FAC 2021 Annual Event
The 2021 Florida Adoption Council annual conference will be virtual this year. The conference will have the the most up to date and relevant education on adoption for both lawyers and social workers. This multi-day event provides the opportunity to obtain a large amount of CLE/CEU credit at one time. Members and non-members alike may register for the conference. Sessions are available to assist the newest worker in the adoption area up to experienced professionals seeking advanced training. This years add-on classes range from Adoption 101 and Adoption Litigation topics. The conference will offer networking opportunities and vendor showcase with adoption related products and services. All sessions will be recorded and made available to everyone who is registered for the conference.
FLORIDA ADOPTION COUNCIL
Adoption is entirely state law, so Florida licensed attorneys who are members are FAC can provide legal advice regarding Florida’s adoption… Read more.
Some FAC members work in the field of adoption but are not licensed attorneys or agencies. They may be licensed social workers, mental… Read more.
Agencies licensed by the State of Florida to provide adoption services may also be members of FAC. Agencies may provide home study services… Read more.
FEATURED BLOG ARTICLES
Many Florida families are growing thru something called an intervention. There is a time between when a child has been removed from their home and before parental rights have been terminated that an intervention can occur.
November is here, bringing with it the anticipation of Thanksgiving as well as the observance of National Adoption Month. Americans learn about the history of Thanksgiving in school and are familiar with its observance in their homes. But what do they know about National Adoption Month? Take this quiz to see what you may not know (but should) about this important observance in November.
Chicago’s wildly popular 1970 song “Colour My World” had the singer’s world colored by “the hope of loving you.”
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Elizabeth R. Berkowitz, Esq.
President, Board of Directors
Elizabeth R. Berkowitz, Esquire is an attorney with an extensive and exclusive practice in the area of adoption law... Read more.
Madonna M. Finney
Legislative Chair, Board of Directors
MADONNA is a Florida Board Certified Adoption Attorney who limits her practice to adoption law. She is a... Read more.
Board Member at Large
Tammi is a Florida Board Certified Adoption Attorney who limits her practice to adoption law. She is a... Read more.
Robert L. Webster III, Esq.
Vice President, Board of Directors
Rob is a board-certified adoption attorney with Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. Rob’s practice focuses almost solely on...Read more.
Alice H. Murray, Esq.
Secretary, Board of Directors
Alice H. Murray has been handling domestic, non-relative infant adoptive placements for over 30 years as an attorney... Read more.
Board Member at Large
Mark Livings is theCEO and Founder CAIRS SOLUTIONS LLC / CAIRS SOLUTIONS PVT. INDIA, Mark is a seasoned IT executive with a strong strategy and technical orientation. He demonstrated... Read more.
Treasurer, Board of Directors
Steve Price is a past president of the Florida Adoption Council and currently the board treasurer. Read more.
Board Member at Large
Ellen Kaplan has been a practicing attorney since 1991 and is a member in good standing with the Florida Bar. Read more.
President on the Board of Directors
Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Elizabeth R. Berkowitz
Elizabeth R. Berkowitz, Esquire is an attorney with an extensive and exclusive practice in the area of adoption law, based in Palm Beach County, Florida. Besides her duties as the President, Ms. Berkowitz is the committee head chair for the Mentoring Committee and sits on the Legislative Committee. Her memberships include the Palm Beach County Bar Association, Cuban Bar Association, Florida Association of Woman Lawyers, Craig S. Barnard Inns of Court and The Federalist Society. She is certified as a Guardian Ad Litem and a certified Justice Teacher for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. She was admitted to the Federal Bar which allows her to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Berkowitz was honored in 2011 as Woman of the Year for the National Association of Professional Women. She was also awarded the Adoption Star Award in 2019 by the Florida Adoption Council.
Ms. Berkowitz owns her own practice and provides representation to adoptive families in domestic private placement adoptions. Her practice is dedicated to adoption of children of all ages. She also provides representation in step-parent adoptions, relative adoptions, adoptions that involve intervention in the dependency jurisdiction, and contested adoption litigation. She has been honored to be the keynote speaker at several hospitals, pregnancy clinics, health departments and organizations. Ms. Berkowitz has been the keynote speaker for multiple adoption courses offered throughout the state of Florida to adoption professionals. She has been involved on a legislative level by assisting with revisions of the Florida Adoption Statute in 2018.
Ms. Berkowitz earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence from St. Thomas University. Her undergraduate studies were at Michigan State University, earning a B.S. in International Relations. Ms. Berkowitz is very involved in her community and proactive in servicing organizations that promote permanency and stability for children. Ms. Berkowitz is married and has two sons. Her family is her greatest accomplishment.
Alice H. Murray has been handling domestic, non-relative infant adoptive placements for over 30 years as an attorney at The Adoption Center. A longtime active member of the Florida Adoption Council, Alice has worked to organize educational programs and obtain CLE credits for them. Currently Alice holds the position of Secretary on FAC’s Board of Directors.
Ms. Murray received her undergraduate degree from and completed her first year of law school at the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!!) She completed her J.D. at the University of Dayton after her husband’s military orders required a move to Ohio. After a stint at a large law firm in Dayton doing business and litigation work, Alice moved to the Florida Panhandle when her husband received orders to Eglin Air Force Base. There she met attorney Rob Harrell, the “boy attorney” at The Adoption Center, and embarked on a challenging and fulfilling practice concentrated on adoption.
Adoption impacts Alice’s personal life as well as her professional life. She has a nephew adopted domestically from Florida and a niece adopted internationally from China. Alice combines her love for adoption with her passion for writing. She is a staff writer for adoption.com where she has articles published regularly. Although she does not handle international adoptions, Alice cares about children needing a forever home wherever they are located. She is an officer and a founding director of Hope Global Initiative, a faith-based non- profit organization which advocates for the needy members of our global family, particularly children in
Mark Livings is a seasoned IT executive with a strong strategy and technical orientation. He demonstrated global expertise in strategy and operations. Mark has been involved with several successful startups in the Financial Services, IT Services, and Child Adoption, and Digital Marketing industries. Mark has been on the executive team responsible for the successful IPO of a Global Consulting organization. Mark is an adoptive father of two boys.
Mark's prior experience includes serving as CIO/CTO for PMSI responsible for PMSI's Worker Comp systems; Vice President, E-Business for Tech Data, responsible for executing Tech Data's e-business strategy; Vice President of Cash Access at Fidelity National Information Services; Vice President of Global Information Systems at ASAP Software/License Technologies Group; Chief Information and Technology Officer for Kanbay, a global IT services firm; and other IT positions at CitiCorp, Sara Lee Corporation, and The Quaker Oats Company.
Mark has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Ball State University.
Ellen Kaplan has been a practicing attorney since 1991 and is a member in good standing with the Florida Bar. Ms. Kaplan is an expert in the field of adoption law and is currently chairs the Florida Bar Board Certification Committee on Adoption Law. She is also a fellow of the prestigious Quad A (Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Attorneys) and sits as a board member of the Florida Adoption Council.
In private practice, Ms. Kaplan serves as an adoption intermediary helping families to match with hopeful adoptive parents and serves as the adoption entity representing hopeful adoptive parents throughout the private placement domestic adoption proceedings. Her adoption services include domestic private placement adoptions (newborns, infants, toddlers, older children, siblings, multiples), step-parent and relative adoptions, adult adoptions, individual birth mother representation, domestication of foreign judgments of adoption, litigation of contested adoption, Department of Children and Families (DCF) interventions, and agency and intermediary legal defense representation.
In addition to being an attorney, Ms. Kaplan is also a registered nurse who has worked extensively in the field of labor and delivery.
Stephen H. Price ("Steve") joined his friend Charles W. Cramer to found the firm in 1997, and supports business and individual clients in both litigation and transactional matters. Because he also holds a license as a Real Estate Broker and is a former Mortgage Broker, he understands the often complex needs of business clients.
Mr. Price works closely with owners of family-operated businesses, and understands their periodic need for rapid response and aggressive representation, as well as diligence and creativity in day-to-day matters.
With a major personal and professional commitment in the area of adoption, Steve takes deep pride in helping families and adoptive children come together to create happier and more fulfilled lives.
For his agricultural and family-owned business clients, Mr. Price brings both a personal family background and extensive education. Mr. Price's family has long been part of the agricultural backbone of Florida, which led him to earn a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Florida prior to earning his law degree.
Mr. Price is married with three sons. He and his family are active members of the First Baptist Church/Orlando, where he serves in the church's college ministry. He also serves on the Board of Directors for House of Hope, Global Church Alliance and First Baptist Church/Orlando Budget Planning and Personnel Committees. In his free time Steve enjoys hunting, water sports, and other outdoor activities.
Areas of Practice
- Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant and Consumer Protection
- Personal and Business Debt Collection
- Commercial Litigation
- Corporate Transactions
- Real Estate
Angela Quick, MPA is the Executive Director of Adoption & Family Support Center, LLC. The Center, with locations in Volusia and Orange Counties, has been serving the adoption needs of Floridians since 1992. This Licensed Child Placing Agency’s mission is to encourage an environment of trust and respect in which each member of the adoption triad can define their journey and fulfill their adoption goals. In this position she has participated in excess of 2000 adoptions, partnering with over 90 different agencies and private attorneys throughout the world.
Ms. Quick has been a Board Member of the Florida Adoption Council for over 10 years. She is a Certified Adoption Mental Health Professional, through the Rutgers University School of Social Work, as well as a Certified Child Custody and Family Assessment Evaluator through the Nova Southeastern University Center for Psychological Studies. Ms. Quick is also a Certified Family Mediator and Expert Witness in matters including adoption and custody in the State of Florida.
She began her career in social work with the Department of Children and Families in 1988. Ms. Quick provided MAPP, pre-placement training and was a Child Protective Investigator. It was during this time that Ms. Quick developed a deep respect for the families that she served. This lead her to establish one of the only active birth parent support groups in the state of Florida, Placement From the Heart. It is through this support group that Ms. Quick is able to honor the courageous and often selfless birth parents who are its members.
Rob is a board-certified adoption attorney with Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. Rob’s practice focuses almost solely on litigation & appeals arising from contested adoptions, and includes the representation of adoption agencies and other adoption attorneys in termination of parental rights proceedings and DCF interventions. Rob has also filed briefs in each district court of appeal in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court.
Rob received a B.A. degree in Government & World Affairs with a minor in Law & Justice from the University of Tampa, where he graduated magna cum laude and first in his major. Rob was also selected by the Faculty Honors Committee to study European Union Law and The Intelligence Services at New College, Oxford University for the Hilary Term, where he earned the U.S. equivalent of a 4.0 GPA. Rob then received his J.D. with an emphasis in Advocacy and Dispute Resolution from the Chapman University School of Law in Orange County, California, where he was an executive member of the Moot Court Board and won an ABA Moot Court Regional Championship, eventually placing in the top ten nationwide. Rob received book awards in Trial Advocacy and the Appellate Law Clinic and was also the first law student in school history to argue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as part of a pro bono clinic.
Rob is on the Board of Directors for the Florida Adoption Council (FAC) and in October 2015, was elected as Vice-President of the organization. Rob also chairs the FAC's Amicus Brief Committee. Rob became board-certified in adoption law in 2016, and was subsequently appointed to serve on the Adoption Law Certification Committee through June 2021. Rob enjoys hockey and bourbon, and he and his wife Chelsea are the parents to a dog named Woodford and an 21 month old honorary FAC board member named Rip (a/k/a Robert L Webster IV).
Board Certified in adoption law by The Florida Bar and a Fellow of the prestigious Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys.