Della Pressler, Chair
Della has a long record of activism in adoption organizations, including LAAB and Adoptee's Birthrights Committee Search and as a Reunion Support Group Facilitator.
She is a reunited adoptee, retired school bus operator, wife of 53 years, grandmother of three and great- grandmother of two. Della is a member of the Louisiana Adoption Support Alliance and Fibromyalgia Support Group Facilitator for F.A.C.T.S.
Linda R. Woods, Treasurer
A reunited birthparent, Linda has served on the board since 1994. A long-time adoption advocate, her state and national contributions have increased Louisiana's stature and presence with the national adoption community.
She co-founded Louisiana Adoption Advocates (LAA) and Louisiana Adoption Support Alliance (with Brenda Frisard). She served as an officer for Adoptees Birthright Committee (ABC) for 14 years, state representative for the American Adoption Congress since 1999 and chaired 15 LAAB conferences. Sen. John Breaux nominated Linda to receive the “Angel in Adoption” Award by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in 2001.
Linda was invited to the White House on several occasions during the Clinton Administration and submitted written testimony in the House of Representatives on adoption issues. She has lobbied the Louisiana legislature for many years of behalf of adoptees to be granted access to their original birth certificates. She is active in search and reunions, a member of Birth Parents Support Network and received LAAB’s 2017 Advocate of the Year award.
A native of Denver, Colorado, Karen has B.S. and Master's degrees from Southern Methodist University. Moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1971, she started, and managed for 30 years, the first do-it-yourself picture-framing store in New England.
In 1982, Karen learned that the child that she had given up for adoption in 1965 was a boy! Karen met Chris in early 1986, and was invited to Alabama to share in the family celebration of his 21st birthday. Through 33 years of ups
and downs, the reunion has been cordial, but mostly not that close.
In 1987, Karen was invited to join the Rotary Club of Cambridge, and was the first female President of that club and the first female District Governor in that region. A variety of other Rotary leadership roles, responsibilities, educational programs, and awards have continued to the present, in New England, Upstate NY, and currently in the Rotary District along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana and Mississippi. Promoting peace has been a significant interest of Karen’s throughout her many volunteer activities.
Barbara began her reunion story in February 2008 when she located a 37-year-old adopted male on an adoption registry website who was born on the same day as the child she had given up for adoption. Their reunion in January 2009 was a Hallmark movie moment. However, she soon discovered that a reunion is not an ending but a beginning, a beginning of what can be an exciting and terrifying journey. She found she was ill-prepared for the emotional roller coater that ensued.
Fortunately, she discovered Adoptees Birthrights Committee (ABC), a voluntary search and support group for all members of the adoption triad. Barbara's ABC connections led her to a birthparents support group, which proved cathartic as she shared with women who have experienced a similar journey. This group led her to join LAAB in 2021.
Linda joined the LAAB board in 2018. Adopted at birth, she searched for and found her birth family several decades ago and has an abiding interest in the emotional issues related to adoption, identity and belonging.
A native Floridian and devoted New Orleanian, Linda has a communications firm, and has worked in journalism, marketing and public relations over the years. She has three young adult children.
Dept of Children & Family Services Representative
Cheryl Tirado, MSW, LCSW
Adoptions Program Manager
HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS
Danna P. Cousins, LMSW