It’s not uncommon for adoptees to remain involved in the adoption community, which played a huge role in their lives.
Some people become strong advocates of adoption in their community. Others decide to grow their own families through adoption. Then, there are those who devote their careers to making adoption possible for others – which is the case with Scott Mars.
Adoption and foster care have played a huge role in Scott’s daily life from a young age, first in his home life and now in his work. As the founder and president of the board of a national adoption agency, and an adoptee himself, he has experience with both the professional and personal sides of adoption. All of his experiences combined have lent him a perspective that he shares with candor, charisma, and firmly held conviction.
Scott’s adoption story began when he was around two weeks old, and his parents got the call to tell them they had received a placement. “My mom got the call, and she screamed so loud she lost her voice,” Scott said. “She was so excited.”
His parents always provided for him as he grew up, and as far back as he can remember, they always talked to him about adoption. During his childhood, his parents also made the decision to become foster parents for temporary placements. At this time, newborns being placed for adoption would spend a brief time in foster care before they went home with their adoptive parents.
Scott remembered the first placement they had, and he talked about how difficult the adjustment period was for the entire family.
“It was really hard on all of us,” he said. “My parents came to me and asked if I wanted to keep doing it, and I said absolutely. Because we got to be a small part of these children’s life. They may not remember it, but I do.”
Scott’s family took in more than a hundred infants waiting to be adopted over the years, so adoption was a regular presence in his life growing up. As he got older, he found he had an affinity for business and decided to pursue it in college – which came in handy when his mother approached him with plans to start an adoption agency. When she asked him for his thoughts, he told her to wait until after he graduated so that they could work on it together.
That was the beginning of Heavensent Adoptions, as it was called at the outset. “It was really cheesy,” Scott conceded with a laugh. Many years and a name change later, American Adoptions now completes hundreds of adoptions every year for families across the country.
In his work, Scott brings families together in open and semi-open adoptions, where the birth mother and the family have contact with one another. His own adoption, however, was closed, and as he drew closer to starting his own family, his curiosity compelled him to reach out to his birth mother. Fortunately, she was open to the reunion, and they still stay in touch today.
It wasn’t until Scott had his daughter, though, that he saw the path his adoption story was taking.
“My parents always wanted a daughter,” he said. “When my daughter Ava was born, my dad doted on her. My mom – I got to see her scream so loud she lost her voice. So I saw the full circle.”
Scott’s adoption story came full circle in more ways than one: after adoption changed his life, he moved on to change the lives of others through adoption. In both his personal and professional life, he continues to speak to the positive role that adoption has played for him and countless other adoptees.