National Council For Adoption Board Appoints Thomas Atwood President
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Alexandria, VA, December 12, 2002 - The Board of Directors of the National Council For Adoption (NCFA) has appointed Thomas C. Atwood President and CEO of the adoption research, education, and advocacy organization. Board Chairman Robert Parker said of the appointment, "Tom Atwood has the vision to lead NCFA and advocate for the cause of adoption in the crucial years ahead. His many years of managing national public policy nonprofits have prepared him well. His enthusiasm for serving the best interests of children through adoption is contagious."
Founded in 1980, the National Council For Adoption’s mission is to promote the well-being of children, birthparents, and adoptive families by advocating for the positive option of adoption. Atwood joined NCFA in October 2001 as Vice President for Public Policy and Research. Prior to his appointment as President, he served for two months as Interim President. An adoptive father himself, Atwood has served for six years on the Virginia Board of Directors of Bethany Christian Services, one of the largest adoption agencies in America. Of his appointment as NCFA President, Atwood said, "I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission I believe so strongly in, as part of an organization with such a fine record of achievement and so much promise for the future. I have high hopes and great expectations for the benefits that adoption will bring to children, families, and society in the years ahead."
According to Atwood, NCFA’s agenda includes presenting adoption as a positive option for women with unplanned pregnancies; making it easier for children to be adopted out of foster care; facilitating intercountry adoptions; promoting putative father registries and Safe Havens; reducing obstacles to transracial adoption; preserving the option of privacy in adoption; and making adoption more affordable. NCFA conducts a federally funded national training program for health workers and pregnancy counselors that instructs them in the adoption process and prepares them to counsel women with unplanned pregnancies about the adoption option.
One of Atwood’s initial achievements as President was to direct NCFA’s annual Kids at Heart festival on November 24 in New York City, to kick off National Adoption Week. Over 260 children and family members from adoptive families spent the afternoon celebrating adoption. Nearly one half of the guests were from families who had just finalized their adoptions out of foster care on National Adoption Day, the day before.
During his 17 years of directing national research, education, and advocacy nonprofits, Atwood has supervised wide-ranging functions, including government and media relations; research, publications, and communications; and administration, development, and strategic planning. His longest service was 11 years with The Heritage Foundation, where he was Director of Coalition Relations and Executive Editor of Policy Review. He was Vice President of Policy and Programs for Family Research Council and served on the Boards of Directors of State Policy Network and the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.
Since 1980, the NCFA has been a leading voice among national child adoption and welfare organizations. NCFA is a research, education, and advocacy nonprofit that provides adoption information, promotes ethical adoption practices, works to shape public policy and legislation regarding adoption issues, and serves as a continuing resource to women with unplanned pregnancies, adoptive families, and those seeking to adopt.