I am an author, speaker, and psychotherapist with a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in social work. I currently work as a Behavior Specialist Consultant and Mobile Therapist with children who have an Axis I diagnosis, along with their families and surrounding support systems, in a program designed to prevent children from needing higher levels of care, such as placement outside of the home.
I have been writing about adoption for over five years. I have served the adoption and foster care community through individual and family clinical work, group work, writing and presenting, and working for positive policy change. 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 founded Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights and Lost Daughters and co-facilitate an adoption support group for anyone connected to adoption, and I am a regular contributor to Gazillion Voices Magazine and Social Work Helper, and am perhaps best known for my internationally recognized, award-winning adoption blog, The Declassified Adoptee.
By the close of 2015, my writing on adoption will have been published in eight books. My writing and work focuses on the experience of being adopted, intersecting social justice issues, and adoption community centric/initiated movement toward positive change. I am a Yahoo!Voices featured mom activist and I am listed in the Top 20 Adoption blogs on the web by Adoptive Families Magazine.
I graduate summa cum laude from West Chester University where I was awarded as the Outstanding Senior in Social Work for 2013 by the undergraduate social work department faculty and the College of Business and Public Affairs. I received the "Outstanding Policy Practice Award" for my policy advocacy on adoption, and my senior research group was awarded the "Outstanding Research Paper Award" for our research on adoption. In 2014, I graduated from the Advanced Standing program at the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research of Bryn Mawr College with a Master's of Social Service, concentration in clinical social work.
I am a member of the PHI ALPHA National Social Work Honor Society, of the International Association of Social Work With Groups, and of the National Association of Social Workers, and a joint member of the Association of Humanistic Psychology and the Association for Transpersonal Psychology.
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.
I cross-train in kickboxing and three different martial arts, have a brown belt in karate, enjoy photography, and live with my husband of seven years and our two children in our home in Pennsylvania.
"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.
For and expanded information on my work and background, please visit my website.