Each year, the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) presents a number of awards in appreciation of its Fellows and/or to honor those outside AAAA who have had a significant impact in the area of adoption and/or assisted reproductive technology. This page describes those awards and recognizes their past recipients.
The President’s Award is presented annually at the sole discretion of the President to a Fellow whose contributions throughout the years demonstrate an unwavering dedication and commitment to the betterment of AAAA. It recognizes and honors that individual’s active engagement and support of AAAA’s purpose, expresses the gratitude of the membership for such efforts, and serves as an inspiration to other Fellows to employ their skills and passion to advance adoption and assisted reproductive technology law through active participation in AAAA. Unlike other awards, the President's award is focused internally on contributions to AAAA rather than on contributions to adoption or assisted reproductive technology law.
President’s Award Recipients include:
Mark McDermott (2002)
Herb Brail (2003 & 2012)
Irene Steffas (2004)
John Greene (2006 & 2014)
Mike Voorhees/Kaye McLeod (2007 & 2008)
Bill Rosen (2009)
Group "Thank You" (2010)
Laurie Goldheim (2013)
Theresa Roetter (2015)
Jennifer Fairfax (2016)
Margaret Swain (2017)
Colleen Quinn/Emily Dudak Leiter (2018)
Jenny Womack (2019)
Debra Guston (2020)
Amy Silberberg Award
The Amy Silberberg Award was established in 2004 in honor of deceased Fellow Amy Silberberg to recognize the unique contributions of AAAA members to the adoption of special needs and foster children. Amy was an enthusiastic, tireless crusader for adoptive children and their families. An adoptee and adoptive parent herself, she worked as an adoption professional and had a special concern for waiting and special needs children. She organized workshops to encourage others to assist special needs families, and she wrote and lectured on a variety of adoption issues. Amy's enthusiasm was contagious. She created synergy and light. Amy, by her presence, her energy, and her ideas, made this a better world.
This award is not presented annually, but only when a Fellow's extraordinary efforts in this field compel AAAA to recognize the individual.
Amy Silberberg Award Recipients include:
Susan Garner Eisenman (2007)
Seth Grob (2008)
Mark Demaray (2013)
Jeanne Tate (2014)
Susan Stockham (2015)
Sherry Neal (2017)
Mary Landrieu SAKA ("Supporter of Adoption Through Knowledge and Action") Award
The Mary Landrieu Supporter of Adoption Through Knowledge and Action Award was named for the Senator and first award recipient in 2014. This award is conferred at the direction of AAAA’s President to carefully selected recipients who have championed adoption at a national and/or international level. The engraving on the award reads: "For your Leadership, Dedication and Vision To Improve the Lives of Children and Families Throughout the World."
Mary Landrieu SAKA Award Recipients include:
Senator Mary Landrieu (2014)
Karen Law (2015)
Denise Bierly (2017)
National Center for Lesbian Rights (2018)
Amelia Demma, Laurie Goldheim, Rebecca Mendel,
Nina Rumbold, and Denise Seidelman (2019)
Judith Sperling-Newton Advocacy in ART Award
The Judith Sperling-Newton Advocacy in ART Award was named in honor of Judy Sperling-Newton who was the award's first recipient in 2020. This award is conferred at the direction of AAAA’s President in recognition of a Fellow who has significantly contributed to the practice of ART Law. The inscription on the award reads: "In Recognition of Your Compassion, Integrity, and Advocacy in the Course of Achievement in ART Law."
Judith Sperling-Newton Advocacy in ART Award Recipients include:
Judith Sperling-Newton (2020)
Fellow of Distinction Award
The Fellow of Distinction Award was established in 2015 and is presented to any Fellow who has distinguished himself or herself in the areas of adoption and/or assisted reproductive technology law. Unlike the President’s Award, the Amy Silberberg Award, and the Mary Landrieu SAKA Award, and the Judith Sperling-Newton Advocacy in ART Award, recipients of this award are typically nominated by their colleagues. Award recipients are chosen by the Awards Committee after all nominations are reviewed.
Fellow of Distinction Award Recipients include:
Philip “Jay” McCarthy (2015)
Irene Steffas (2016)
Herb Brail (2017)
James Fletcher Thompson (2018)
James B. Outman (2019)
Stephen Hayes (2020)
Susan Paquet Mentoring Award
The Susan Paquet Mentoring Award was also established in 2015 and is awarded to any Fellow who has been a mentor to others in the areas of adoption and/or assisted reproductive technology law and has made a significant impact on his or her mentee. Similar to the Fellow of Distinction Award, recipients of this award are typically nominated by their colleagues or their mentees. Award recipients are chosen by the Awards Committee after all nominations are reviewed.
This award was formerly named the Mentor Who Made A Difference Award but was renamed in 2019 in honor of Fellow Susan Paquet who was a mentor to many during her lifetime. She passed away in 2018. Thank you, Susan, for your example.
Susan Paquet Mentoring Award Award Recipients include:
Susan Garner Eisenman (2015)
Mary Beck (2015)
Susan Paquet (2016)
Larry Jenkins (2017)
Brinton Wright (2018)
Rita Meiser (2019)
Ruth Claiborne (2020)
Unsung Hero Award
The Unsung Hero Award began in 2016 and was created to recognize Fellows who have been consistently, but perhaps quietly, doing something for AAAA. Recipients of the Unsung Hero Award are nominated by their colleagues and are chosen by the Awards Committee after all nominations are reviewed.
Unsung Hero Award Recipients include:
Dale Dove (2016)
Ted Youmans (2017)
Greg Franklin (2018)
Albert Lirhus (2019)
Brent Ellsworth/Maria-Alana Recine (2020)
Angels in Adoption
Each year, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) sponsors Angels in Adoption™, an awards ceremony that is their signature adoption public awareness program. Those chosen to become Angels in Adoption have made extraordinary contributions on behalf of children in need of permanent homes. AAAA is proud to have had many Fellows honored as Angels over the years.
CCAI Angels in Adoption Award Recipients include:
Monica Farris Linkner
Susan Garner Eisenman
Kathleen Hogan Morrison
Mary Ann Scherer
Mary Ann Petrillo
Allison Foster Davis
Donald W. Francis, Jr.
Anne Reynolds Copps
Hon. Susan Fowler