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After four years in the adoption field, Steffany Aye found herself choosing to leave her place of employment as the Child Placement Supervisor for a local adoption agency in order to finish her second master’s degree. (Steffany’s first master’s is in Family Life Education & Consultation and the second master’s is in Social Work). As Steffany was finishing her degree requirements, she began exploring the idea of starting an adoption agency, and Adoption & Beyond became a reality in the Fall of 1998.
Though the agency originated from a small, one-person, home-based office, it eventually outgrew the house and was relocated to Overland Park, Kansas, near 435 and Metcalf. Steffany soon discovered that the agency needed still more space and it was again moved, to the current location at the corner of 162nd Street and Metcalf Avenue.
Adoption & Beyond is a non-profit child placing agency licensed in the states of Kansas and Missouri. It has a board of directors who oversees the operation of the agency, and it is run on a daily basis by its Founder and Director, Steffany Aye, along with the assistance of a wonderful team of adoption professionals.
- The appropriate perspective on adoption views the hopeful adoptive parents as a resource to the expecting parents and their child, not vice versa.
- Adoption is the transfer of parental responsibilities, which preserves the relationship between the birth and adoptive family and features a commitment to lifelong relatedness.
- Children benefit from a continuing connection to their birth family or country of origin. Therefore, the agency will assist birth and adoptive families in their reasonable efforts to stay connected.
- Every form of adoption must center on meeting the needs of the adopted child over the years. Therefore, we believe in the innate goodness of the adults involved and in their ability to put the child’s best interest above their own.
- Both the birth and adoptive family deserve equal respect and courtesy.
- Every participant in adoption experiences pain and loss in their own unique way and this should be recognized and respected.
- The alleged birth father’s full participation in the adoption process is sought whenever possible.
- It’s our professional responsibility to assist clients to reach fully informed decisions. Therefore, we will protect expecting parents from feelings of obligation to place their children for adoption and will support their right to change their minds prior to placement.
- Hopeful adoptive parents have the right to examine and pursue as many avenues of adopting as they can emotionally and financially afford.
- The spirit of candor begins with the adoption professional. Therefore, it is our responsibility to create a climate in which honesty is encouraged and reinforced.
- It is our responsibility to uphold the highest ethical standards in all aspects of the adoption process and to not conceal any information relevant to the adoption process.
- Adoption is a lifelong experience for all involved and Adoption & Beyond must make every effort to remain a resource to everyone throughout the years to come.
- Our efforts are best evaluated in terms of services provided, not numbers of placements made.
We promise to:
- Operate our programs with fiscal integrity.
- Share any significant results, positive and negative, with other professionals in the field.
- Contribute to the public’s understanding of adoption issues.
- Select our affiliations carefully, supporting organizations whose purposes and ethical practices are consistent with ours.
- Recognize that the practice of adoption is dynamic and continually evolving, therefore we are receptive to positive change.
We Are A Licensed Non-Profit Child-Placing Agency in Kansas & Missouri
Kansas Adoption License #36622-4
Kansas Licensing Entity:
Kansas Department for Children and Families
CPA and Residential Facility Division
500 SW Van Buren
P.O. Box 1424
Topeka, KS 66601
Missouri Adoption License #00124113
Missouri Licensing Entity:
Missouri Division of Social Services
Residential Program Unit
615 Howerton Court
P.O. Box 88
Jefferson City, MO 65103-0088
Adoption & Beyond, Inc. does not endorse any particular candidate for public office or corporate sponsor, and Adoption & Beyond, Inc. has no agency relationship with organizations to which it may be linked.
OUR CLIENTS SAY THE NICEST THINGS:
I want to thank you and Shawna for all you have done for us throughout this portion of our journey. I appreciate all you have done for us and helping us get through this crazy time! Thanks again! You all have been so wonderful to work with!
We really enjoyed our workshop with your agency. It’s what we missed when trying to learn about adoption from the Kansas Department of Children and Families. Your adoption education is excellent…
Shawna and Julie have both been fantastic. Shawna was incredibly accommodating in getting this last visit and report wrapped up efficiently so we can expedite getting our court date. I’m grateful to have your team available to us as we continue on this journey.
I LOVED being a part of A & B. While I wish my time following my passion for adoption had been longer lived, I am SO grateful that I was able to follow my dream for even a few short years. You are a very special person and the agency you have created is top notch. You should feel very, very proud! Let’s keep in touch via Facebook and otherwise.
Thank you so much! We are so excited and will reach out with any questions…as you all have been so very helpful through the process.
Trevor and Amanda
…AHH THANK YOU!! You all have been so wonderful to work with!
Jake & Steffeny
Founder and Director
Hi, I’m Steffany Aye. I have been a part of the adoption field since 1993 and found it to be very rewarding. I was introduced to the field of adoption in college while obtaining my first master’s degree in Family Life Education and Consultation. I had always had an interest in unplanned pregnancy and infertility, but it was not until this point that I began to see how it all fit together.
While obtaining my second master’s degree in Social Work, I had the opportunity to also study Hospital and School Social Work. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about these other fields; however, I knew that my heart’s desire was to be involved in adoption. Within a few short months, doors began to open and starting an adoption agency became a reality.
Since 1998, Adoption & Beyond has grown from a small, one-person home-based agency to an agency with several workers covering two states. I am so thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of wonderful birth parents, adoptive families and their children. In addition, I am the proud mother of five children, one having joined our family through adoption.
Steffany A. Aye
In my free time, I love to do all things outdoors including hiking, biking, and camping. I also enjoying reading historical fiction, working on various craft activities, and spending time with friends and family. I am excited to be working here at Adoption & Beyond and look forward to working with you!
REGIONAL ADOPTION TEAM
Hi, my name is Tonya Grauberger, I am a Home Study Caseworker and have been with Adoption & Beyond since 2005.
I live in Topeka, Kansas, and I graduated from Washburn University with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree and later returned to Washburn for my Master of Social Work Degree. I have always had an interest in working with children. I completed my undergraduate internship with Court Appointed Special Advocates, of Shawnee County (CASA).
Unsure of the focus I wanted to pursue in my work with children, I took a job in the field of accounting for five years. I still had a desire to work with families and children, so in the summer of 2004, I began working on my master’s degree. I completed my graduate internship at Adoption & Beyond, where I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with prospective birth parents and prospective adoptive families.
It was through my personal experience as a prospective adoptive mother that my interest in working in the area of adoption grew. My husband and I were blessed with a precious son through adoption in January 2003 and a beautiful daughter in May 2007. I had wonderful adoption experiences, and I knew that I wanted to provide families beginning their adoption journey with similar experiences.
My heart truly is in the field of adoption and the issues that surround families touched by adoption.
St. Louis & Eastern Missouri
Hi, I am Kelly Kiolbasa and I am honored to be an adoption caseworker with Adoption & Beyond!
I attended St. Louis University, graduating there with my Bachelor’s degree in 2018 and Master’s degree in 2019. I currently work at St. Louis Children’s Hospital on the Neuro Oncology service, providing supportive services to families and children with pediatric brain tumors.
I am so humbled and excited to now also support families throughout their adoption journey. On a personal level, adoption has a special place in my heart. My mother adopted my sister due to issues of fertility, and later conceived me through in vitro fertilization. I also have two cherished cousins that were adopted. Adoption and the ability to build and grow beautiful bonds, connections, and families through this process is something that has always been highly valued to me.
When I am not working to support families, in my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, doing yoga, reading, and traveling. I am grateful that my personal and professional experience has led me to Adoption & Beyond and look forward to working with you.
Kelly Kiolbasa, LMSW
Kansas City Metro Area
I joined the Adoption & Beyond team in February 2018. I attended the University of Missouri- Kansas City, where I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology in 2012. After taking a few years off from school I decided to continue my education, and obtained my Master’s in Social Work from the University of Kansas in 2017. During graduate school I completed two internships, each lasting one school year. My first internship was at KVC, where I worked on the re-integration team serving both the children and their biological parents. I completed my second internship at the Salvation Army Children’s Shelter, where I provided case management and therapeutic services to the clients living at the shelter.
I have always been passionate about adoption, and I believe this stems from the way in which I was raised. My family provided foster care for approximately 12 years and adopted my eldest brother during this time. I can’t imagine my life without my brother, or without all of the children that we had the joy of loving over those 12 years. My husband and I are foster parents ourselves! We currently have two sweet girls, one who joined our family through foster care adoption. Read Brittany’s full adoption story here.
I feel honored to work at Adoption & Beyond, and especially honored to play a small part in your adoption story!
Brittany Sheets, LMSW
Wichita, Central and Western Kansas
Hello, my name is Jennifer Jones. With a 5 year break, I am very excited to be back doing home studies with Adoption & Beyond. I graduated from Wichita State University in 2001 and I received my master’s in social work from Newman University in 2008. Professionally, I have a lot of experience in the medical and education field of social work and currently work full time at Newman University in the school of social work. I also work prn at Wesley Hospital in Wichita mainly working in the Women’s and Children’s Hospitals.
In my free time, I love spending time with family and friends. I love to travel, hike 14ers in Colorado and run to take care of myself. I am grateful that my path has led me back to Adoption & Beyond and look forward to working with you.
Kansas City Metro Area
Hi, my name is Kelly Ware and I live in Olathe, Kansas. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 1992. I have worked for the Department for Children and Families, Johnson County Court Services, and am currently a Family Advocate at Sunflower House which is a Child Advocacy Center that serves Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas. When children come for forensic interviews due to allegations of physical or sexual abuse, I provide resources and support to the non-offending caregiver(s). I enjoy working with children and families and am very excited to begin working as an adoption case worker at Adoption & Beyond! The field of adoption has always held a special interest for me as I was adopted as a baby. I have been raised by wonderful parents and have a younger sister who was also adopted. I look forward to working with expecting parents and hopeful adoptive parents.
My husband and I are parents to a daughter and twin sons. I enjoy traveling, watching KU basketball, reading, and bargain shopping. I have been an active member in my Beta Sigma Phi sorority since 1993 where service is a top priority and enjoy spending time with my sorority sisters.
I am thankful for getting the opportunity to work in the field of adoption and am ready to begin this new step in life with you.
Kansas City Metro Area
I was honored to become a part of the Adoption & Beyond team in 2015! I received my bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri in 2014. I completed my internship with Sunflower House in Shawnee, Kansas as a Family Advocate. After graduating, I worked with families in the Head Start Program in the Kansas City, Kansas public school district. I greatly enjoy working with families and look forward to working with Adoption & Beyond’s families.
I have a personal connection to adoption as I was adopted by my father around the age of 13 years old. Some might say that it was an adoption by my stepfather, but he is my dad. I am married and have a young child. I know the joy that comes along with becoming a parent and want to help others experience that joy as well.
In my free time, I like to read, run, spend time with my family, and be outdoors. I am excited to work for Adoption & Beyond and look forward to working with you!
Hi, my name is Shannon Wilson and I live in Springfield, Missouri. I graduated from Evangel University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2000 and from Missouri State University with a master’s degree in Social Work in 2003. I received my clinical social work license in 2007.
I have been working with an agency that facilitates Adoptions and Foster Care since the spring of 2003. I received my clinical social work license in 2007. I enjoy my job, and I enjoy developing relationships with my foster families and investing in the lives of the children that I work with.
I have been working with Adoption & Beyond as one of their Home Study Caseworkers since the fall of 2004 and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many new people. It is so rewarding to be a part of children and adoptive parents coming together and becoming a family. There are so many children that need families, and I love sharing in the process of these families being created. I enjoy working with families from the beginning of the home study process all the way through getting to meet their children during the post-adoptive visits. I believe that God has opened this door for me, and I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of bringing children who need a family to a family that is waiting for them.
I am married and have been blessed to be the mother to two little girls, Reagan and Riley. Both of my jobs allow me the flexibility to stay home with them most of the time. I love being a mom, and I love helping people become parents through adoption.