BIOGRAPHY: BONNIE J. BERNARD, M.Ed.
Bonnie J. Bernard M.Ed. has been the executive director and founder of several adoption-related agencies: Embryos Alive, Care To Adopt and Ohio Homestudy, which were based in Cincinnati, and she also completed over 600 international, foster to adopt homestudy’s and post placements throughout the states of Ohio and Indiana.
Herself an adoptive mother, Bernard didn’t start out in the adoption business. Upon graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Elementary Education, Bernard went on to pursue a Master’s in Agency and Community Counseling at Xavier University and pursued and completed the national and professional counseling licensure requirements at Argosy University in Sarasota, Fl at the doctoral level.
Bernard’s professional work experience includes a long career in working on behalf of children, first as a private tutor and home instructor in 1985, next under the Consultant for the Department of Children Services as a behavior modification trainer in 1992 and later as a school-based child therapist for Clermont County Schools in 2000.
Eventually, Bernard’s own personal struggle with infertility led her to a career in adoption. Marrying late in life and waiting to start a family, Bernard thought it would all fall into place. But reality soon set in. For five long years, as the biological clock ticked, Bernard and her husband Gary underwent many expensive and exhaustive fertility treatments – without success.
Finally, her husband, who was orphaned along with his identical twin brother at the age of two, posed the resolution: "If we don't get pregnant in a year, we could adopt.” Coincidentally a couple from their church was adopting from Romania and brought home the sweetest, brightest, cutest, little boy. It was Bernard’s own mother who enthusiastically recalled that on a return flight from Ireland, she saw two children and had "just complimented the mother” because her children were so well behaved. As it turned out, they were from Russia and were on the flight to their forever home in America. Her mom turned to Bonnie who was driving and said, "You could adopt."
That was it! The next day they called the adoption agency to begin the international adoption process.
The founding of Embryos Alive is a result of experiencing the heartache of infertility. That’s why she is committed to helping others find the joy of parenting.
Fortunately, Bernard’s own experience has benefited hundreds of parents and children around the world. As for her personal success, Bernard and her husband call that success Peter – the four-year-old son they adopted from Bulgaria.