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1972: A group of parents in Rochester, New York, members of the Council of Adoptive Parents (the original CAP), seek to break through the barriers of adoption. A brainstorming meeting sparks the idea to create and distribute a book that will include pictures of adoptable children. At this time, the idea of publishing pictures of these children was very controversial. Fortunately, CAP secures the support of key adoption social workers and a prominent local pediatrician. The CAP Book is born.

1975: Adoptive parents from CAP successfully lobby for legislation mandating that all New York State waiting children be photolisted. Listing of children in the New York State Blue Book begins.

1977: With new Executive Director Peggy Soule (and a grant from the Junior League of Rochester) the newly independent entity, The CAP Book, Inc., becomes a regional, multi-state photolisting of children who have been waiting the longest for adoptive homes.

The original CAP Book staff (left to right): Peggy Soule, Executive Director; Rosann Markese, Associate Director; Diane Grant and Linda McGrain.

1980: The National Enquirer newspaper begins to include a child from The CAP Book in every issue. As a result, between 300 and 500 inquiries are received each week, making The CAP Book officially a national photolisting.

Peggy Soule with Belinda Hare, who wrote hundreds of freelance stories for The National Enquirer about CAP children, resulting in many successful placements.

1985: The North American Council on Adoptable Children, at their national conference, names Peggy Soule "Child Advocate of the Year."

1988: CAP receives $25,000 from Ronald McDonald Children's Charities to help enhance recruitment in upstate New York. Peggy Soule and CAP children accept the grant.

1988: President Ronald Reagan invites Peggy Soule and other leading adoption advocates to The White House to discuss solving the problem of America's waiting children.


1995: Peggy Soule and two children from The CAP Book are invited to The White House where they visit privately with Hillary Clinton.

2000: Peggy Soule retires, yet remains an active CAP advocate.


2001: Ellen Scalzo, becomes Executive Director of Children Awaiting Parents, Inc. and continues the legacy of serving America's waiting children. She is welcomed by Peggy Soule.

2002: CAP children are featured on ABC's Primetime Live, where Diane Sawyer interviews Rosie O'Donnell.

2005: CAP joins the National Heart Gallery movement, partnering with The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) School of Photography to present an extraordinary exhibit of waiting children from New York State.
Heart Gallery Opening
CAP staff at the opening of our Heart Gallery. Left to right: Melanie Marciano, Patricia Burks, Rebecca Jentzer, Jackie Lincoln, Veronica Black, Ellen Scalzo.

2005: CAP launches its Lift The Wait campaign, developed by John Brown of Frontline Advertising.
John Brown of Frontline Advertising announcing CAP's Lift The Wait campaign.

2006: CAP launches its Right to be Heard pilot project, with the help of a grant provided by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. A Right to be Heard empowers waiting children to speak in their own words about their interests, challenges and hopes. Through creative video portraits children speak about things that are important to them. After filming nearly fifty children, CAP held local video premieres, where featured children had the opportunity to walk down the red carpet and see themselves on the big screen.

CAP staff member, Melanie Marciano, interviews one of our waiting children at the video premiere.

2006: Ellen Scalzo resigns from her position as Executive Director at CAP. We are so grateful for Ellen's fine work during her tenure at CAP. Ellen served as our Executive Director from October 2001-June 2006.

2006: Maryjane K. Link, becomes Executive Director of Children Awaiting Parents, Inc. Maryjane has deep roots with CAP having served as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for 5 years, a board member for 10 years, and a volunteer for a total of 30 years.


In 2008, Mark Soule was appointed Executive Director of Children Awaiting Parents, after having served on its Board of Trustees for 7 years. Mark is the adoptive son of Peggy Soule, one of the founders and long-time Executive Director of Children Awaiting Parents. In addition to his passion for adoption, Mark brings with him years of experience in both the nonprofit and corporate communities. Mark served as Executive Director until 2013.