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.