Executive Director

Irina Zaretsky was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. A graduate of the Moscow University with a Masters Degree in Library Science, she spent 15 years working as an editor and publisher.

Irina got involved in the adoption field in 1991. Her first experience was working for an American international adoption agency as a coordinator and translator in Moscow. At that time, her job was to help adoptive parents traveling overseas in stressful situations, assist in establishing first contact with their adoptive children, as well as being a liaison between the adoptive parents and Russian government officials.

This led me Irina to her first visit to a Russian orphanage.

“Upon my first visit, I was shocked at the amount of children residing there,” she says. “The Russian orphanages largely resemble the daycare centers in Toronto. They are filled with bright colors, toys and different equipment for children.”

However, she noticed an important element was missing: the presence of a loving mother and father. This let her to further pursue her career in adoption.

In 1993, Irina and her family immigrated to Toronto, Canada. Three months later, the American agency that employed her in Moscow, offered her to open their Canadian branch, acting as their representative.

Finally, in 1995, with the help of parents whom she has worked with to adopt their children, Irina went out on her own, founding a non-profit organization now known as Adoption Horizons, Inc.