About ARCS

Meet Jennie, The Director

Jennie Painter ARCS' DirectorPeople often ask me how and why I became an adoption worker.

I find it amazing that some people can make plans for their lives and have their lives follow that plan. My life has seldom been like that. This includes my choice of occupations. As a teen I wanted to be a vet but somehow ended up becoming a high school English teacher for a number of years and, later, returned to graduate school to become a social worker.

While I was finishing my graduate degree in Social Work, I was offered the opportunity to counsel a young woman who planned to place her baby for adoption. I had never considered or planned on becoming an adoption social worker. But after working with this young mother, I knew this is what I wanted to do. This chance encounter changed my life.

This birthmother taught me a great deal. She was unhappy with the adoption process. She wanted to have more of a voice in choosing parents for her child and wanted her child to have the opportunity to know her and her family. But when she entered the world of adoption, these options were not available. Like her, I wondered ”why not”.

This experience started me on a life long journey to provide birthmothers with more adoption options and a passionate desire to create a caring, respectful adoption process that was sensitive to the needs of birthparents.  

For approximately 30 years, I have listened to birthmothers of all ages, continually incorporating their ideas into my adoption practice. The creation of Adoption Resource and Counselling Services or ARCS came into being as a result of the many birthparents who have shared their adoption journey with me.  Today, ARCS is a leader in open adoption.

During these 30 years, I also raised 3 sons and have become a grandmother to a granddaughter and 2 grandsons.  Becoming a grandmother has also made me more aware of the connections that birth grandmothers have to their grandchildren.  Now, birth grandparents play a part in our open adoption workshops and the adoption process.  

Although adoption seems to be my primary passion and interest, I do enjoy other things:

Jennie’s Favorites

TV Shows: 60 Minutes, Say Yes to the Dress, Meet The Press

Music: Amy Winehouse, Robi Botus and all forms of jazz

Food: Kale-only kidding. Steak, baked potato and beet salad

Car: Mazda Miata, red convertible and VW bug

Game: Scrabble, Hearts, Candy Crush

Sounds: Ocean water, rain, my sons’ laughter

Pets: Scottish Terriers

Activities: Sitting in the garden, painting, writing short stories, being with my grandchildren

Passions: Abstract art, unconventional ideas, politics and sitting on a beach in February

It is important that you have a comfortable and trusting relationship with your licensee.  I hope this brief bio has given you an idea of me.