American Adoptions Staff

The dedicated staff members at American Adoptions have decades of experience in adoption. With backgrounds in social work, counseling, business and media, our staff can help you on your adoption journey every step of the way. Additionally, many of our staff members have personal adoption experience as adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents.

All of our clients will be matched with an Adoption Specialist, who can help them with any questions during the adoption process. Read our staff bios below to get to know the faces and learn the heart of America's adoption agency.

Jon Ball

Jon Ball - Accountant

Hello, I am the Accountant for American Adoptions, and I have been with the Agency since 2004. I take care of the day-to-day accounting functions of the agency. This includes: paying and monitoring all agency bills, budgeting and forecasting for the agency, preparing our yearly audit for licensing, the tracking and paying of expenses on each birth mother/adoptive family match, and working with hospitals on behalf of the adoptive families to lower medical expenses.

E-MAIL: jon.b@americanadoptions.com

DJ Barnes

DJ Barnes - Licensing Specialist

I have had the pleasure of being with American adoptions since 2005. Within that time, the knowledge I have accrued has allowed me to work in many areas here at the agency. My primary function is keeping up with the necessary licenses we carry in several states. I also serve as the human resources department where I assist our employees with any HR-related matters. But above all, my favorite task is filing the Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children (ICPC) packet, as it is the final piece of the adoption puzzle. I am known as the “stork” around the office while I am filing ICPC paperwork, because the new family is able to travel home once it is completed. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing I am playing a part in creating the most beautiful thing ever – family.

E-MAIL: dj.b@americanadoptions.com

Michelle Downard

Michelle Downard - Birth Parent Peer Support / Birth Mother

My name is Michelle Downard, and I am a birth mother who has been working for American Adoptions since 2003. My primary focus is peer support for all the birth mothers that we work with who want to know that they are not alone and that someone else understands how they feel. I placed my son for adoption in February of 1998. He is the love of my life, and I know that it is because of adoption and his wonderful adoptive family that he has had all of the opportunities and experiences that he has been blessed with. I also handle the pictures and letters here at the agency and love being able to talk with both adoptive couples and birthmothers about their experience and contribute in making in a positive experience for everyone.

E-MAIL: michelle.d@americanadoptions.com

Doreen Ball

Doreen Ball - Project Coordinator

Hello, I joined American Adoptions May 2012. My duties include receiving incoming calls and directing families and birth parents to their proper representative and/or specialist, assisting the Adoptive Family Department by sending out information packets to adoptive families and assisting with other projects as needed. Adoption has also touched me personally, as I have witnessed it in both my extended family and close friends. I am excited to be working for an organization that brings birth parents and adoptive families together to create forever families.

E-MAIL: doreen.b@americanadoptions.com

Desiree Koudele

Desiree Koudele - Communications Specialist

In 2006, just before my first child turned 1-year-old, I knew the only way I was going to be able to balance my new life as a working mom was if I was using my skills to benefit my biggest passion – family. So, I left my desk as the Editor-in-Chief of a magazine and joined the American Adoptions team. At American Adoptions, I work with families to design their adoptive family print profile and also contribute to our website, marketing materials and other information. I received my degree in Electronic Journalism from Kansas State University in 2000 and have experience in all facets of the media, including radio, television, print and the Internet. Today, I am a mom of two and still enjoy the fact that I am able to combine my love of all things creative along with my passion for family!

E-MAIL: desiree.k@americanadoptions.com

Todd Brace

Todd Brace - IT Specialist

Since 2006, I have been working as the agency's IT Specialist. My main duty is developing and maintaining our custom database, software, website and network. But I also manage our office inventory and serve as an all-around fix-it guy.

E-MAIL: todd.b@americanadoptions.com

Cathy Fulks

Cathy Fulks - Adoption Specialist, LMSW

Hi! My name is Cathy and I have been working in the adoption field since 2003. In addition to working with adoptive families, I am also a weekend PRN hospital social worker at Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. My favorite part about working with adoptive families is seeing the entire process progress from home study application to the final post placement visit.

E-MAIL: candifulks@aol.com

Alli Garlich

Alli Garlich - Adoption Specialist, LBSW

Hi! My name is Alli Garlich and I have my degree and license in Social Work and graduated from Colorado State University. I love working with adoptive families here at the agency by providing support and guidance along their adoption journey. I have had a passion for adoption ever since my family adopted my little brother as an infant. He is one of the bright lights in my life and I can't even imagine life without him! Family is one of the most important things in life (in my opinion!) and I love seeing families formed through adoption.

E-MAIL: alligarlich@gmail.com

Kathy Grant

Kathy Grant - Adoption Specialist, LPC

Hi I'm Kathy and I've been working with American Adoptions since 2004 and it's been a wonderful journey. I am a licensed professional counselor in both Kansas and Missouri, I currently also work in substance abuse treatment and also have a private practice. I love working with prospective adoptive families and find it a very rewarding experience helping families welcome children into their lives.

E-MAIL: kathygrant76@yahoo.com

Molly Gray

Molly Gray - Adoption Specialist

Hi, my name is Molly and I have been working with children and families for more than twelve years has been one of my greatest pleasures and honors. From the time I was young girl, I knew my life's work was to help families. I earned my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work and have worked with children and families ever since. I have worked for American Adoptions since 2005. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know couples and helping them take the beginning steps of the wonderful journey of adoption. However: for me, the true highlight is watching these couples transform into families once they bring their babies home. Witnessing the true love and devotion of adoptive families is, without question, the reason I work in the adoption field.

E-MAIL: mollyhgray19@gmail.com

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