The Chris Rankin Award For Best Adoptive Parent



Beth Holmes is the recipient of the Chris Rankin Award for 2018. All three finalists are being sent prize packages. We want to thank everyone who participated in this event. We hope the spirit of the event finds you appreciating the creativity and dedication that so many adoptive parents must employ around the world to help children succeed. As we continue into 2019 let’s all remember that the adoptive or foster family in our lives could use an extra dose of understanding, a listening ear, and continuous encouragement.Chris-Rankin-Award-2018-Beth-Holmes-NevadaBeth-Holmes-Chris-Rankin-Award-2018Beth-Holmes-cake-Chris-Rankin-Award-2018Beth-Holmes-Chris-Rankin-Award-Awarded 

The Finalists

Nominated by Sandy Hellman-Horton: "Beth and her husband were foster parents for many, many years. They adopted 5 children with diverse backgrounds and situations, including one child with severe Fetal Alcohol and Fetal Drug Effects as well as a laundry list of other diagnoses. Even after completing their adoptions, they continued to foster high risk, delinquent, hard-to-place teenage girls and teenage girls who were either pregnant or were placed with their newborn/young child. Beth did not let their attitudes and behaviors scare her and would continue working with them day in and day out. Not only did she teach them life skills, she taught them the meaning of unconditional love. To this day, many of those girls still come “home” for holidays and those little babies all refer to Beth as “Gramma Bef.” She will always be mom. Beth’s youngest son is now in his 20’s, but cannot live independently. Beth and her husband have purchased a rural home on acreage where they can raise farm animals and grow crops for this is an environment he can feel successful in. Every decision they make is based on their children and how it will benefit them. Life hasn’t always gone the way they planned or expected, but they changed and adapted as needed. They have constantly educated themselves about challenges they were facing, resources that were available and then advocated until every last stone was overturned. They are true role models for the adoption community."
Nominated by Andrea M Fernandez: "Whitney and her husband adopted a sibling set of 3 boys, one of which is a pre-teen. They have developed an environment in which their kids can thrive by encouraging reading and succeeding - one of her boys was 3 grade levels behind in reading level and just under a year later with her patience and tutoring at home, he is getting top grades and reading to his younger brothers for fun! Even outside of their already-inspiring adoptions, Whitney and Cuong are daily inspiring others - through leading exercise groups very early in the morning, and teaching others (including their kids) the importance of hard work through owning and managing their own food truck start-up company. Another incredible aspect that their family shares with others is that they are a multi-racial family! Whitney is Caucasian, Cuong is Vietnamese, and their three little boys are black. This incredible dynamic raises tons of questions when they go out, and they use every one of those opportunities to teach diversity and compassion. They encourage their boys to have "real-talk" and ask those hard questions. Whitney got to learn from Cuong about the Vietnamese culture and tradition, and he got to learn about hers, and now together they are learning once again. They keep in close contact with the boys' grandmother and love to learn about their culture too. They are young parents - signing up for foster care at the age of 28, and they are setting their own trends about what it means to be a citizen of the world!"
Nominated by Ann Owen: "I placed my second daughter in an open adoption 8 years ago. Karen is not only an amazing mother, she is my best friend. I chose her when I was only 8 weeks pregnant, and have never wavered in my decision for a split second. Not only does she respect me as a person, she respects me as Sarah's mother and has never made me feel less than that. She is strong and secure in the fact that our daughter has two mothers, and has never tried to stand in the way of our relationship. In fact, she goes out of her way to strengthen it... Even through [her own] struggles, she fights SO hard to be the best mother she possibly can be. Everything she does is for our [daughter]. I'm so incredibly proud of the woman [Karen] is, and I couldn't be happier with my decision to place [our daughter] with her! Thank you so much for your consideration!"

The Adoptive Parent Award

November is National Adoption Month in the United States. It is a time to recognize and honor adoptive parents, and Transfiguring Adoption wants to do just that through our annual Chris Rankin Award For Best Adoptive Parent.


Chris Rankin is an adult adoptee and actor who was adopted as an infant.
He was 16 years old when he sent off a letter asking for an audition to play Percy Weasley in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. He went on to play the role for 11 years.
Transfiguring Adoption chose to name this annual award after Chris due to his passion for wanting other adoptive children to have a successful future.

You can read a brief blog on Chris’ thoughts on [adoption here].

The Award:

  • Special Award Engraved With The Winner’s Name
  • Transfiguring Adoption T-shirt
  • Books Relevant to Adoption from Jessica Kingsley Publishing


About the Contest:

Nominations for the Chris Rankin Award for Best Adoptive Parent are open to the public (form below). Please note that nominees may be single parents or a couple.
Transfiguring Adoption leadership volunteers from across the U.S. will review the nominations and select three finalists to advance to the public voting phase. Each finalist will be paired with a Celebrity Advocate, who will use social media and other digital platforms to campaign for
their Best Adoptive Parent finalist. Public voting, by donations ($1) made through the website, happens in November, with the winner announced the first week in December. The winner will be featured in media releases and receive a special, personalized award and a Transfiguring Adoption gift package. All of our finalists will, of course, receive some awesome Transfiguring Adoption swag.

Winning Qualities

A strong nomination will provide great examples of these qualities shared by successful adoptive parents:

  • Accepting Imperfection
    No parent is perfect. A great adoptive parent accepts this, owns up to their mistakes and learns from them.
  • Advocacy for Child
    Many of us dislike conflict. Many of us have overbooked schedules. Great adoptive parents will do what it takes for the best interest of their adoptive child.
  • Continuous Learning
    Parenting a child from a traumatic background is “different” from traditional parenting. A great adoptive parent is continually trying to learn more about how to help children coping with difficult pasts.
  • Willingness to Change
    A great adoptive parent is adaptable and willing to change how they parent in order to do the best for their child.
  • Creative – Think Outside the Box
    A great adoptive parent needs more tricks up their sleeve than “traditional” parents. They use special games, activities, or bedtime books to help their child(ren) to thrive.


  • Deadline for nominations: October 19
  • Finalists announced and public voting opens: November 1
  • Last day to vote: November 25
  • Winner Announced: First Week of December


Chris Rankin, ActorStanislav Yanevski, ActorAnne Heffron, Author


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Transfiguring Adoption is a 501(c)3 organization. This contest does not discriminate against person due to race, gender, religion, etc. The staff and volunteers of Transfiguring Adoption reserve the right to disqualify a nomination/entry for any reason for which they see fit.