Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I have decided to call myself a Family Formation attorney instead of an Adoption attorney. We are doing more and more Assisted Reproduction Technology law these days instead of the old days of strictly adoption law. It has probably been at least 15 years now since the first time I reviewed a Surrogacy contract for a surrogate. Back then the surrogate was frequently also the biological mother to the infant. In those cases the intended father was also the sperm donor and therefore the legal and biological father. However, the intended mother was not the legal parent, so we had to do a step-parent adoption following the birth in order for intended mom to be the legal parent. These days most surrogates are gestational surrogates, not related biologically to the child. Surrogate is impregnated via embryo transfer. Intended parents can both be biological parents or one can be or neither can be. Sperm and eggs can be donated or purchased. Assisted reproduction technology is absolutely amazing and getting more successful all the time. It is important that all parties to a surrogacy arrangement are represented by separate legal counsel throughout the process. Competent and experienced attorneys can be found through the American Academy of Assisted Reproduction Technology Attorneys (AAARTA). California is one of the states where we can obtain a pre-birth order to mandate that the intended parents' names be inserted in the original birth certificate.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My son, Tim, has known his birth family all of his life. He is now a college student in San Diego. This year he was unable to drive all the way home to Northern California for Thanksgiving, so he travelled only an hour and a half north to Orange County to spend his turkey day weekend with his birth grandma, grandpa, birthmom and the entire extended family. He had a great time and was back in San Diego studying by Saturday night. Thanks to all you wonderful birth mothers and extended families for loving "our" children. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

new birthmom

Staff travelled down to Modesto to meet with a new birthmom on Friday. Haven't heard all the details yet

grandparent guardianship granted

I am happy to report that the guardianship to the missionary grandparent was granted after some interesting negotiations with the birthfather. He was reluctant for the child to be removed from California but finally saw the wisdom of her remaining with the grandparents as being in her best interest.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We have been working on an interesting guardianship. A missionary who wants to relocate to Canada is seeking a guardianship of her granddaughter. She has been the primary caretaker for this one year old infant since birth. Her daughter, the birthmom, nominated her (the grandma) as guardian of the minor child. Birthfather at first agreed, then later retracted his consent to the guardianship. Even though neither birthparent is able at this time to care for the child, the emotional aspects of agreeing to allowing his child to leave the country made it difficult for this yound man to continue to support the guardianship of the grandmother. After some time and negotiation, he finally decided it was in the best interest of his daughter to continue to be cared for by her grandmother, even though it meant the child would live quite a distance from him. Thanks to an understanding, judge who helped the young man to see the wisdom of supporting the guardianship within reasonable parameters.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter visit to birth family

We had a fabulous visit to Grandma Judy's in Orange, CA. There were 32 friends and family members of my son's birth family. Lots of food and visiting and, of course, a Lakers basketball games in the evening. Ages ranged from 80 down to 6. Egg hunt for the children and conversations for the adults with little kids running around all day. Tim's birthmom, Julie, his grandma and grandpa, his unles, Wayne and Bob, and all of his cousins were there to make it a perfect visit.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


There are many circumstances that require someone to pursue guardianship of a child. Sometimes it's as simple as a grandparent who is already a long time/full time caretaker seeking a permanent commitment for the security and stability of a grandchild. Other times the circumstances are much more unusual. I am currently working on a temporary guardianship that will allow a couple from another state to remove the child from this state to return home and seek a permanent guardianship in their home state. This solution was suggested by our local judge. Every time I think I've done it all or heard it all, my practice throws me another curve.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Always wishing for the best for your kids

My son, Tim, is waiting to hear back from colleges regarding acceptance. He has only heard from one so far, and it is the one closest to his birth family in Southern California. (It also happens to be 5 minutes from my niece's house, which would mean he would have a free place to stay for a while, until he gets his bearings and makes new friends.) Because his adoption has been open from the beginning and has become more and more open over the years, I am actually thrilled that he will be near his (birth) grandparents and the rest of their family. We have all spent a lot of time together during his growing up years. He knows them well and loves them. He will have a place to go for holidays if he can't make it all the way home. This was always my intention throughout his childhood. I am glad he has so many wonderful people who love him.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

flexibility and patience

We are working with a couple who is matched with a very quiet, shy birthmother. Although she signed our Authorization for Release of Information, her doctor is reluctant to talk directly with the APs. We have obtained all of birthmom's medical records. In this case the APs will need to take the med recs to their own medical practitioner to review and ask their questions. Birthmom's doc says birthmom is her patient and insists on protecting her privacy. This is an unusual situation and is causing some frustration for our clients, the APs. My point in discussing this here is to encourage you to be patient with your birthmom and to be flexible in responding to her individual needs. Every birthmom is a unique personality and every adoption is just as unique.