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About Small World Adoption Foundation of Missouri, Inc.


About Small World Adoption Foundation of Missouri, Inc.

The Executive Director and her late husband are the founding physicians. They initially incorporated to provide relief to orphanages in the cities in which they were raised. From their desire to provide relief to the orphanages grew the international adoption aspect of the organization.

The first four SWAF children came to the U.S. in 1993. In January of 1994, SWAF began full-scale facilitation of Eastern European adoptions. Since those first four children, SWAF has helped over 2,100 orphaned children to find loving families in the U.S. and abroad from the countries of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Vietnam. The Executive Director is a founder of the organization and a licensed pediatrician. The Executive Director has personal relationships with many of the orphanage directors and travels to meet children and do follow up on relief efforts several times annually. The entire SWAF staff works hard to provide waiting families with the tools, support, and expertise to assist them in experiencing the most positive adoption experience possible.

Our Staff

The Small World staff is led by the

Yelena Kogan,

M.D., Executive Director. Yelena and her late husband Dr

. Slava Platonov

are founders of Small World Adoption Foundation. Yelena is eager to meet with every client and to share with them her passion for international adoption. Yelena continues to travel abroad several times each year in order to maintain our strong professional relationships with foreign authorities and orphanages. She is a qualified physician who reviews all potentially adoptive children's health to assess their appropriateness for adoption. Yelena is committed to the children, the families, and the agency. Out of her love for these children came the foundation of SWAF and the mission to continue such humanitarian work for children and families.

Case Manager:

Katia Johnson


Katia Johnson is not only a Case Manager, she is our Foreign Country Liaison. Katia has a Masters of Arts in Education degree as well as a Masters of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree and certified in Family Counseling. Katia is from St. Petersburg, Russia and was formally employed at the Adoption Center in St. Petersburg, Russia. She also provides in-office translation and brings to SWAF a true understanding of the inner workings of the adoption system and culture in Russia.

Ukraine Director,

Serge Zevlever

Serge Zevlever is our Director of Ukraine Program. Serge has assisted hundreds of SWAF families since 1997. Serge is very knowledgeable of the country, the laws, and international adoption processes. When a family chooses to adopt from Ukraine, domestic SWAF staff assists you through your home study process. Then, families work directly with Serge and his foreign country staff in dossier preparation and travel. When in Ukraine, families have 24/7 availability to contact Serge and/or his staff.

Small World Says Goodbye to our Good Friend and Founder

Small World Adoption Foundation fondly remembers and pays tribute to one of our founders,

Dr. Viacheslav “Slava” Platonov

. Slava suddenly passed away on September 15, 2009. Slava was not only our Executive Director, but our leader and our friend. He devoted his life to saving orphan children from Russia and Ukraine, as well as creating families all around the world. It was out of his insight and genuine love for the children that he and his wife, Dr. Yelena Kogan (current Executive Director of the Foreign Country), founded Small World Adoption Foundation of Missouri back in 1992. Since then, SWAF has brought home over 2,100 children from Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

Slava was a special man in so many ways. Even though he was a successful business owner and anesthesiologist, he always put Small World first. For 10 out of the 17 years of the Foundation, Slava worked without a salary as our Executive Director, and not a day went by that he did not conduct some sort of Small World business to ultimately benefit another Small World family.

Slava touched so many people and so many families with his warm heart, genuine love for the children, extensive knowledge, and true celebration each time a child came home. His death was a tremendous loss to all of us who knew him, both professionally and personally. Although we still continue to grieve the loss of this wonderful man, the staff at Small World are committed to keep his legacy alive and to continue to unite children and families through international adoption. Slava’s last wishes were “to please keep SWAF alive” and that is exactly what we all intend to do. Thank you Slava, for your teachings, for your kindness, and for your true dedication to our mission of saving children, uniting, families, and taking care of the orphans left behind. May you rest in peace and know that you were loved and respected by so many people around the world.

The Small World staff remains very dedicated to the mission of helping orphaned children, while assisting the adoptive parents to have the best possible adoption experience.

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2013 Mar 10