Beth currently serves as treasurer for NAAP. She brings a background in administration, bookkeeping, event planning, marketing, community relations, and writing to NAAP’s passionate commitment to serve all persons touched by adoption.

While she spent most of her life on the sidelines of the adoption community, the unfolding of her own foundling-beginnings story awakened a desire to be involved beyond her personal experiences. As a search angel, she delves into DNA to pay forward to other adoptees the gift of finding long-searched-for answers. Her sometimes overwhelming, always intriguing, and oft emotional journey to find and connect with biological family is chronicled at BethSteury.com. She also addresses relevant topics in her fiction and non-fiction series for young adults. Beth and her husband reside in Indiana

 Barbara Robertson, LMSW, is an Ohio-born, New York Adoptee. She always knew that she was adopted. However, she was raised during the “closed records” era, when identifying biological information was lawfully inaccessible to her. 

Her life changed when she received a copy of her Original Birth Certificate (OBC) after updated Ohio legislation took effect in March 2015. Since then, she has been able to discover her origins and establish contact with both sides of her family. 

Barbara is a strong advocate for adoptee rights, devoting her time providing online education and support to all members of the adoption constellation worldwide. 

To this end, Barbara currently serves as a Co-Facilitator for Adoption Network Cleveland’s (ANC) monthly Virtual Webcam General Discussion Meeting. She serves as a Board Member of the National Association of Adoptees & Parents (NAAP), a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization founded by Marcie Keithley and Jennifer Fahlsing in 2021. 

Barbara has also written a piece for the Dear Adoption blog and is a contributing author to the book, Black Anthology: Adult Adoptees Claim Their Space, edited by Susan Harris O’Connor, MSW; Diane Rene Christian; & Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman, PHD. 

Barbara is a New York based Social Worker who provides trauma aware general therapy as part of a private practice. Her lived experience growing up as an adoptee combined with graduating from the accredited Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) through the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) allows Barbara to help others navigate through complex journeys towards effective healing. 

Brad is a police officer in the Dallas, Texas area. He is married and has three children. For the first 48 years of his life, Brad believed he was raised by his biological family. That changed in 2019 when someone he matched from an Ancestry DNA test contacted him. In less than 24 hours Brad became a Late Discovery Adoptee with a MPE. Since that time he is in reunion with several biological family members including his biological father and four siblings. He is passionate about the right of every person to know their true genetic identity. While he knows his biological history, he still has to go to court if he wants to have his records unsealed. Brad has written essays and an article for Severance Magazine and is currently working on other essays and a memoir. You can find him on Instagram @a_late_discovery.

Debbie Olson is a Certified Life Coach, founder of DNA Surprise Network and co-founder of DNA Surprise Retreat, and a member of the Right to Know board. She helps others navigate life’s path after having a DNA Surprise, having experienced her own. Debbie is a former paralegal with over 20 years of experience in that field.  Possessing skills of empathy, understanding, and great communication, she is an ideal person to work with. She believes no matter where you are now, it is where you desire to be that is most important. 

Debbie was raised believing her biological father did not want her, and eventually she was told he was deceased. After taking an over-the-counter DNA test, she matched with an unknown half-sister in 2019. With this connection, she learned her biological father was alive, and had in fact looked for her.  

Debbie is an advocate for animals serving on the board of East Idaho Spay Neuter Coalition and is a key player in the Snake River Animal Shelter’s biggest yearly fundraiser. Both are nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations that help save animals lives. 

Debbie can be found on Instagram and Facebook at DNA Surprise Network or at DNASurpriseNetwork.com.  

Jennifer Fahlsing, CPC, is a co-founder of NAAP now serving as President. Jennifer has spent the last 20 years in the employment industry and is a licensed real estate Broker. She holds a BS in Business Management and an AS in Accounting. Her background includes education, training, sales, operations, and public speaking.
Jennifer is an Adoptee and First Mother which provides her with a unique understanding of the challenges involved in search and the gamut of emotions experienced in reunion. In 2013, after three decades of searching she located both her mother and son within a 3-month period. In 2018, after years of rejection she finally reunited with her father days before his death.

She served on the board for the ISSA for 8 years in a variety of roles including President and was the Secretary and managed the Social Media for Indiana Adoptee Network for four years. She joined Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records in 2015 and testified in 2015, 2016 and 2021 in support of OBC access legislation for Indiana Adoptees. Jennifer is a Sister on the Ground for Saving Our Sisters.

A 2014 Huffington Post article was written, by Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy, about her struggle to obtain a Passport; US Adoptees Have Trouble Getting Passports Due to Seal Records Law. Jennifer was the recipient of the Angel in Adoption award in 2018.

Jennifer resides in NE Indiana and enjoys spending time with her family and husband of 37 years, renovating investment properties, outdoor adventures, and traveling.

Kara was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She married her high-school sweetheart and together they traveled for a number of years before attending college. Kara went on to receive a BA, MA, a law degree from the George Washington University, and later a LLM from the University of Washington. Her husband and sons constantly keep her on her toes. Any moment of free quiet time she can find is spent designing, reading, and cooking; but storytelling is her passion. 

In January 2018, she wanted to see where in Africa her father’s family came from. Her over-the-counter DNA test revealed she was 50% something, but she had zero African DNA. This meant the man on her birth certificate couldn’t possibly be her genetic father. She lost her bi-racial identity with the click of a mouse. Kara discovered she was 50% Jewish. The DNA pandora’s box she opened led to an identity crisis. Because there were few resources for people with misattributed parentage experiences, she co-founded Right to Know, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental human right to know your genetic identity through education, mental health initiatives, and advocacy. 

Kara is leading advocate for genetic identity rights and people impacted by misattributed parentage. She has appeared on many podcasts, in multiple television interviews and articles, and has been a frequent speaker on her DNA surprise, the right to know, and the complex intersection of genetic information, identity, and family dynamics. She recently published the “My Re-Birthday Book: This is My Story: for adoptees, donor conceived, and people with an NPE, who are misattributed, or who’ve had a DNA surprise” and “Cinematic Roots: Explore Assisted Reproduction, Adoption, NPE, and DNA Surprise Terms Through Movies.”

Sheridan Anderson (she/her), a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and trained family mediator, is the heart behind Sliding Doors Counseling

Her journey into the world of high-conflict relationships, life transitions, and DNA surprises is not just professional—it’s deeply personal. Growing up, she believed her father had died by suicide, a narrative that shaped her early life. However, a DNA test in 2018 revealed a different truth: the man she thought was her father wasn’t her biological parent. This revelation reshaped Sheridan’s understanding of mental health and identity, fueling her passion to help others on similar paths.

Sheridan has shared her insights on DNA podcasts and as a public speaker, addressing topics such as the impact of perceived genetic history on personal identity and her own mental health journey and the importance of coping skills to manage anxiety. She is also on the RTK board.

Sheridan is also a regular human—sometimes anxious, occasionally awkward, and mostly funny. For more insights and updates, follow Sheridan on Instagram @slidingdoorscounseling and on Facebook at Sliding Doors Counseling. 

My Name in Abbi and I lost my son to adoption when I was only 17 years old. In 2008, My parents sent me away to a maternity home that shared a property with their affiliated adoption agency. I was coerced and spiritually manipulated into relinquishing my parental rights. My pleads for support were called selfish and disobedient to God.

After loosing my son and gaining freedom from the maternity home, the reality of the trauma sunk in. I wound up marrying the father of my son and we have two more children together. After 14 years of an extremely rigid, mediated “open adoption”, we asked to be allowed an honest relationship with our son. The adoptive parents cut us off and we have had zero contact with our now 15 year old son for nearly 2 years.

I began posting videos on social media platforms about the experience of being a birth mother back in April of 2023. I hope to continue building bridges and connections for the betterment of everyone touched by the experience of adoption or family separation.

Voiceless Birthmother

Dr. Abigail Hasberry is a transracial adoptee, executive leadership coach, and licensed marriage and family therapist associate. With a background in education as a former teacher and principal, she has experience in private, traditional public, and charter schools. Dr. Hasberry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in African American studies and sociology, a Master of Arts in teaching, K-12, a Master of Education in counseling and development, and a Ph.D. in curriculum & instruction. In addition, she is currently completing a Master of Science degree in industrial/organizational behavior.

Dr. Hasberry’s research and publications focus on identity development, diversity, and the experiences of black teachers in private, affluent, and predominantly white schools. She is also actively involved in training therapists on adoption informed practices and has been a guest speaker on adoption, identity development, and trauma in various podcasts and webinars. She is in the process of publishing her memoir, Adopting Privilege.

Beyond her professional achievements, Dr. Hasberry is married and has raised three children. Her personal journey as an adoptee and birth mom fuels her dedication to supporting adult adoptees and birth mothers in their own paths of healing and growth.

In July 2021, Alexis Hourselt received her Ancestry DNA kit results. To her shock, she discovered that the man she’d called “Dad” for 35 years was not her biological father. 

Alexis also learned through her DNA test results that she is not a multi-ethnic Mexican woman, as she’d believed, but African American. These two discoveries caused a complete upheaval of her identity. 

Alexis created the DNA Surprises podcast to provide a space for NPEs, donor-conceived people, and adoptees (and their families) to find comfort in the stories of those who are on similar journeys. She also aims to raise awareness of DNA surprises and ultimately create more openness and honesty around parentage. Since her discovery, Alexis has become a prominent voice in the DNA surprise community, advocating for truth, transparency, and healing.

In 2022, she founded the DNA Surprise Retreat with Debbie Olson of the DNA Surprise Network. The Retreat serves as a bridge to healing for the DNA surprise community.