Our Staff

Heartfelt Adoptions and Surrogacy Services is proud of their incredibly dedicated employees. Each member of our staff has many years of experience in adoption services. Their combined expertise and comprehensive training is the primary factor in our agency’s success. Every action they take is in light of the child’s best interest. All of our staff understands the ups and downs of an adoption and look forward to assist you through the process.

Dan Hartzog, Attorney

Executive Director

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Dan Hartzog is an adoptive parent who received his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from the Stetson University College of Law in 2002, and his Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) degree in English Professional Writing from West Virginia State University in 1998, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the college newspaper.

After college, Dan was a business reporter for The State Journal newspaper in West Virginia, and the production manager at a weekly newspaper in Hillsborough County, Florida. In 2006, he served as the Mayor of Ruskin, Florida where his family has long standing ties to the agricultural community.  Following law school, Dan served as an assistant state attorney and civil litigator where he litigated dozens of lawsuits to completion, through both bench and jury trials.

In his capacity as counsel to various clients, Dan has been quoted in local and national media, including Court TV and The Tampa Tribune.

Christine Welch, Attorney

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Christine graduated from the University of South Florida in 1979. In 1983, she received her Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Florida College of Law. Since 1986, Christine has placed hundreds of children nationally and internationally in loving homes. Specializing in adoption and surrogacy law for 28 years, Christine has been qualified in Federal Court as an expert on adoption and has presented adoption issues to the Florida Legislature. She is a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, the Florida Bar, the Florida Adoption Council and the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

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Diane Barrs, Esq.

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A graduate of the University of South Florida in 1977, Diane received her Juris Doctorate from Stetson University of Law in 1980. Her long legal career spanning over 25 years included both general and civil practice . Before retiring in 2013, Diane was a full time Professor of Law and Criminal Justice in Virginia and Florida. Diane is a current member of the Florida Bar, the Veterans Law Institute, and a Guardian ad litem Attorney.

Nicole Witt, MBA

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Nicole Witt is Executive Director of The Adoption Consultancy (www.TheAdoptionConsultancy.com) as well as a frequent speaker on adoption and infertility.  The Adoption Consultancy is an unbiased resource serving pre-adoptive families by providing them with the education, information and guidance they need to safely adopt a newborn, usually within 3 to 12 months.  Nicole has helped hundreds of people to realize their dream of becoming parents. Nicole is recognized as an information source; she has been interviewed by Today, World News Tonight, Fox News, Daytime, Redbook, More magazine, E! Online, www.WebMD.com, www.CBSNews.com and many radio programs.  Her articles have been featured in local and national publications such as “Family Building” magazine.  Nicole is a member of the Florida Adoption Council.  She also is an active professional member of RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, serves on the Resolve Editorial Board and co-founded the Tampa chapter of the organization in 2007.

Kim Fetner, BA

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Kim has worked in the field for over ten years. Not only does she have extensive experience working in adoption, she is also an adoptive mother. Kim has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis on counseling from the University of South Florida.

Michelle Hawkes

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Michelle received her Paralegal Degree in 2003. Michelle has been with the agency for 10 years. Michelle is responsible for all the necessary legal paperwork; she also assists the adoptive couples and birth parents throughout the entire process.