The website was designed, researched and edited by White Oak's Executive Director, Melisha Mitchell (pictured at right). All of the contents of this website are copyrighted under U.S. law and
may not be used or reproduced without prior written or e-mail authorization from the White Oak Foundation.

Needless to say, a listing on the Web site in no way constitutes an endorsement of that organization or entity by the White Oak Foundation. In fact, there are a number of organizations listed herein that we would not endorse at all! But they're here as a resource to those searching in Illinois as well as those considering adoption who have unintentionally stumbled onto this site.

The White Oak Foundation is a 501c3 Illinois not-for-profit corporation. Currently, White Oak's Board of Directors is comprised of two adoptees and a reunited birth mother, and our Executive Director is the daughter of an adoptee as well as the  biological mother of one.
A complete listing of White Oak's Board of Directors and Officers appears below.

We hope this website will prove to be a
useful resource for all triad members who are
navigating the search and reunion
in the Land of Lincoln.

If you have any questions about the White Oak website and the services we provide to the Illinois adoption community or are in need of search assistance, please e-mail or call us.


White Oak's
Board of Directors
& Officers

Brook Horwitz

Kathy Purcell

Melinda Dunker


Photo Credits

White Oak Home Page:  "Old Oak Tree" at

About White Oak Page: "Cornfield" at

Search Assistance Page: "Me and Doughey" (personal graphics collection; picture donated by Lizz Hutchison)

Searching Page: "Derby Spectator, June 1923 at

What Do You Do When You Have a Name? Page: "Birth Certificate," at

Reconnecting Page: "Tango" at

Making Initial Contact by Phone Page: "Woman Talking on the Phone, c. 1917" at

Making Initial Contact by Letter Page: "Woman Writing Letter" at

Making Initial Contact Through an Intermediary Page: "Uncommon Heroes" at

The Initial Meeting Page: "Hug" at

FAQ Page: "Hands Raised" at

Illinois Resources Page: "Illinois" at

Adoption Agencies Page: "Girls' Section, St. Vincent's Orphanage, 1870" at

Support & Advocacy Page: "Drew Shimkus at Catholic Charities" by Colleen Dougher-Telcik at

Internet Resources Page: "Surfers at Venice Beach" at

Outreach Program Page: "The Cyclone" at

Referral Services Page: "Boy Gets Directions," at

Research & Education Page: "Old Law Library" at

Legislative Reform Page: "Signing of the Adoption Registry Bill," (personal graphics library; pictured from left to right are: IL State Rep Sara Feigenholtz, White Oak's Executive Director, Melisha Mitchell, and former Illinois Governor George Ryan).

U.S. Adoptions Statutes at a Glance Page and sub-sections: All color-coded maps were created by White Oak's Executive Director, Melisha Mitchell, and are the property of the White Oak Foundation.

History of Illinois Adoption Page: "Sarah Polk and Her Adopted Daughter circa 1890," purchased from

Donations Page: "Benjamin Franklin" at

Considering Adoption? Page: "The Ideal Maternity Home," (Nova Scotia, Canada, 1942) at

Website Info Page: "Melisha Mitchell" (photograph of Melisha Mitchell 2012 by Melisha Mitchell), photos of board members by David Ormsby,  and "River Rafting" at

This website was produced using Namo Web Editor 4.  It should look just fine using either Netscape or Internet Explorer. All of the black and white graphics were created using Adobe PhotoDeluxe 2.0.

We would like to extend special thanks to Jonathan Lee of for his assistance in registering the domain name and launching the site on the worldwideweb at minimal cost.


phone: 312-666-5722