LVC Sociology Grads Find Success Working at Adoptions from the Heart

Jess Coughlin and Stephanie Capriotti at adoption agency

Sociology major Jess Coughlin ’17 felt a spark of inspiration when alumna Stephanie Capriotti ’01 returned to her alma mater to share career insights in a course on adoption. That classroom connection led Coughlin to secure an internship—and then a job—with Capriotti at Adoptions from the Heart, a private adoption agency which deals with open adoption and operates in six states. Capriotti and Coughlin are now colleagues. Both assist with education, counseling, and support groups for birth parents and adoptive parents.

“When a position opened up in the Cherry Hill office of AFTH, Stephanie called and told me to apply,” said Coughlin. “Now, I am lucky enough to do a job I absolutely love.”

While their range of responsibilities are wide, Coughlin said it’s easy to pick a favorite part of her job.

“Calling my adoptive families to let them know they’ve been chosen by a birthmother or couple to become the adoptive parents to their child—that phone call is the best call to make,” said Coughlin, who double majored in English.

For Capriotti, who also serves as the out-of-area adoption coordinator, her passion to help others started at home. With a mom who worked as a social worker, and a dad working as a drug and alcohol rehab counselor, Capriotti said it was in her blood.

“There is nothing quite like helping another person through one of the hardest things they are going to experience in life,” she said. “If you have the ability to help just one person make a positive change, why would you want to do anything else?”

In her classes, Capriotti learned the different theories and ideas in sociology which became her foundation. She was then able to apply this at internships, one at an adoption agency and the other at The Ronald McDonald House.

“They teach you what you will be good at, but also learning your limits and learning what may be your weaknesses that you can’t learn in the classroom,” she said. “They allow you to see what this profession is really about. They teach you the good, bad, and ugly of what you want to do everyday.”


Darby Seymour, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant

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