Adopt America Network’s Mission

Who We Are -istock13166650.jpg

Adopt America Network believes every child deserves to grow up in a family.  We connect children who wait in foster care with permanent families, providing support before, during and after the family is united.


Adopt America Network was founded in 1983 by Richard K. Ransom, who also founded Hickory Farms. Mr. Ransom dedicated his life to helping children and since he established AAN, more than 4,580 children from foster care have found homes and families through the network. AAN provides services to over 300 children and 500 families annually.


Adopt America Network is a national adoption charity designated by the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. AAN is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors (link) led by current Board Chairman, Nick Cherry and made up of community and business leaders committed to carrying out the mission of AAN. The experienced, highly-trained staff of twelve includes specialists in adoption and kinship services, family life educators, licensed social workers and clinicians. Each year, AAN welcomes four to six interns from local universities thereby educating and training the next generation of adoption professionals. Wendy Spoerl is in her 19th year with AAN and under her leadership the organization has achieved outstanding outcomes and achieved wide national recognition.

Outcomes for 2016 to 2018

  • 201 placements of children into adoptive homes

  • 5,612 referrals of children made to families

  • 85 new families registered

  • 1,106 new children registered

  • 187 homestudy grants provided to families

AAN continues to be successful in finding homes for children who are facing multiple barriers:

  • Sibling Groups - 125 (62%) of the children placed were members of a sibling group

  • Teens - 82 (41%) of the youth were 11 years and older

  • Emotional Issues - 185 (92%) of the children experience emotional issues

  • Physical Challenges - 89 (44%) of the children experience physical challenges

Certifications and Recognitions

Adopt America Network is licensed in the State of Ohio to assist in the placement of children and has successfully renewed licensure meeting the requirements of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services since 1987.

The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance has awarded AAN as an Accredited Charity verifying that we meet all 20 of the Standards for Charity Accountability.

AAN’s president, Wendy Spoerl, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Adoption Exchange Association (AEA) in 2014 and serves on the Program Committee for their National Conference. AEA is the country’s premier national association of adoption professionals and organizations.

The Board of Directors of Voice for Adoption elected AAN’s president, Wendy Spoerl, to serve as the National President of VFA for a four-year term from 2010 to 2014. VFA is the highly-influential adoption advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. made up of national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children in foster care and educating legislators on topics of concern to the adoption community.

AAN is a member of North American Council of Adoptable Children, the national membership organization for families, agencies, and professionals dedicated to achieving permanency for the children in foster care and ensuring families thrive.