Photo taken by Rene Skrodzki


Shelley Ibbotson is the owner and operator of Adoption Connections.  She is a single mother to a son born in 1988 and a birthmother to a son born in 2004.  She is proud to take part in an open adoption.  Shelley has been active in the adoption community since 2003 when she was pregnant with her younger son.  She obtained a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology and a minor in Women Studies in 1995 and her Honours Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1997.  Shelley also went on to obtain a Certificate in Adoption Studies in 2007.


Here is a bit of what others have to say about Shelley:


Shelley has the perfect balance of experiences for operating an on-line adoption registry.  Not only is she a birthmother herself who can relate and support other birthmothers, Shelley has a strong network of friends who are adoptive parents themselves.  Furthermore, combine that with a social work degree, terrific knowledge of the adoption environment in Canada, and a desire to help potential birth parents and potential adoptive parents alike to connect, Shelley embodies what is required to run such a successful on-line adoption registry business. 


It is Shelley’s kindness, compassion and her ability to communicate in an articulate and clear manner that drew me to get to know Shelley better.  Her open and honest attitude in sharing her own experience with adoption; and her appreciation and delight in my experiences as an adoptive mother of 2 has allowed me to build a friendship with Shelley (and business relationship) that is always rewarding.


With Shelley on your side, you are in the right hands!


Charmaine Graham, Ontario

Adoptive mother of two children

Founder of Adoption Connections



I am a birthmom to a 2 yr old girl.  I met Shelley online and am so thankful I did.  I don’t know how I would have gotten through my pregnancy and subsequent adoption of my daughter without Shelley’s support.  Here I was, a stranger who emailed her out of the blue.  She replied and offered me her phone number if I needed to talk.  I called her later that same night.  It was so nice to really get to talk to another woman who had chosen adoption for her child.  At the time I didn’t know any other birthmoms and most of the ones that I found online scared me because they were so unhappy.  Over the past two years, Shelley has cried with me and laughed with me.  She is a true friend.  Due to distance, we have never met each other.  Even though we have not met, I feel like I have a friend for life.



Birthmother involved in an open adoption



I've known Shelley 'virtually' for some time now.  We've laughed and cried together over life's adoption ups and downs.   Although we are on different sides of adoption (I've adopted my children, and she's placed a child for adoption), we can relate as mothers and as mothers of children touched by adoption.  Shelley is very willing to share her own story and experiences with adoption, helping me prepare for things to come and helping me to see things from the perspective of a first mom.  Adoption is obviously a passionate topic for Shelley, so much so that she has pursued professional education in the area and has received her Certificate of Adoption Studies.  She is a very caring person - wanting to ensure that expectant moms make the right choice for them and knowing that adoption isn't the answer for everyone.  Shelley's been a young single mother who parented a son to adulthood and she knows that is a practical and rewarding choice for many.  She's also relinquished an infant and knows the pains and joys that come with an open adoption.  Her breadth of life experience is impressive, and her concern for those touched by adoption is obvious.  I know whatever Shelley tackles, she will give it her all.

Kelly Gryting, Minnesota

Adoptive mother of three children



My baby boy was adopted in 2006.  It was really hard for me and I needed to talk to another birthmother.  When I contacted Shelley through her email, she offered to meet with me in person.  We met in a park in my city and I live over an hour away from Shelley.  We ended up going out for dinner together.  We sat in that restaurant and let our food get cold.  I was excited to have someone to share pictures of my son with that understood what I was going through.  Shelley held my hand as I cried.  It’s hard to believe that someone you have never met before would do all this for you.  Since that day, we have not had the chance to get together again but we do talk on the phone and through email on a regular basis.  It’s really been a blessing that Shelley has become my friend.  Thanks Shelley.



Birthmother involved in a semi-open adoption



Shelley is a definite asset to the adoption community! She has a variety of experiences that allow her to be both compassionate and knowledgeable in the adoption field.

She is parenting one son, as a single mother. She is also a birthmom, in an open adoption. She is a social worker, and she has been an amazing friend, confidant, and resource to many adoptive and waiting parents.

Shelley wears her heart on her sleeve. She is honest and non-judgemental. I would NOT hesitate to recommend Adoption Connections, as a resource, to anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy, or to anyone searching for information and resources on adopting a child into their family.

Julia, British Columbia
Adoptive mother of two children



I met Shelley on an adoption forum.  She was so helpful in answering all my questions about the adoption process.  It was good to hear about her experiences with adoption because it helped me to think about questions I would ask my social worker and anyone I considered as parents for my child.  I felt so lost and it wasn’t quite as scary when I got to talk to someone else who had been where I was.  

Shelley helped me to realize that I wanted an open adoption and that I wanted the chance to see my son grow up.  Before talking to Shelley, I had thought that I wouldn’t want to see my son or have a relationship with him and his family.  I thought it would be too difficult.   I am so glad that I learned what I did and that I now have an open adoption.  I just saw my son last week and he makes me so proud.  He’s beautiful.



Birthmother involved in an open adoption   



I've known Shelley for nearly 5 yrs now. We met through an adoption website with many members.

Even though we were on the site for different reasons...Shelley is a birthmother...I was a soon to be adoptive parent...she always made everyone there feel very welcomed and showed that she sincerely cared for each one.

We were not just another "member" or "visitor" there to her. We were a real "person" and she always takes the time to get to know you listen to what is going on in your life. Her adoption story has touched many lives and the support that she can be to others is so valuable. This is what I treasure most about Shelley. Her deep and genuine caring and her willingness to always step up where she is needed!

She is a very educated and gifted person! A joy to have a conversation with! I am blessed to know her!

Dawn, British Columbia

Soon to be adoptive mother


have come to know Shelley almost 4 years ago while we were waiting to adopt our second child.

Although we had adopted previously, I still had many questions. Shelley graciously answered all of them and helped put my mind at ease while we waited. I consider her to be a wonderful friend.

Shelley belongs to a few internet groups where her expertise, education and life experiences are seen as invaluable resources to both waiting parents and also to those expectant parents who are considering placing their child for adoption.

Anne, Nova Scotia

Adoptive mother of three children