Meet the Illien Staff



Founder and Executive Director

Founder of Illien Adoptions International, Inc. in 1982. She is the Administrator of the day-to-day operations of the Agency in accordance with the Rules and Regulations for Child-Placing Agencies of the Georgia Department of Human Services and in accordance with the Council on Accreditation for accreditation under the Hague Adoption Convention. She also serves as the President of the Corporation. Since the Agency's beginning in 1982 she has opened programs and/or assisted with intercountry adoptions from India, Nepal, Thailand, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Paraguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bolivia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ethiopia and to France and the Netherlands. She served as the Executive Director of Illien Adoptions International, Ltd. from 1982 to 1993, She served as the Executive Director of Williams-Illien Adoptions, Inc., Memphis, Tennessee from April 1993 to June 1998. She returned to Georgia as Executive Director of Illien Adoptions International, Inc. from 1998 to the present.

Her academic background is as follows: PhD studies at University of California at Berkeley, California, and Columbia University in New York City, NY. MA from Middlebury College School of Languages in Middlebury, Vermont; BS in French from Columbia University, New York City, NY; Diplome de la langue francaise from the Sorbonne in Paris, France, Diploma of Nursing from Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland. She is a Registered Nurse, fluent in French, some Spanish. She taught French at Columbia University in New York City, NY at the University of California at Berkeley, CA, and at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA.

Served as consultant for using the arts for urban revitalization in Washington, DC. Atlanta, GA Newport News, VA and Flint, MI. Worked for Central Atlanta Progress in Atlanta, GA as Marketing Director. Served ten years as the Director of Galerie Illien, an international art gallery in Atlanta, GA. Received Governor's Award in the Arts from Governor Jimmy Carter. Graduated from Leadership Atlanta. Graduated from Leadership Georgia.

Widely traveled all over the world. Single parent of three adopted children, two from India, one from USA. Currently serves on the Board of Directors of PeaceActs, Inc. CFO and member of the Board of Directors of Illien Foundation for Children, Inc. and founder of Field of Dreams, Inc. Executive Director of Illien Adoptions International, Inc, a 501(c)(3) international adoption agency.

Thirty years of administrative and directorship experience in international adoption. In September 2012, Anna Belle was recognized as one of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute's ANGELS IN ADOPTION for 2012.


Chairman, Board of Advisors

Jayme Illien is Chairman, Board of Advisors of Illien Adoptions International. Jayme is also Chairman, President, and CEO of Illien Global Public Benefit Corporation, our sister organization and strategic advisor to Illien Adoptions International, Inc.

As an adoptee from Calcutta, India, and as son of Executive Director Anna Belle Illien, Jayme grew up helping in the home and around the office with finding families for other orphaned and abandoned children. From an early age, Jayme traveled worldwide with Executive Director Anna Belle Illien to visit children and orphanages in foreign countries as well as to meet with diplomats and international governments on the topic of orphans and abandoned children, child human rights, child trafficking and international adoption. As a result, Jayme has always been passionate about children’s issues with particular respect to orphaned and abandoned children, children living in extreme poverty, children who are trafficked or recruited into violence, children in conflict zones and post conflict countries.

Through his work establishing the Illien Foundation for Children, Inc. and Illien Global Public Benefit Corporation, Jayme works on promoting systemic and sustainable solutions to the interconnected and interrelated set of forces that are the root cause of the challenge of children becoming orphans and/or living in poverty or without a family or in fear. As Chairman, Jayme, along with his team, bring a range of skills and expertise to the leadership of Illien Adoptions International which includes management, operations, and finance.

Jayme has previously served as Chief Executive Officer and Senior Executive at several successful companies. Jayme has also served as a policy advisor on a wide range of topics including children, women, human rights, sustainable energy, sustainable development, international finance, international peace and security, disarmament, and international happiness. In 2011, Jayme’s firm Illien Global Public Benefit Corporation initiated a $1.5 Million multiyear campaign gain the support of UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon and all 193 countries to create the International Day of Happiness. UN resolution 66/281 was adopted by consensus on. And recognizes the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human goal, and the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.

For more on Illien Global please visit us at Illien Global


Home Study and Post Placement Caseworker

Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, with a major in Psychology. She is fluent in French and has traveled throughout the world and experienced many different cultures. She was adopted from India when she was three months old and has been involved with adoption in some way or another all of her life, as she grew up watching her mother, Anna Belle Illien, interact with adoptive families and children. She started working for the Agency in 2002 and has moved into various positions since then. At present, Elizabeth serves as Senior Caseworker, preparing Hague home studies and post placement/post adoption supervisory reports. Elizabeth has 14 years of experience in international adoption, and her experience as an adoptee is of great value to adoptive parents in their preparation for adoption and in the post adoption period of adjustment and parenting their child.


Director of Database
Assistant Director of Ethiopia Program

Debbie has a B.S. in Elementary Education. She is a certified teacher and she also has her ESOL endorsement (English for Speakers of Other Languages). Debbie taught for seven and a half years at a Title I school. She had students from many different backgrounds including foster and adoptive homes. She has dealt with abused and homeless children as well. Debbie helped to raise money to help some of those struggling families in need.   Debbie taught regular education with inclusion. Debbie and her husband have a daughter who was adopted domestically. She is the light of their lives! She says her family finally feels whole with their daughter in it.

Debbie has been with Illien Adoptions since 2009, and her experience, expertise, knowledge, and management of Illien's Database is invaluable to the Agency's daily operation.


Director of International Programs Director of Ethiopia Program

Sarah graduated from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development with Overseas Experience. While studying the social and economic problems in developing countries she deepened her passion for working with orphans and vulnerable youth. She spent several months in both Togo and Senegal volunteering in orphanages and infant homes and knew that it was her calling to advocate for those children that needed help the most. For a few years she traveled through India, Asia and Africa and broadened her global perspective before relocating to Atlanta. She serves as the Director of International Programs at Illien Adoptions where she continues to put her passion into her work and help children unite with their forever families.

Sarah is handling the challenges of adoptions from Ethiopia as well as all of the special projects beyond adoption which involve support of education for impoverished children, training programs for single mothers to support their family, sponsorship of non-adoptable orphans, emergency medical care for orphans, providing care for special needs children. Sarah also handles all of Illien's UAA adoption cases and other adoptions from Hague countries.


Director of India Program

Kristen graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs and minors in Religion and Human Development & Family Science. She developed a passion for international adoption after volunteering in different orphanages in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Kristen studied in South Africa and worked with children from an impoverished township while she learned about economic, social, and political development. Through her studies and travels, Kristen has witnessed the monumental impact that a loving, stable home can have on a child. She is committed to finding children permanent homes in which they can realize their full potential and truly thrive.

Kristen is handling the challenges of adoptions from India, both relative and non-relative adoptions, with great management and organizational skills. 

Debbie Driessen MSW, LSW |  Randy Barlow, MA, MSW, Ed.S  | Jane Santos, MSW, LCSW

 American Adoptions Professional Abroad, Inc.


The Agency uses a basic core staff and hires other professionals on a "per case basis" and on a "need basis." This procedure is used for cost control in order to keep the Agency's operational costs minimal and efficient. The Agency contracts qualified workers for services as needed. The Agency uses the volunteer services of adoptive parents who assist with the orientation and training of other prospective adoptive parents. Illien Adoptions is always open to interns who are seeking to acquire experience in the international adoption field.