About Us


wsa for site

Not all staff members pictured, photo taken 2013


Our Staff

We would like to introduce you to our amazing staff here at West Sands Adoptions!

Kent Parke – Executive Director Kent is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Executive Director of West Sands Adoptions, with over 30 years of experience in adoption.  Kent’s heart shows through his actions, he is a very passionate and caring leader. Kent oversees every aspect of our agency and ensures that every child being placed and every family adopting has a positive and rewarding experience.

Clare Utley – Assistant Director Clare is a Licensed Social Worker and the Assistant Director of West Sands Adoptions. Clare has always had a passion for adoption. She enjoys working with families and providing needed support to our families and staff. In working with her you will come to value Clare’s good nature and caring heart as much as we do.

Jennifer Wood – International Coordinator Jennifer is here to oversee the daily operations of our international programs and maintain Hague compliance. Jennifer is dedicated to our programs and is here to support families in all stages of the adoption process.  Jennifer is well versed inter-country as well as domestic and foster care adoptions. Her knowledge comes from both professional and personal experiences. Jennifer’s rounded knowledge of adoption makes her a key member of our team.

Tracy Weldon – Homestudy Coordinator  & Case Manager Tracy will assist you through the Homestudy adoption process from start to finish. Tracy’s job is to prepare your family for the process and to assist you the seemingly endless paperwork. Tracy  enjoys working in the Ethiopia Program as a case manager and  is very committed to making sure each family has a positive adoption experience.

Yi Zou – Program Coordinator Zou will assist you through the China adoption process from start to finish. Zou is native to Southern China and has been in the USA since 2008. Zou is extremely detail oriented and is thorough and precise in her work. Her dedication and efficiency make her a necessary and valued part of our team.

Lori Jo Leonard – LCSW Lori is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  She has been working in the adoption field since 2003. She loves being a part of completing families.  While there are definitely difficult cases and disappointments, she feels it is very rewarding and fulfilling to be a part of the process of bringing families together.

Danielle Johnston – LCSW  Danielle Johnston is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an adoption/attachment specialist. She has been an adoption advocate for over fifteen years, providing licensed adoption services and support to birth parents, adoptive couples and adoptees. Danielle has extensive experience in teaching and educating families about openness in adoption and how to navigate an open adoption relationship. She has a private practice in St. George, Utah.


Board of Directors

Algeen Graff, Chairman of the Board

Paul Wadley, Secretary/Treasurer

Kent Parke

Diane Jennings

Catherine Graff

Mel Farnsworth

Lynn Parke

Manns Jennings

Renee Farnsworth

Ryan Parke

Gail Maxwell

Judy Maxwell


West Sands Adoptions’ Memberships and Accreditation

  • Hague Accredited by the Council on Accreditation
  • Supporter National Council for Adoption
  • Supporter of United for Adoption
  • Former member of Utah Adoption Council
  • Former member of Southern Utah Adoption Coalition
  • Former member of Joint Council

Our Beliefs

Nearly 2 decades ago West Sands Adoptions, a licensed 501(c)(3) non-profit child placing agency in Utah, was established with the following core beliefs:

We are all children of a kind and loving Heavenly Father and every orphaned child deserves a loving family through the gift of adoption. We believe that loving families include a mother and father, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents. We believe every child needs to be loved, cherished, and well cared for.

We believe that loving families have the right to bless the lives of orphaned children and to increase or complete their families through adoption. We believe West Sands Adoptions has the responsibility to provide extremely reliable and very high quality adoption services to families at the lowest possible cost. We believe that adopting a child should be a very positive and happy experience.

Who We Are

Our dedicated and professional staff members here in the US and abroad are the very finest. Each staff member is trained to ensure that your child’s case is processed with utmost efficacy and strong ethics. Our team has a passion for helping children find forever families. We know you will enjoy working with our amazing staff here at West Sands! Give us a call today at 435-986-1617 to speak with one of our adoption specialists.


Mission Statement

It is the mission of West Sands Adoptions to provide caring, ethical, and professional services to those seeking adoption assistance. Our primary focus is to advocate for the needs of children around the world through community education, adoption procedure, as well as up to date counseling and support for birthmothers and adopting families looking to better the lives of children and themselves. We seek to provide all of these services in an atmosphere where clients can expect ethical and moral practices, open and clear guidance, prompt attention to client’s needs, and cutting edge technology. Our services are brought to you by a competent and knowledgeable staff; guiding our valued clients through all aspects of the adoption process. Rest assured you are in good hands. We care about our clients and love the work we do.

Our commitment runs very deep and is rooted in our love of family and in our firm position in the inherent worth of all of God’s children. We are fortunate to be able to use our skills, talents, and tools to better the world through the miracle of adoption.

Board of Directors

West Sands Adoptions


Statement of Values and Commitment

As employees and representatives of West Sands Adoptions, we are committed to providing the highest quality service to our clients in a workplace atmosphere in which we value the diversity of our co-workers.  We are committed to having a work environment where each employee is treated with dignity and respect, and is provided with an environment in which to do his/her best work.  We value cooperation, support, and respect, regardless of the position that is held.  We apply these values not only to our co-workers, but also to our clients and to the public.


At your request, West Sands Adoptions will gladly make available the following information: (a) the number of our adoption placements per year for the prior three calendar years, and the number and percentage of those placements that remain intact, are disrupted, or have been dissolved as of the time the information is provided; and (b) the number of parents who apply to adopt on a yearly basis, based on the last three calendar years. West Sands Adoptions places “Waiting Children” through China’s program of adoption for special needs and waiting children. However, we do not have our own list of waiting children at this time. Parents who apply for adoption through programs with West Sands Adoptions will not be referred a child for placement until a child becomes available through the appropriate Central Authority in the child’s country of origin.


No comments yet.

 Add your comment