Bachelor of Science in Languages and Linguistics, with honors, 1971
Languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
The National Law Center of George Washington University, Juris Doctor, 1974
Connecticut Bar: 1975-1981
Massachusetts Bar: 1981 (retired 2010)
Member of the First and Second Circuit Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court (retired, 2010)
Fellow (Ret.): American Academy of Adoption Attorneys 1993-2010, American Bar Association, Boston Bar Association
Speaking and Public Appearances on Adoption:
CNN television (on adoption of African children); CBS Early Morning News (on adoption issues); NECN News (on adoption issues); Adoption Community of New England Annual Conference (speaker for 20 years) and RESOLVE annual conference (speaker for 4 years) on legal issues affecting adopters; many other public and legal community speaking events on adoption issues.
Represented indigent birth parents subject to state intervention for alleged abuse and neglect
in Hartford, CT 1974-1979 for Neighborhood Legal Services of Hartford, CT;
Brought the first case in the country enforcing the right of special needs children to fair and
appropriate public education in U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut (P-1 et als. vs. Shedd);
Represented abused and neglected children caught in the Massachusetts'care and protection system and
emotionally disturbed children incarcerated in adult mental health facilities in Massachusetts before
federal trial and appellate courts in class action cases between 1978-1984, including the first case
in the country to establish that children in foster care had a right to demand that the state adequately
protect them from harm (Lynch vs. King, aff'd sub nom Lynch vs. Dukakis).
Taught education law at Boston College Graduate School 1985-1988;
Represented adopters and birth families 1991 to 2010.
Retired June, 2010.
I have found over the years that many clients are a bit skeptical about my legal advice. They have accumulated some misguided and even harmful myths about adoption from friends, neighbors and the popular media, and even more stories about unscrupulous lawyers. The decision to adopt may be the most fraught and frightening one they ever make, so it’s no wonder, despite my professional credentials, they need to know why I do what I do before they rely on advice that seems to be counter-intuitive at times.
I adopted my two children, both born in the U.S., when they were each one month old. Both girls were voluntarily relinquished by their birthparents. I was able to help them search, find, and contact their birthmothers and birthfather’s family.
The fact that my daughters are in personality, temperament, strengths, skills and weaknesses absolutely nothing like me or any of my family provides one of the greatest sources of learning, wonder and joy in my life.
We share a healthy respect for the challenges of living as an adoptive family, balanced by a sense of humor about the gloom, doom and sensationalism that often accompanies its portrayal in the media.
Some personal challenges, including a difficult childhood and an adoption disruption of my own, led me to the work I have done since graduating from law school back in 1974. But my miraculously happy later life derives from my created family: my daughters, my stepson and my beloved husband.