Last week, Michele Jackson, founder of Harden Jackson, LLC and Chair of the Adoption and Reproductive Law Practice Group, was awarded the Congressional Colaition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Congressional Angels in Adoption award by Congressman Andre Carson.
According to the CCAI website, the award honors “individuals whose contributions in the fields of adoption or foster care have had a national impact,” and past honorees include Laura Bush, Bruce Willis, Al Roker, Muhammad Ali and Patti LaBelle.
Jackson, who also founded MLJ Adoptions, the largest international adoption agency in Indiana, and The Fatherless Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization which provides grants to adopting families and assistance to orphaned and displaced children, will travel to Washington D.C. to be recognized, and to meet with our Congressional leaders to advocate for issues related to adoption.
According to Jackson, she got started in the adoption business when she was researching the “exploitation of women and children… from a legal perspective” in law school.
“I just found that (the reason) many of these children… had gotten to that point of being exploited was because there were not other options for them and often they were orphans,” she said. “I saw international adoption as a way I could use my legal degree and find some solutions for these children rather than them getting to the point where they were being trafficked or exploited and I thought international adoption was a much better option for them.”
According to Jackson, the award means a lot to her, but it is just a portion of the reward she gets regularly.
“I think that when you do work like this you get rewarded continually,” she said, “Even though it’s difficult work and maybe everyday you don’t feel that, but when you look at the big picture and you see what you’re doing in the lives of families and children it’s really this everyday reward.”