Adoption Law 101


CLE credits earned: 2 GENERAL (or 2 LAW & LEGAL for WA state)

Adoption is a specialized practice of law which places children permanently in new or modified families. This course will provide an overview of the different types of adoption, such as independent placements, agency adoptions, foster care adoptions and step-parent adoptions. Although adoption procedures vary by state, you will become familiar with the processes that are common to all states. You will learn about the federal laws that impact all adoptions. Methods of obtaining new birth certificates and social security numbers, frequent topics of concern for your clients, will be presented. You will learn how to avoid pitfalls associated with adoptions of foreign born children.

This course is co-sponsored by the Federal Bar Association.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Independent Adoptions
•   Adopting from Foster Care and Adoption Assistance
•   Agency Adoptions
•   Federal Laws that Impact Adoption (ICPC, ICWA, PPKA, UCCJEA)
•   Adoption of Foreign Born Children
•   Step-Parent Adoptions and Abandon

Date / Time: February 11, 2019

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

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Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

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Original Broadcast Date: February 11, 2019

Denise Bierly, Esq., an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has represented over a thousand adoptive parents, birthparents, adoptees, agencies, intended parents, gestational surrogates and donors since 1990. For the past twenty years, she has practiced exclusively in the legal fields of adoption, assisted reproduction and child advocacy. Bierly is frequently appointed a guardian ad litem by judges who are sitting in acrimonious cases relating to children. Bierly is a Fellow and Past-President of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (Academy), which is a group of credentialed attorneys, judges and law professors in North America and other countries who have distinguished themselves in the law of family formation. It is the largest professional organization of its type. The Academy informs adoption and assisted reproduction law and policy within the state, federal and beyond the US. Bierly served on the Board of Trustees (2006-14), and held the leadership positions of Secretary (2007-8), Vice President (2008-9), President-Elect and Grievance Chair (2010-11), President (2012-13), and coordinated various conferences and committees. Most recently, she served as External Relations Liaison (2014-15) and as the newly created Director of Adoption (2015-17). As the sole principle of the firm the Law Offices of Denise M Bierly, her practice is dedicated to the law of family formation and child advocacy. She is a frequent presenter in these areas to lawyers, judges, agency staff, fertility clinics and members of legislative bodies. Bierly is the mother of three children, two of whom joined her family through adoption.

Eric C. Freeby, Esq. devotes his practice is almost exclusively to adoption law. Included in his law practice are independent domestic adoption, contested adoption, agency domestic adoption, international adoption, interstate (ICPC) adoption, family adoptions, foster care adoptions, mediation, cases involving the Indian Child Welfare Act and adoption agency representation.

Mr. Freeby is member of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (“Academy”). The Academy is an international association of approximately 340 attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the area of adoption and assisted reproduction law. Mr. Freeby is the Deputy Director of Adoptions for the Academy.

Mr. Freeby active in teaching and organizing continuing legal education for attorneys. Mr. Freeby also serves on the boards of charitable organizations in the community.

Karen Stoutamyer Law, Esq. is an adoption and immigration attorney practicing in Virginia. Her immigration practice is national. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1985 and became licensed in Virginia in that same year. She is a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Virginia State Bar, and the Virginia Women Attorneys Association. She also co-chaired the International Adoptions Committee for the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys for three years and served on the AILA International Operations Liaison Committee for two years. Working with those professional associations, she submitted comments to USCIS on proposed rules, operating procedures and policy memoranda. She also has assisted with drafting federal and state legislation and has provided comments and technical expertise to legislators. She was designated as a 2013 Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. In cooperation with the Loudoun County Department of Family Services and the Virginia Women Attorneys Association, she has co-chaired the annual celebration of adoption in Loudoun County, Virginia, Loudoun Adoption Day, for thirteen years. She often speaks at national conferences on intercountry adoption issues and publishes articles on those same topics. She enjoys volunteering at orphanages throughout the world, including South Africa, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Belize, and Jamaica.

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Section I. Introduction
Karen S. Law
a) Overview of adoption options

Section II. Independent Adoptions
Eric C. Freeby & Denise M. Bierly
a) Home-Studies
b) Terminating parental rights
c) Putative Father Registry
d) Finalizing the adoption
e) Obtaining the new birth certificate and social security number

Section III. Foster Care adoptions
Denise M. Bierly
a) Terminating parental rights
b) Who can be considered as an adoptive parent
c) Finalization
d) Adoption subsidy

Section IV. Agency Adoptions
Eric C. Freeby & Karen S. Law
a) How to locate a reputable agency

Section V. Federal Laws
Karen S. Law & Eric C. Freeby

Section VI. Adoption of Foreign Born Children
Karen S. Law
a) Hague and non-Hague cases
b) Bona fide issues
c) Child Citizenship Act

Section VII. Step-Parent Adoptions
Denise M. Bierly and Eric C. Freeby
a) Terminating Parental Rights & abandonment
b) Intersection with UCCJEA
c) Notice requirements to missing parents

Section VIII. Common Ethical Concerns
a) Dual Representation
b) Fraud committed by a birth parent
c) Fraud committed by an adoptive parent
d) Payment of birth parent expenses