We had the good fortune of connecting with Irene Riley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Irene, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success in adoption has been the honesty I have in my relationship with expected parents and adoptive parents. I am in a field where adoptions can be high stress and emotional for all involved. It’s important to be empathetic to their needs but sincerity builds trust between the adopted triad and can usually always solve a problem that arises. Being straightforward/honest allows expected parents and adoptive parents to get to know and understand each other. In all my advice, and I do give a lot, it boils down to honesty in your interactions. This guides the adoption process to be successful creating a healthy relationship for all involved.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am proud of the families I have created through adoption and excited to continue to build relationships with expectant parents and adoptive parents as we continue to grow in this field. It was easy to move from being a foster parent to an adoption coordinator because of the experience I gained hearing stories from parents whose children I was caring for and the belief that adoption was a better alternative to foster care. I’ve learned that while many of our adoptive families and birth parents have similar stories, each needs to be guided with a hands approach that meets their needs. After over 30 years, I am still dedicated to my expectant moms and adoptive parents as I was when I first started. This is my passion!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It would start out with breakfast at Sugar Shack in Huntington Beach and walking our famous pier and enjoying the beach. From there I would take them to Orange Circle to check out the antique stores and probably go to the Anaheim Packing district for lunch since there is so much to choose from. Long Beach would be next on the list because you can’t come here without going to Domenico’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All the adoption providers (lawyers, adoption service providers, agencies) that we network with that deserve a shoutout. These are people that continue to provide support and knowledge as we alwork in a very challenging field. We provide continuous support for each other. My family also deserves a lot of credit. They have supported me and been patient with the dedication this career requires.