About Us

Our adoption agency staff

Illustration of key with heart shaped lock

Carolyn Mussio McKenna, J.D.
Executive Director

Carolyn has been working in adoption for 30 years. After receiving her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, she worked as an adoption attorney for 16 years. In 1997, she started Private Adoption Services. Carolyn hoped to create an adoption experience different from that offered by traditional adoption agencies. She wanted the birthparents to be respected and to have the most control and choices in planning the placement of their infants. Every day, Carolyn works with women who want the best for their unborn or young children. 

Carolyn enjoys her work and is inspired by the birthparents and their strength and conviction in regard to their adoption plan. Her job is to make sure that all goes smoothly during the actual placement of the baby and that all the birthmother's needs are fulfilled. She also meets with adoptive parents to educate them on the importance of open and honest communication with the birthparent during the adoption process.

Kristen Franke, J.D., Adoption Coordinator & Attorney  at Law

Kristen is a Cincinnati native who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and received her law degree from the Florida State University College of Law in 2013. During law school, she worked primarily in child welfare for the state of Florida. Her focus on ensuring positive, bright futures for children everywhere continues in her work for Private Adoption Services. She handles many in-person consultations, acting as a liaison between birthmothers and adoptive parents during doctor's appointments, hospital visits, and other encounters. She also manages the PAS website. Kristen is also a newly licensed attorney in the State of Ohio.

Kelly Hedges, MSW, LISW
Adoption Assessor

Kelly currently resides in Alexandria, Kentucky with her husband and three sons. Kelly has an undergraduate degree in social work from Northern Kentucky University and received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Kentucky. Kelly has been a licensed adoption assessor in the state of Ohio since 1996. She began working for Private Adoption Services in 1996 and has worked in the field of adoption for the past 23 years. Kelly currently completes home assessments for prospective adoptive families, conducts post-placement supervision meetings with adoptive families, and provides counseling and assessment services for birthparents. Kelly greatly enjoys her work with both adoptive families and birth families. She appreciates the flexibility in her schedule as it allows her to volunteer at her childrens school and participate in their various sports and other activities.

Emily Dressman, LISW, LCSW
Adoption Assessor

Emily lives in Northern Kentucky. She earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Kentucky. Emily conducts our home studies for Relative and Step-parent adoptions and assists us with birthmother counseling when needed. Emily is also a licensed therapist and has her own practice in Blue Ash, Ohio.

Jeanne Ruggieri, LISW
Adoption Assessor

Jeanne lives in Cincinnati and is the newest addition to our staff. Jeanne received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Louisville. As a Licensed Independent Social Worker, Jeanne has experience as a caseworker for Warren County Children's Services and, more recently, as a licensing and certification specialist for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Jeanne will be conducting home assessments for our prospective adoptive families on Ohio.
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