Committed to Promoting Adoption Reform and Sharing Information

The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys is a national association of approximately 340 attorneys who practice, or have otherwise distinguished themselves, in the field of adoption law. The Academy's work includes promoting the reform of adoption laws and disseminating information on ethical adoption practices.

Distinguished Adoption Attorneys

Academy Fellows must be licensed for at least five years and have acted as lead counsel in at least 50 adoption proceedings, including 10 interstate (ICPC) placements in the two years prior to being invited to join the Academy.  They must maintain their practice according to the highest standards of ethics, competence and professionalism.

Adoption Attorneys Provide Legal Advice and Protections

Adoption laws across the United States are statutory and they must be followed to the letter in order for a successful adoption to occur. An attorney is your best advocate to ensure a successful adoption by examining the laws involved and providing you with an successful adoption plan.

Find an Attorney

Working with an expert in adoption law will help ensure that your adoption proceeds smoothly. The Academy Directory is a listing of the current fellows of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys in each State.  Find an Adoption Attorney.

Find an Agency

The Agency Directory provides you with information about adoption agencies that have an affiliation either directly or indirectly with one or more current AAAA members. The fact that an agency is listed in the Agency Directory should not be construed as an endorsement of that agency by the Academy.  Find an Adoption Agency.

Considering Assisted Reproductive Technologies?

You may also want to learn about building your family through the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology.  For more information about this option please visit us at the Aaart Alogo Onlywebsite.

Interested in joining AAAA?  

If you are interested in becoming a Fellow of the Academy follow this link for member qualifications to join the Academy

Provisional Membership Program for Adoption Attorneys

An opportunity for younger, less experienced adoption lawyers to have access to AAAA programs and begin the path to full Fellowship.
Provisional Membership Information is now available. For information review our Bylaws.

News

Lexi's Case and ICWA

We are closely following the California case (Lexi's Case) that has been receiving international attention and support reform to ICWA that may result in the public's knowledge of how ICWA is being used. Unfortunately, Lexi is not alone. These types of situations have been happening for years - probably most well known is the Baby Veronica case (Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl). There are many more - many more families who were scared to go to the media as their families and lives were devastated. These public cases are not anomalies. Lexi’s case shows clearly the tragedy that ensures when the child’s best interest is not the ultimate test of where a child should be placed. Lexi’s case is now before the United States Supreme Court on a petition for writ of certiorari, which the Academy supported by filing an amicus brief in support of the appellant former foster parents to Lexi, arguing the child’s best interests must be the paramount consideration in ICWA cases.

As the nation’s largest constituent group of adoption attorneys, AAAA had a dramatic impact on proposed regulations published in 2015 governing the Indian Child Welfare Act. See  Academy Responds to New Indian Child Welfare Guidelines submitted to the BIA. In response, the BIA adopted a majority of the recommendations and concerns of Academy, for instance by affirming that voluntary adoption proceeding do not require notice to the tribes, and recognizing that parents have rights to make their own adoption plans for their children. The new regulations may be found on our ICWA page.   For detailed information please go to the Academy's webpage for ICWA in our section on Children's Rights.

Family Formation Charitable Trust Announces Grants

The Family Formation Charitable Trust is pleased to announce that an additional $8,000 in grants were awarded in the September 2015 funding cycle to several families and one 501c3 organization...for more information read the full summary on Family Formation Charitable Trust.

Focus on a Fellow - Herb Friedman

Herb Friedman has been an Academy Fellow since 1990.  He practices law in Boston and is a adoptive father.  To learn more click Herb Friedman...

Academy Praises Supreme Court Decision as child friendly.

The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys are gratified by the child friendly opinion embracing marriage equality, issued this morning by the United States Supreme Court.  To read entire press release click  Supreme Court Decision Press Release.

Academy Responds to New Federal Indian Child Welfare Guidelines and Proposed Regulations

Washington, DC – The nation’s largest constituent group of adoption attorneys, law professors and judges is reacting to the Department of Interior’s recently issued guidelines from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) concerning the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law established in 1978 to protect Native American children, families and tribes and to address the issue of the mass removal of Native American children from reservations by state welfare agencies. The law was enacted to protect “the relationship between Indian tribes and Indian children domiciled on the reservation.”  For Full Press Release: Academy Responds to New Indian Child Welfare Guidelines &  Webinar - BIA Guidelines.  UPDATE: The BIA took a dramatic and unfortunate step subsequent to publishing the new guidelines when it next announced its intention to propose regulations based on the new guidelines.  The Academy has voiced its strenuous opposition to this development in the  Academy Comments to BIA Proposed ICWA Regulations submitted to the BIA.

Events in 2016

February Webinar 

BIA ICWA regulations entitled, “If You Weren’t Confused Before, Now There Are BIA ICWA Regulations.”  On February 8, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. ET, Academy Fellows Mark Fiddler, Larry Jenkins, and Jay McCarthy will be presenting an informative webinar on the new ICWA regulations for the Indian Child Welfare Act, effective December 2016, with attention to how courts, tribes and governmental agencies will apply them. Practitioners experienced in the Indian Child Welfare Act, will discuss the changes and how they will affect child custody cases involving actual and suspected Indian children.

Featured Youth from The Adoption Exchange

AAAA is committed to ensuring children find forever families. This week we have two children who through the Adoption Exchange are waiting for adoptive homes that we want to share with you. If you or someone you know has love and a home to share with one of this children please go to the Adoption Exchange page on our website to learn more about them and how to take the first step to providing one of them (or both!) a loving, forever home.

Montreal Sponsor/Exhibitor Registration

The Academy’s 2017 annual meeting is being held in beautiful, historic Montréal, Canada, May 7 - 10, 2017. We hope you will join us!

Please check out the Registration Form to see what is being offered this year! In addition to new and creative sponsorship opportunities, we have included increased sponsor benefits and, as a way to thank you for committing early to the success of our conference, we are offering EARLY BIRD DISCOUNTS through December 31!

For sponsors and exhibitor who wish to commit to joining us at both our annual meeting and our Mid-Year in Anaheim, California - September 16 - 19, 2017, we are also offering discounts. The Mid-Year will be an ART conference for attorneys (Fellows and non-Fellows), and also include an ART Paralegal Program that will precede the Attorney Program. If you are interested, please give Jennie Sullivan a call at 317-407-8422 to discuss the additional incentives available.

As always, thank you for your generous support of the Academy - we value your friendship and contribution to the success of the Academy.

Webinars for Purchase

For a List of Recent Webinars on Adoption, ART law, Surrogacy offered by the Academy click Adoption and ART Webinars.

2017-2018 Educational Opportunities

ACI Infertility Center of Excellence Conference
February 9-10, 2017
San Diego, CA
Active Communications International Logo (1)

ABA Family Law Section 2017 Spring CLE Conference
May 3-6, 2017
Savannah, GA

ABA Family Law Section 2017 Fall CLE Conference
October 4-7, 2017
Beaver Creek Mountain, CO

ABA Family Law Section 2018 Spring CLE Conference
May 9-12, 2018
Nashville, TN

For further information concerning the above ABA events, please contact: Cynthia (“Cindy”) G. Swan, Director – Section of Family Law, American Bar Association | 321 North Clark Street | Chicago, IL 60654, Office Direct: 312.988.5619 | Cell: 773.490.9320, cynthia.swan@americanbar.org | www.americanbar.org