.

This year, Judge Davidson has asked that the celebration focus on "what is the definition of a family?" As we have entered the twenty-first century, we must view the family, the institution that provides love and security for children with new eyes. That is, the eyes of children. Regardless of a family's race, creed, ethnicity and/or sexual orientation, children only see a family that is opening their heart to them in love. A modern family with many diverse configurations, this new family institution consists of heterosexual couples, single parents, biracial couples, blended families and same-sex couples and has walked through the doors of the Family Court to become forever families.

FFTA to be awarded the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition by the Human Rights Campaign.

On Friday, November 18th, National Adoption Day, Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), a NY and CT-authorized adoption placement agency and resource center in Rye Brook, NY, will be awarded the All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition by the Human Rights Campaign. The Seal signifies that FFTA is an organization that is welcoming, affirming and supportive of LGBT families, and has demonstrated skill and competency in 10 key areas of best practice.

National Adoption Day will be recognized throughout the United States when an unprecedented number of courts open their doors to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children and celebrate all families that adopt. Among these families are three FFTA families whose finalizations will take place on Adoption Day at the Westchester County Family Court with the Honorable Judge Kathie E. Davidson presiding. Judge Davidson, who has been recognizing and finalizing same-sex adoptions for many years, will join FFTA along with two of FFTA’s LGBT families whose adoptions are being finalized, as the agency receives this important honor.

An Evening at Crawford Park Mansion

Press Release
October 14, 2011

Crawford Park MansionOn October 13th, Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a NY and CT- authorized adoption placement agency and resource center held its third annual gourmet food tasting and silent auction event, "An Evening at Crawford Park Mansion." Located in Rye Brook, FFTA hosted the event closer to home this year and stated that the majority of donations came from local businesses and area merchants.

FFTA's Executive Director, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, who founded the agency in 2007 with her husband and adoption attorney, Michael S. Goldstein, was proud and appreciative of the involvement of the community and those supporting FFTA. "Everyone says that contributions to local charities are down this year due to a slow economy, but the commitment and generosity of local businesses has been truly amazing and has made a difference in the success of our agency and the important work that we do. We couldn't be more impressed."

Crawford Park MansionProceeds raised from ticket sales and the silent auction will enable FFTA to expand outreach efforts and to offer a more comprehensive range of services in the community including free educational programming to schools, hospitals, clinics and prisons. "We pride ourselves on our mission to raise awareness of and sensitivity to adoption while increasing access to our unique approach and expertise," Ms. Goldstein stated. In addition to FFTA members of the board, staff and volunteers, also lending support to the event was notable guest, Village of Port Chester Trustee Joseph Kenner.

We Now Pronounce You Husband and Husband; Wife and Wife!

New Yorkers had even more reason to celebrate at this year's 42nd annual Pride Parade in NYC as New York became the 6th state in the US to permit same-sex marriage late Friday evening. The bill was approved on a 33 to 29 vote, as four Republican state senators joined 29 Democrats in voting for the bill.  Congratulations!!

Read more about the 2011 Pride Parade and the passing of the same-sex marriage law by following the links below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/nyregion/gay-marriage-approved-by-new-york-senate.html?pagewanted=1

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/nyregion/at-gay-pride-parade-cuomo-is-center-of-attention.html?ref=nyregion

We are proud to be Americans and especially proud to be New Yorkers!!


Rye Brook couple collects shoes to send to orphanage in Haiti

Rye Brook, NY, USA – January 6th, 2011 - Michael and Joy Goldstein are no strangers to the needs of children in peril. As an adoption attorney and executive director of the Rye Brook, NY based adoption agency Forever Families Through Adoption respectively, they have worked all over the world to help connect children with adoptive parents. But now they are turning their focus to providing some children of the world with another basic necessity: shoes.
Working with Dr. Jose Hennessey-Diaz and the Haiti-based Children of Israel Orphanage (www. ChildrenofIsraelOrphanage.org), the two have reached out to friends, co-workers, religious institutions, and students at SUNY Purchase in an ongoing effort to collect shoes for a few of the many Haitian children affected by the earthquake, subsequent aftershocks, and floods that struck the Caribbean nation last January.

Adoption Agency Educates Rye Middle School Students on Adoption

On January 3, Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), a local agency and resource center in Rye Brook, sent two social workers, Vanessa Bush and Becca Leitman, to Rye Middle School for a day of interactive adoption education activities for approximately 100 students.

Students shared their knowledge of and questions about adoption. The discussions highlighted topics such as the different types of adoption, the adoption process, making an adoption plan, the steps involved for a pregnant woman/couple who is/are considering adoption, famous adoptees and famous birth parents and adoption language.

Students were eager to share their responses and the room became full of exciting dialogue.

The students then participated in a physical activity called "step the line," where they were asked to step forward in response to statements made about adoption that applied to them.

Bush stated that "It was amazing to see how many students in the classroom were connected with adoption in one way or another; it affects the lives of so many, which just emphasizes, even more, the need for adoption education in the community."

Evening at Stonewall Pond Charity Event

Press Release
September 2010

On Thursday, September 23rd, Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) of Rye Brook, NY greeted 100 guests under a white tent on a clear night for a gourmet tasting event and silent auction at the Stonewall Pond Estate in Greenwich, CT for a charity event. This was the second annual gourmet event benefiting FFTA, a NY and CT licensed adoption placement agency and resource center.

This year's event has already raised $15,000 in ticket sales and donations, with additional proceeds from the silent auction still being counted. The money raised will be used for education and outreach programs in schools, hospitals, prisons and community centers in both NY and CT, and towards the creation of a mentoring program for teen adoptees.

Joy and Michael Goldstein co-founded FFTA in April 2007. Michael is an adoption attorney with his own law firm, and he and his wife are both social workers. Together they are adoptive parents of three who have worked alongside each other helping families with the adoption process for more than 25 years. "We decided to open a nonprofit adoption agency to be able to provide more services to our clients," Joy said. "And most importantly to be able to educate the community, professionals and students in the school systems, patients in the local hospitals, and provide outreach to pregnant women that are incarcerated and think they have no options other than state foster care for their unplanned pregnancies."

Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) Finalizes First Hague Outgoing Adoption!

On Thursday, June 17th, 2010, Forever Families Through Adoption Inc., a New York and Connecticut authorized adoption placement agency and resource center, finalized its first
Hague adoption.

The Hague Convention, which entered into force for the United States in April of 2008, was created in regards to International Adoptions, to prevent child trafficking and abduction, and to ensure that each adoption is in the best interest of the child. Pursuant to the stringent standards of the Convention and the Department of State, FFTA received full Hague accreditation in June of 2009.

In addition to being the first Hague approved adoption for FFTA, it was also the first
outgoing Hague adoption to be finalized in Westchester County. Judge Kathie E. Davidson,
Supervising Judge of the Ninth Judicial District, presided over the hearing as a family from the
Netherlands finalized the adoption of their second American born son, Sebastian. Joy S.
Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, Executive Director of Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA), shared
this exciting occasion with her husband, Michael, along with several staff members and thrilled
family members who traveled with the adoptive parents from The Netherlands. The Law Firm of
Michael S. Goldstein, Esq., one of only three Hague approved attorney's in the United States,
represented the family as they finalized their adoption on this special day at the White Plains
Family Courthouse.

Charity Book and Bunny Drive to benefit Forever Families Through Adoption

From March 2nd through April 6th, customers at the Waldenbooks in the Rye Ridge Shopping
Center will be able to purchase children's books and stuffed bunny rabbits to donate to
Forever Families Through Adoption. Carol Meister, Waldenbooks' Store Manager, selected the
local adoption agency as the recipient for this year's drive.

This is the second year that FFTA was selected for the book drive, which is a chain-wide
campaign for Borders/Waldenbooks stores across the country. Last year hundreds of children's
books and stuffed bunny rabbits were donated to Forever Families Through Adoption by the
generous customers and staff at Waldenbooks.

Carol Meister, Joy S. Goldstein, LCSW, ACSW, Executive Director and the staff at Forever
Families Through Adoption, all share a commitment to helping spread a little happiness
through the books and stuffed animals to children who are in need.

For more information about donating through the book drive contact (914) 937-3370
For more information about Forever Families Through Adoption contact (914) 939-1180

Evening at Stonewall Pond

A Gourmet Tasting Event and Silent Auction to benefit Forever Families Through Adoption

Click here for an event recap!

Thursday, September 10th, 2009
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
212 Taconic Road, Greenwich, CT 06831

Contributions support these FFTA programs:

  • Adoption education and awareness in the schools and community
  • Adult adoptees mentoring program for young adults
  • Finding "forever homes" for children of incarcerated women

Participating Restaurants

Our Sponsors

Cafe' Mirage
Portchester, NY

Morgans Fish House
Rye, NY

Ruby's Oyster Bar & Bistro
Rye, NY

Solaia Enoteca & Ristorante
Greenwich, CT

Sonora
Portchester, NY

 

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
Pleasantville, NY

Chocolations, LLC
Mamaroneck, NY

House of Flowers
Mamaroneck, NY

Linens ala Carte
White Plains, NY

The Wine Gallery
Rye Brook, NY

Wine at Five
Rye, NY

Waldenbooks Helps Local Adoption Agency Bring Joy to Children in Need

Rye Brook, April 24, 2009 Joy Goldstein, Executive Director of Forever Families Through Adoption, a Westchester adoption agency, was thrilled when she learned in February that FFTA had been selected by the Waldenbooks in Rye Brook to be this year's beneficiary of their Easter book and bunny drive. The local book and bunny drive was one of many held by Waldenbooks all across the country.

During March and April, customers of the Waldenbooks in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center were
asked to purchase children's books and stuffed bunny rabbits to donate to FFTA. Finally this week, the many boxes of stuffed toys and books arrived at the agency.

Carol Meister, Waldenbooks' Store Manager, was overwhelmed with gratitude at the generosity of her staff and customers. "Joy and I share a very special commitment to children in need, and so many people answered our call. I'm proud of how successful the book drive was because it
means that hundreds of children can now be delivered a little happiness."

Joy, who has dedicated her life to finding forever families for children in need through domestic
and international adoptions, agreed. "During financially difficult times, it is wonderful to know local families stepped up and purchased these items to help children in greater need and support our mission. The books and rabbits will be a special blessing for the children."

Westchester Families Donate Time and Merchandise
to Less Fortunate Children

Rye Brook March 18, 2009 Joy and Michael Goldstein, who have dedicated their lives to delivering happiness to parents worldwide interested in adopting, spread happiness recently to children in Aruba when they hand delivered $3,000.00 worth of donated books, DVD's, Frisbees, and a color printer/scanner. During financially difficult times, local families and staff members stepped up and purchased these requested items to help children in greater need. Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. and the Law Firm of Michael S. Goldstein, located in Rye Brook, New York arranged to visit two orphanages/children's homes on the Dutch island of Aruba.

Joy and Michael along with their three sons visited with Casa Cuna and Imeldahof Children's Homes to personally bring these items. Last year when the Goldstein's visited the same orphanages they donated teddy bears and chocolates. Aruba, one of the smaller Dutch ABC islands, has many drug exposed babies living and growing up in what are considered "Children's Homes" without the likelihood of ever finding their "forever home". There are very few in‐country adoptions and no out of country adoptions from Aruba. Most, if not all of the children in these group homes will remain until they are asked to leave at the young age of 18, when they are expected to learn the difficult responsibility of living on their own. Although while living within the homes they are nurtured and taken care of by loving staff, sadly, many will end up back on the streets or incarcerated.

FFTA Celebrates Dutch American Adoption Day

Rye Brook, September 8, 2008. Joy and Michael Goldstein, the founders of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a New York and Connecticut authorized not-for-profit adoption placement agency and resource center, are pleased to announce the adoption of three infants during a very special Dutch American Adoption Day event.

Baby girl Jasmine and baby boys Brandon and Samuel all found homes in the Netherlands with couples anxious to expand their families. The babies were born in Westchester County in February and April and went home with their new families shortly thereafter.

The adoptions were finalized in White Plains on September 8th during a heart-warming ceremony in the Family Court. The Dutch families returned to New York for the finalization, accompanied by elated extended family members and the staff members from the adoption agency.

Also in attendance were officers from the Consulate General of the Netherlands, Miranda van Iersel and Zwanette T. Peterkin. Older siblings and grandparents who traveled from the Netherlands were included in the joyous experience.

"It was such a special day!" explained Joy Goldstein, FFTA’s Executive Director. "The Court arranged for all three Dutch families to finalize their adoptions at the same time. Judge Kathie Davidson and Court Attorney Maria Recine who presided over the ceremony exhibited such warmth and sensitivity."

 

The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions

On April 1, 2008 the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption entered into force for the United States. This essentially means that all adoptions between the United States and other Convention Countries will be governed by the Hague rules.

So if you are wondering how this affects Forever Families Through Adoption, here is a quick Hague 101 primer.

FFTA Helps Local Couple Adopt Son in Record Time

Rye Brook, November 25, 2007. 2007 will be remembered by restaurateur Lisa McKiernan as a year of great additions to the town of Rye. In May, McKiernan and her partners in the Pearl Management Group opened Morgans Fish House, which was chosen as one of the area's 10 Best Restaurants of 2007 by inTown magazine and praised by the Rye Record as "a great addition to the local dining scene." Then, in late September, she and husband, Brendan, welcomed an addition of their own: an adopted son, Dylan Joseph.

FFTA Delivers Joy to Children in the Dominican Republic

Rye Brook, September 26, 2007. Joy and Michael Goldstein, who have dedicated their lives to delivering happiness to childless couples worldwide, were able to spread a little happiness recently to children in the Dominican Republic. Marta Moya-Goldenberg, CSW, a representative of FFTA, hand-delivered stuffed bears to fifty children under the age of seven who live in the impoverished communities of Chichigua and Cangrejo.

FFTA Joyfully Make Their First Baby Announcements

Rye Brook, August 24th, 2007. Joy and Michael Goldstein, the founders of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA), a newly authorized New York and Connecticut not-for-profit adoption placement agency, are pleased to announce the successful placements of their first two infants.

Rye Brook couple starts non-profit adoption agency

The realization of a 12-year dream By Jeff Benzak A Rye Brook couple with extensive experience in the adoption field recently opened a new adoption agency. On Monday, the non-profit agency, Forever Families Through Adoption, delivered its first baby, a girl, to two loving parents from New York City.

He Said, She Said

Michael and Joy Goldstein on Private Placement vs. Agency Adoptions - Which is Right for You? Michael and Joy Goldstein are uniquely qualified to discuss the relative merits of private placement and agency adoptions. Since adopting three sons of their own in the early 1980's, they have dedicated their lives to helping birth parents, adoptive parents and children free for adoption. During most of that time, Michael has assisted clients in navigating the process of private placement adoption as an attorney, while Joy worked side-by-side with him as an adoption counselor. A few years ago, however, the two decided to apply for the authorizations required to open an adoption agency. Now, while Michael continues to help private clients, Joy is able to offer potential adoptive parents and birthparents all of the services of a New York and Connecticut state-authorized placement agency. We met in their offices housed in the same building in Rye Brook, NY to learn more.

Follow Us On Facebook!!! Follow Us On Twitter!!!
Donate Now!

Learn how you can help FFTA by donating financially, through time and more...

Click Here!!!

What's New at FFTA?

FFTA Zumbathon Fundraiser on the Beach

Learn More and Sign Up...