Adoption ARC 25th Anniversary: Serving NJ, PA & DE

Merle GuttermanFirm News

A Quarter of a Century… it seems impossibly long but it flew by like the blink of an eye. On March 7, 1994 with the help of a room of professionals, family and friends, Adoption ARC was born in response to the thousands upon thousands of children in the foster care system who would never find a permanent home.  Every child deserves permanency and our wonderful volunteer Board of Directors ensures that our mandate continues in the most ethical way.

Adoption ARC believes in the insight and ability of the birth parents to choose adoptive families for their babies.  The agency has always been open to serving any birth mother regardless of race, drug use or mental health diagnosis.  Our wonderful social work staff believes in offering warm, judgment-free options in a respectful, private setting. Our one-on-one counseling can continue well beyond placement and is always free of charge to our birth parents.

Our adoptive families receive support throughout the process from application until well after placement.  In fact, once you are a part of the ARC family, you are a part of the family forever. We provide counseling and advice as your child grows. Adoption ARC believes in open adoption and we encourage open meetings at the office at placement time and coordinate on-going contact between the adoptive and birth families via letters, skypes and visits, at times. We take lots of time performing and reviewing home studies to ensure that families are culturally competent if they are adopting a child of another race. We value and provide education in these areas as well.

Adoption ARC provides reunions for our families and newsletters where we share educational information. Adoption is a life long journey and we are proud to be a part of your forever.

It was an honor for me to serve as Executive Director from 1994-2009 when I handed over the reins to Merle Gutterman, my sister. In the past ten years, Merle has molded the agency into tip top administrative and procedural shape. We are so proud of all she has accomplished.  Merle has kept our Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware licenses in superior standing as well as our four -year Hague License.

Most of our legal filings are completed  in the Surrogate’s Court of Camden County. At times, we file in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. Over our quarter century, we have had the pleasure of assisting in changing Philadelphia county procedure with regard to abandoned children. We also changed Pennsylvania law by making adoption subsidy for special needs children available to private adoption agency children.

Our twenty- five years of service has inspired us to produce two films with a third one in process now. It has been and continues to be a privilege to work with such wonderful families, professionals, therapists, attorneys, judges, court staff and ARC staff as we end one quarter century and begin another one. Thank you for believing in us and making our dreams come true.