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.

Marzena Murphy

Marzena Murphy - Adoption Specialist

Hi! My name is Marzena and I have received my Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Arts degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Mental Health from University in South Florida. I furthered my career by attending Argosy University where in 2007 I obtained an Education Specialist degree. I am also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida. My interest in adoption began during my work in the Child Welfare program in the adoptions unit, where my responsibility was to recruit parents to adopt children from foster care. I have continued to expand my love for working with children and assisting families in their dream of having a forevever family by working with American Adoptions of Florida. I began working with American Adoptions in December of 2004. I truly enjoy seeing families becoming parents through the process of adoption. I have received my Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Arts degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Mental Health from University in South Florida. I furthered my career by attending Argosy University where in 2007 I obtained an Education Specialist degree. I am also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida.

E-MAIL: marzenamurphy@tampabay.rr.com

Susan Patterson

Susan Patterson - Adoption Specialist, LCSW

Hi! My name is Susan Patterson and I am a licensed clinical social worker. In 2001, I reunited with my sister, who was placed for adoption years ago. Between this reunification and my years of volunteer work as a Pregnancy Resource Center volunteer, I have been working with American adoptions since 2006 and in the adoption field since 2003.

E-MAIL: savyjane0807@yahoo.com

Joy Quante

Joy Quante - Adoption Specialist, LPC

My name is Joy Quante and I graduated with a Masters Degree in Counseling and I am licensed as a Professional Counselor in Missouri. My job for American Adoptions is to help guide perspective parents at the beginning of their adoption journey. Once a child is placed in their home. My job is incredibly rewarding and very special to me. It is an honor to witness the enthusiasm and excitement of adoptive parents as they prepare to welcome a child into their homes and then to be given the privilege to witness the joy on their faces as they welcome a child into their hearts.

E-MAIL: joymq98@gmail.com

Karen Scott

Karen Scott - Adoption Specialist, LCSW

Hi! My name is Karen and I am a licensed clinical social worker. I have been a therapist for 25 years, and seven of those were devoted solely to adoption services. Through working with adoptive parents and birth parents, I have experienced the most rewarding work of my career. Adoptive families and birth parents have embody beautiful, unselfish love as well as a devotion to giving children a lifetime of love and security. It is always an honor to work in adoption services.

E-MAIL: karenwscott@sbcglobal.net

Laurie Shelton

Laurie Shelton - Adoption Specialist, BA

Hi! My name is Laurie and for the last 13 years I have had the good fortune of providing a service that both ignites and satisfies my passion to help people achieve a better life. As an Adoption Specialist for attorneys and private agencies, I have supported over 300 birthparents from diverse cultural, economic and social backgrounds, counseling and guiding birthmothers and adopting families, facilitating communication between all parties. Propelled by desire and hope, but grounded by professionalism, I have made a measurable difference in the lives of each member of the adoption triad. I carry with me all my experiences that I have been lucky to share with all my clients on their individual adoption journey's through life.

E-MAIL: laurieshelton@hotmail.com

Jazmin Taylor

Jazmin Taylor - Adoption Specialist, LSW

Hi my name is Jazmin Taylor and I am a Licensed Social Worker. I obtained my Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Cedarville in Ohio. I have worked in the social services field on and off since 1997 and in the adoption field since 2006. Since a young age I have had a passion for adoption and working with adoptive families and birth parents. I am a mother of 3 and we were given the blessing of adopting our son Thomas In 2007 when my family moved to Arkansas. As an adoptive parent I have come to admire birth parents and understand the blessing that adoption provides not only to a child, but to an entire family and community. I believe I have found my true calling working in the field of adoption.

E-MAIL: jazmin.taylor@cox.net

Debbie Velcheck

Debbie Velcheck - Adoption Specialist, LCSW

My name is Debbie Velcheck and I have a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work, as well as my state licensure in Missouri. I became interested in the field of adoption soon after graduating from college while doing an internship with the State of Missouri. I worked closely with adoptive parents and love a being part of children finding a "forever home". I began working with American Adoptions in 2007, and truly love being a part of the adoption process. I have a niece and an nephew who joined our family by way of adoption, do I hold adoption close to my heart.

E-MAIL: debvelcheck@gmail.com

Sandy Pace

Sandy Pace - Adoption Specialist

Hi! I'm Sandy and my journey with American Adoptions began eight years ago. My primary role is working with adoptive families and it is an enjoyable adventure learning the stories of families and being a small part of their lives as they fulfill their dream to become parents. Each family is unique and offers wonderful opportunities for their waiting child(ren). One of my other roles is to counsel birthmothers as they make decisions related to placing their baby. My involvement with adoptive families and birth mothers is a fulfilling extension of my experiences as a mother of three children and now grandmother of five. I graduated from Ottawa University at the Phoenix, Arizona branch and earned a Master of Arts in Counseling. As a Licensed Professional Counselor with the State of Arizona I also use my academic and professional skills as a therapist on the medical floor and emergency room at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center

E-MAIL: sandy_munchinsky@cox.net

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