I am a licensed master social worker, a therapist, an author, a speaker, and a teacher. I teach social work, sociology, and psychology for several colleges. And I am an experienced field supervisor for BSW and MSW students. I am the founder of Lost Daughters and am co-founder and co-owner of a new project called Roots Incorporated.
I have a BSW in social work from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and an MSS in clinical social work from the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College. I am licensed to practice social work in the state of Pennsylvania.
My work background includes nursing home social services, hospice, and community poverty. I spent a year training extensively and exclusively in post-adoption support with a clinical supervisor with over 30 years experience.
I worked as a behavior specialist and mobile therapist which involves studying a child’s behavior wherever they go and developing strategies to reduce their risk of being removed from their home, school, or community settings. I worked for several years as a psychotherapist in a psychiatry clinic with all mental health diagnoses across the lifespan, serving individuals, children, and families.
My work has always intersected heavily with the child welfare system and juvenile justice system. I have coordinated and participated in large interdisceplinary teams on behalf of adults and children which include teachers, guidance counselors, doctors, OT/PT/SLP, facilities, domestic violence, and court systems.
Currently, I teach sociology, psychology, and social work in traditional college settings. And, I teach psychology and sociology in multiple high schools for students that are eligible for college credit. I provide virtual consultations and mentorship worldwide to teen and adult adoptees, first parents, adoptive parents, child-serving agencies, professionals, students in helping professions, and individuals/couples who are considering placing a child for adoption or adopting a child.
My clients work with me on a range of needs which include (but are not limited to) healthy boundaries, navigating open adoption, second opinion on ethics and practice in adoption, parent-child communication, building a self-regarding identity, maintaining privacy in a digital age, reunions, starting grassroots movements, writing, sibling relationships, mental health diagnosis, integrating adoption discussion in the family, managing parent-child-sibling differences, parent self-esteem and confidence, and more.
I have written, edited, or contributed to one dozen books on the topics of adoption and child welfare. I have appeared as a commentator on popular outlets such as Fox News, WITF radio, and the Kojo Nnamdi Show. I have served as an expert witness to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Children and Youth Committee. I have worked on and helped support multiple pieces of adoption legislation across the country – particularly in Pennsylvania where I founded Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights.
I have appeared as a commentator on Fox News, WITF radio, and the Kojo Nnamdi Show (an NPR-member station). My writing and presentations have reached broad audiences through multiple books, magazines, major news and radio interviews, and conferences, and I have engaged with legislators at the state and congressional levels on adoption policy. I regularly speak at conferences across the country, and host a new podcast on all things related to adoption, The Declassified Adoptee: Living Out Loud. You can also find me at my YouTube channel.
I was born and surrendered to adoption in 1985. After a brief stay in foster care, I was placed with my adoptive parents and legally adopted in 1986 through the largest private adoption agency in the United States. I became “declassified” when I unsealed my original birth certificate and adoption file in 2009. I reunited with my original mother and other members of my original families in 2010. I have two grandparents who were also adopted as young children and multiple other adoption connections through my families by birth, marriage, and adoption.
In February of 2020, my adoptive mother was killed in a car accident. I started this blog in 2009 to find my original family. I continue this blog to find myself. And I do so with great respect towards both of my mothers and with deep affection for my late adoptive mother’s memory.
I am the wife of a DCFEMS ranking officer and the mother of two boys. We have four cats named Bowlby, Bowen, Ainsworth, and Dexter. And we have two dogs named Maggie and Maslow. I’d tell you more about my pet tarantulas, but I understand that they sometimes creep people out!
“Pragmatic, powerful insights once again from Amanda H .L. Transue-Woolston. An adult adoptee, Amanda is going to rock the world of social work in the years ahead, and that will be a gift for all of us connected in adoption.”Maureen McCauley Evans, M.A. Former executive director of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, The Barker Foundation (interim), and Children’s Home Society and Family Services-East; adoption writer/activist at lightofdaystories.wordpress.com.