blank Your Name: Michele Fried

Business Name: Adoption STAR, a non-profit adoption agency

Type of Business: Adoption child placing organization

Business Location: New York, New York, United States

Website www.adoptionstar.com
Twitter www.twitter.com/adoptionstar
Facebook www.facebook.com/adoptstar

Reason for starting
I wanted to prove that not only did every child deserve a forever family but there IS a forever family forever child no matter the child’s background, circumstances or special needs. I became a passionate advocate for adoption after my husband and I adopted our first child 25 years ago. The cumbersome system, regimented experience and the unwelcoming agencies encouraged me to find a better way. Pursuing a career in adoption became obvious. My background in education gave me a solid base. Today Adoption STAR is not only located in NYS, but also in OH, and FL. The services include child placement, counseling, education, support groups, home studies, post placement supervision post adoption support, etc.

Biggest Success
Almost 13 years and more than 550 placements later, Adoption STAR continues to thrive. I am proud of the compassionate staff the solid reputation we have for providing outstanding service to birth parents, adoptive parents and of course, the children. Our commitment to adoption is evident in the agency’s mission and the STAR acronym: support; training; advocacy; and resource. Our strategic vision for an agency grounded in highly personalized, individual service and attention, against a heavily regulated backdrop, gives Adoption STAR its unique culture. Its charming Amherst, NY headquarters is complete with an onsite training facility. Receiving the coveted COA Hague Accreditation provided us an ability to assist children in other countries. Finally, being able to expand, grow and remain fincially sound are major accomplishments for a non-profit agency dedicated to finding forever families for children.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Adoption STAR is still an enterprise with the same challenges that beset other business owners. While managing growth, goals, budget and leading a dynamic staff, my tasks as founder and CEO are typical and that often means that I unfortunately miss out on every day client interaction. Becuase of this I introduce myself to all of our clients at some point in their adoption journey. I also continue to learn how to balance life and multiple passions. I love motherhood, long distance running, community volunteering, and coming into work to greet the milestones and challenges. I manage this by remaining positive, focusing on strong time management stills because it is important to me to find the time to do all these things ~ as they are apart of who I am ~ so whether it is apply for a re-accreditation or training to run a marathon, I am focused, I am committed.

Who is your most important role model?
As a child I remember reading about Eleanor Roosevelt and I still think of her today and her tireless work supporting the civil liberties for all people and especially supported women’s rights.

Editor’s Note: The Story Exchange is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching the annual Women In Science Incentive Prize. Apply now for a chance to receive $5,000 in funding for your climate-related research or startup. Deadline: July 31. 

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