About International Adoption Net

Established in 1999, International Adoption Net (IAN) is a licensed, full-service child placement agency and nonprofit organization in Centennial, Colorado in the United States of America. We are a Hague-accredited agency, and have been so since 2008. Our current Hague approval is valid through July 2020. We are also an active member of the National Council for Adoption, a membership based advocacy group that is " Passionately committed to the belief that every child deserves to thrive in a nurturing, permanent family, NCFA’s mission is to meet the diverse needs of children, birth parents, adopted individuals, adoptive families, and all those touched by adoption through global advocacy, education, research, legislative action, and collaboration."

Our agency and staff members have tremendous amounts of experience handling domestic and international adoptions. IAN has facilitated adoptions in the United States, China, Guatemala, Nepal, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Uganda, India, Mexico and Bulgaria, as well as assisting with many other countries through our post adoption and homestudy services.

The majority of our placements and services are with our International Programs. We are experienced in meeting the legal and cultural requirements of the foreign adoptive country, as well as the adoption laws of Colorado and the United States. We provide pre-qualified, carefully screened adoptive parents to the foreign country for consideration so that children are placed in loving, healthy environments full of opportunity.

Our Team

Joan Strauss, Executive Director

Joan founded the agency in 1999, after working in the adoption field herself. She has had a long career working with children and education. She has a passion for linking children with opportunity. She lives in Denver, CO with her Husband, Henry, and has daughter, who has recently made her a proud Grandma to their first child, a little girl. Joan was born and raised in China, and has spent much time there, as well as many other countries, seeing the need of children living in orphanages first hand. She enjoys spending time with family, going to the theater, traveling, her dog Max, and of course serving children and families through adoption.

Marci Ascherman, Placement Supervisor

Marci has been our Child Placement Supervisor since 2009. She started working in adoption in 2002 when she was the Child Placement Supervisor at another International Adoption agency. Marci also works as a lead social worker at Denver Human Services. She holds a Masters in Social Work from Denver University. She relishes diversity and is grateful to be a part of dedicated staff at IAN. Her hobbies are going to art shows, movies, and thrift stores.

Kathryn Cuddihee, Program Supervisor

Kathryn brings over 10 years of experience in non-profit development, case work, education and social work. She has a passion for serving children and families. She lives in Denver, CO with her husband and two dogs (adopted of course!). She enjoys traveling as much as possible, music, and cooking. She has been able to travel to many parts of the world, and spend time in orphanages, which first turned her heart towards adoption. She has experience as a case worker with IAN for several years, and now enjoys working on the big picture aspects of the agency, and developing our many programs.

Angela Vance, Bulgaria

Angela joined IAN in Spring 2016 working in IAN's Florida branch office. Angela started working in international adoption after obtaining her Master of Social Work degree in May 2005 and has served over 1,000 children and families in her 11+ year career as an international adoption specialist. Her love for adoption led her to being the mother of her beautiful daughter, whom she adopted from Ethiopia in early 2012. In her free time, Angela enjoys church activities and spending time with her daughter. Besides working on the Bulgaria program, Angela is available to assist all IAN Florida clients, including performing home studies and post-adoption/post-placement reports.

Stephanie Siemers - Ethiopia Coordinator and Validation Specialist

Stephanie is married with two sons. She loves Colorado and have lived here the majority of her life. When she is not working, she enjoys snowmobiling, water-skiing, riding quads and hiking with my family. She has worked at International Adoption Net for eight years. She is currently a coordinator for our Ethiopian program as well as the post adoption validation/finalization specialist. She has a bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University. She has a great deal of experience working with children, youth and their families in a variety of capacities. She enjoys helping families through their adoption journey as well as assisting Colorado families in the finalization of their adoption.

Katie Yount- India & Ethiopia Coordinator

At age 15, Katie traveled abroad to work at an orphanage in Kenya, Africa for a month. Her life was truly changed from that experience and She knew she wanted to spend her time and resources helping abandoned and/or orphaned children find a place where they belonged. Traveling is one of her passions. She has been to over 12 countries on 4 different continents. In her free time she plays sand volleyball, hikes in the mountains, longboards and volunteers at her church. She joined IAN in December of 2016 and has already become an invaluable member of our team, quickly learning the different countries adoption process and helping families in all stages.She feels it is an honor to help families grow and be a part of their journey.

Jaycie Giordano- China Coordinator

Jaycie joined IAN in March of 2017. After obtaining a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, she moved to Denver in pursuit of a new adventure. Jaycie has a passion for working with children and advocating on behalf of those who need a permanent, loving family. She is enthusiastic about continuing to grow our China adoption program and to work with families throughout the adoption process. In her free time, Jaycie enjoys exploring the great outdoors and all the exciting activities that Colorado has to offer.

Karla Whelan- China and India Coordinator

Karla has been helping families navigate the international adoption process since 2003. She has traveled internationally, meeting with foreign adoption officials and orphanage directors. She has assisted in the adoptions of over 450 children from various country programs including China, India and Bulgaria. Karla is married with two teenage daughters. In her free time, she can be found on the pool deck officiating YMCA and USA swim meets.

Bob Mardock- India Coordinator

Bob Mardock is under contract with International Adoption Net and serves as IAN India Program Coordinator. He also serves as the co-founder and president of International Family Services, a domestic and international adoption organization that has helped place over 5000 children into US homes. Bob comes with a rich 30-year background in the world of adoption. As a high schooler his parents opened their home to a teen in need of a home and Bob saw the impact an “open heart - open home” had in foster-brother Paul’s life. Later, when Bob met and fell in love with Carol, they decided adoption would be part of their family culture. Six adoptions later, and four biological kids (yes, that’s 10 kids) the Mardocks live a full family life. Bob has been involved in India for over 20 years and has overseen the adoptions of nearly 500 children from India.

Esther Haines, China Program

Esther Haines was born and grew up in China, she came to United States when she was young adult to complete her education in the US. Esther is married to Rev. Todd Haines who is Presbyterian minister and Moderator of Synod of Northeast of Presbyterian Church and they have two beautiful by racial children, Rachel and Jonathan. Esther has been working in the field of China adoption for 20 years, and helped over 600 Chinese children find caring and loving homes. She is called to serve families and children. Esther has across culture understanding between the US and China, working for several years translating and training many professionals involved with China. Her life and professional experiences have made a great contribution to adoptive families and children in the field of China adoption. She believes that adopting a child is journey, it is journey home and journey of love, adoption is a beautiful way to build a family.

Qiliang Zhou (Joe) China Representative & Travel Coordinator

Joe is known as Uncle Zhou. He’s helped over a thousand families to adopt their children from China during the last 22 years. He keeps close contacts with the China adoption officials and orphanages. He accompanies the families to China through their entire adoption process in China, and in the meantime, introducing to them the Chinese culture and traditions. Most importantly, he loves children, and has an admiration for the adoptive families. His hard work and efforts make the adoption trip less stressful and more enjoyable for the families. He feels it is an honor to be involved in the adoptive families’ lives. He likes to play ping-pong, and hopes to soon be showing you around China on your adoption trip!

Brandie Phillips, Adoption Consultant

Brandie joined IAN in April 2017. At a very young age, Brandie knew that she would one day adopt. A few years ago, she and her husband were living the American dream with their three children when God placed it on their hearts to begin the adoption process. They adopted a son from China in 2015 and returned to China 13 months later in 2016 to adopt another son, their “surprise baby.” Now, Brandie is thrilled to devote intentional time to one of her biggest passions—adoption. God wrecked her heart for orphans on her first trip to China, and ever since, she has been educating others about special needs adoption, advocating for waiting children, mentoring families throughout the adoption process, and sharing her family’s adoption experiences. In her free time, she can be found at her kids’ many sporting events. She also enjoys cooking, blogging, and planning social events for China adoptive families.

Hannah, Adminsitrative Assistant

Hannah joined the IAN team in April 2017. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Marketing. She loves outdoor activities especially fishing, volleyball, hiking and snowmobiling - and has recently started skiing. Other passions include reading, baking, and of course spending time with friends and family. Hannah is grateful for the relationships and support given her by a loving family and is excited to help orphaned children find the same richness for their own lives.

Yared G., Ethiopia In- Country Director

Our Board

Henry L Strauss, Chair

Henry Strauss has had a distinguished career in business and government. He is the founder and chairman of Strauss Enterprises a property investment and Management Company. He served as Regional Administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Carter and as Chairman of the Colorado Real Estate Commission under Governor Lamm. In addition he has had extensive international business experience serving on the District Export-Import Council and on the Board of the World Trade Center. We are fortunate to have his insight to organizational operations as part of our team!

Lou Bluestein, Vice Chair

Lou Bluestein is a retired attorney, who worked for Renaissance Technologies Corp., a small money management company in New York. He works extensively with youths, including working in the Denver Juvenile Court as a Deputy State Public Defender, volunteering in Arapahoe High School, coaching middle school girls in volleyball (Gold Crown and the South Metro Volleyball League). He has a true passion for the rights of children, and an advocate for adoption. His legal mind brings a great perspective to the board! He has been a long term, committed member of our agency.

Mimi D. Hu, Board Member, Board Member

Ms. Mimi Hu is an attorney at the law firm of Patton Boggs LLP, one of the top 100 AmLaw firms in the country. Ms. Hu specializes in health care law, assisting nonprofit hospitals with their regulatory compliance issues and representing them in agency appeals and in federal court. Ms. Hu is also a volunteer attorney for the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, serving as guardian ad litem to advocate on behalf of minors in domestic violence disputes. We are thankful for her perspective, again bringing legal insight to our team, and her passion for children!

Julie Segraves, Board Member

Ms. Segraves is Executive Director of the Asian Art Coordinating Council, a prominent Colorado developer of art exchanges between China and the United States. Her professional experience includes work as a lecturer, curator for several art museums and councils, adjunct professor and art appraiser. She has numerous publications and articles to her credit. Ms. Segraves is the mother of a young man whom she adopted when he was an infant. Her perspective as an adoptive parent brings so much to our team, and she is has always been supportive member of the adoption community.

Peggy McKay, Board Member

Ms. McKay has had a thirty-year career as news editor of the Denver Post, Denver’s largest newspaper. She is the adoptive mother of a sixteen-year-old girl who was born in China. She offers insights to IAN on international adoption procedures and problems. Among her affiliations are the Board of Directors of Asian Art Coordinating Council and the Board of Directors of the Colorado China Council. Again we are so thankful to have her support, and her contributions to the team as an adoptive parent.

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