Latin American Parents Association (LAPA)

Mission Statement:

Latin America Parents Association (LAPA) is a not-for-profit organization registered in the State of New York. LAPA is not an adoption agency. It is an all-volunteer organization of families who have adopted or who are in the process of adopting children from Latin America.

Our mission is to provide accurate and timely information as well as support before, during, and after the adoption process.

To accomplish our mission, we make accessible to our members:

A frequently updated Adoption Source Kit containing current information about sources and conditions within Latin America
Networking with families involved in all phases of the adoption process
Invitations to social, cultural, and educational events and
Participation in international relief programs throughout Latin America.
LAPA donates more than eighty percent of the monies collected through membership dues and adoption information source kits to child-caring institutions in Latin America.

Meet the LAPA Board:

Brian Mulligan (President) and Maria Giuliani (Que Tal Editor)

We first heard about LAPA through the agency we were using in the fall of 2000 when adopting our son John from Guatemala. We joined in order to get the latest information and to meet other families of adopted children. The first event we attended was Latin Culture Night in May 2001 when John was very graciously welcomed home and Maria and I were welcomed into LAPA. We found everyone to be very friendly and caring and thought it was a great opportunity for the children to get to know others like them and so we kept coming to the functions.

We were recently asked to become board members. Maria is a professor of Graphic Design at New York City Technical College in Brooklyn. I work for a non-profit organization called Central American Legal Assistance, which represents mostly Salvadoran and Guatemalan asylum seekers. We are now in the process of adopting another baby boy (his name is Jose, 3 months old -- we went to Guatemala to see him last weekend!). We hope to be returning soon to bring him back for good.

Joe Tartaglia, Past President, Vice President

Thanks to Josephine Maggiore, Judy and I found and joined LAPA in March 1990 after a very disappointing experience with Spence Chapin. With the help of LAPA and Joel Greenberg, our adoption attorney, we brought home 2.5 year old Christian and 7 month old Joe from Colombia on Memorial Day weekend, 1991. (See photo at top of LAPA home page for details.) Judy and I helped out at events since we joined LAPA, served on the board as corresponding secretaries and advisors, and still maintain and host the LAPA web site.

I started my professional life as a Naval Architect (ship designer). While I am still a Professional Engineer, I now own my own computer services business in Manhattan and spend my day creating web sites, programming and fixing computers. Judy was a librarian by trade and a homemaker by choice. She passed away in July, 2004.

If it wasn't for the help and encouragement LAPA provided, the beautiful family we are now a part of would not exist. We owe a life long debt to LAPA. Serving on LAPA's board and helping out in any way we can was just our way of giving something back. Judy and I both knew that it would take a lifetime to give back what we got.


Kathy Healy Frosina, Treasurer

Lorraine Lepler, Recording Secretary


Andrea Quatrale, Past President, Trustee

We joined LAPA in the beginning of 1999 because we were thinking about adopting from Latin America and wanted to come to a workshop. We did attend a workshop led by Joan Giurdanella and Florence Abate and found the source that would lead us to our son. To this day we feel such gratitude for LAPA because it not only opened up a world to us, but gave us the encouragement and support we needed to take the next step. Andrea joined the board in 2000 as a trustee and John came on board this year and together we share the position of corresponding secretary. Any mailing you receive from LAPA will have been stamped and sealed at our kitchen table.

In August of 1999 we began the INS paperwork and decided to adopt from C.R.A.N. in Bogota, Colombia. By October 1999 we got our approval and at the end of November 1999 we got THE CALL. So much for international adoptions taking years and years! Our son, John Felipe, was born on November 1,1999 and we were united on January 12, 2001. We all lived together for 5 wonderful weeks in Bogota, Colombia, the most incredible life changing journey we had ever experienced. Because of our association with LAPA, we were given names of several families who had made the trip to Bogota. We received the best advice from what to pack, to where to eat, to what it would feel like to hug our son for the first time. Each piece of advice was a treasured gem of information.

Aside from raising our growing family which now also includes our daughter Anna (6 months old), John works at Verizon (please no calls to get your phone fixed!) in their Environmental Department and Andrea is a psychotherapist in private practice.

Volunteering on the LAPA Board is just one small way we can say thank you for all that we have received. It is our privilege to be part of LAPA families past, present and future.

Mary L., Treasurer

My husband and I adopted our beautiful daughter from Colombia. She is just turning 4 years old and is a delightful, active, and outgoing little girl. Our journey started in August of 1998, when we made our first of two trips to Medellin, Colombia. We returned in November and brought our 5 month old baby girl home. Between working full time and raising a 4 year old, life is certainly hectic, but also very full.

We learned of LAPA through a variety of sources, including other adoptive parents and adoption literature. We were hoping that LAPA would offer us the opportunity to meet other families who shared similar experiences with us. We have attended several functions, including the Rocking Horse Ranch weekend and are looking forward to attending future functions and to working with the LAPA community.

Epy Scrivano, Past President, Trustee

Giulio and I joined LAPA in September 1989. I joined the Board in 1990 and served as president from 1994 to 1996. Our children were born in Bogota, Colombia (CRAN). They were 4 months and 10 months old, respectively, when we brought them home and are 10 and 2 this year.

In addition to raising our two boys, my husband and I work outside the home. My husband works in the steel industry, I work in physical therapy. We also have a home-based business, and are active in our church, as well as LAPA. I would add that serving the organization keeps us in touch with the newly formed families and causes us to relive our own feelings of excitement and anticipation, as we crossed the bridge that is LAPA into the world of adoption and prepared to meet our children.

Joan Giurdanella, Past President, International Adoptions Director, Trustee

Jean-Pascal, age 11, adopted as an infant from Mexico;
Lucy Noëlle, age 3, adopted as a toddler from Bolivia

We first found out about LAPA when we went to a LAPA workshop run by Ermine Bennette and Cheryl Simons at the APC Conference in Westchester in November 1990. We participated in a LAPA workshop in Hollis and heard Joe and Judy Tartaglia talk about their soon-to-be sons from Colombia. We adopted our son, Jean-Pascal, from Mexico as an infant in April 1991. His first LAPA event was the Halloween party in Brooklyn in 1991. He was Tarzan. From that point on, we hardly missed a LAPA event. Joan joined the board as corresponding secretary in 1994, but Chris and Jean-Pascal always came to the board meetings at Josephine Maggiore's house. We became the International Adoptions Directors in 1996 and played that role until 1998 when we became Co-Presidents. We adopted our daughter, Lucy Noëlle, from Bolivia as a toddler in July 2000. In 2002, we resumed being International Adoptions Directors, a role we enjoy immensely. Chris is a sales representative for Shred-it and Joan is a free-lance researcher and editor.

"What impressed us about LAPA was how comfortable we felt right from the beginning. We felt at home. Now LAPA is a part of our extended family. So many close friendships have formed over the years. We feel like godparents to the children whose parents we helped on their adoption journey. LAPA isn't just about building a family through adoption, it's about being a family! Though we have recently moved to Glen Ridge, New Jersey, we wouldn't miss spending time with our LAPA family!"

Dorothy Marks, Trustee

Theresa Lacey Mackay, Trustee

Non-Voting Members

Mary Liljehult, Board Meeting Coordinator and Advisor

Miriam Clark and Steven Goulden, Legal Advisors

Ermine Bennette, Historian

Josephine Maggiore, Nominating Committee Chair

Barbara Spiridon, Advisor

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P.O. Box 339-340
brooklyn, New York
United States
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