Jennifer Fairfax

Jennifer Fairfax

Jennifer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys ("AAAA") and American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys ("AAARTA").  Referred to jointly as "the Academy" these two nationally and internationally recognized organizations are leaders in the family building area of the law.  Jennifer has served on the Board for four years before taking the helm as Vice President for one year which ended in May 2016.  She was awarded the 2016 President's Award for her Leadership, Dedication, Fairness and Vision for Adoption and ART work.  The Academy can be found at www.adoptionattorneys.org and and www.aaarta.org.

Jennifer is admitted to practice in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. She has assisted clients for over 15 years in growing their families through private and agency adoptions. Handling both domestic and international adoptions, as well as contested adoptions and working with clients interested in surrogacy options or the use of egg or sperm donors.  She represent all types of  families including single parents, married or unmarried heterosexual couples, gay and lesbian parents and grandparents.  She also represents birth parents and adoptees in uncontested adoptive placements.  Her extensive adoption experience includes second parent adoptions, stepparent adoptions, international re-adoptions, adoptions through foster care systems, agency adoptions, and private adoptions.  Her client centered practice is unmatched by anyone else.      

She assists clients through the legal process, including navigating the Interstate Compact on the Placement on Children (ICPC) process for domestic adoptions, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the re-adoption and/or finalization process for international adoptions.

Jennifer is highly regarded in the industry having authored the "go to" book on adoption for Adoption Professionals across the country, speaking before prospective clients, law students, attorneys and the Judiciary and appearing on television and radio.  Jennifer is the 2013 recipient of the Maryland State Bar Foundation Legal Excellence Award and the author of the "The Adoption Law Handbook" published by the ABA which sets out best practices for the adoption attorney and other adoption professionals.

Jennifer is past President and currently serves on the Board of the Center for Adoption Support and Education which provides adoption related counseling and support services for all members of the adoption triad.  They can be found at www.adoptionsupport.org

Jennifer has been featured on the Paul Samakow Radio Show talking about Adoption and ART in the United States and on the television show "Making It Last" talking about adoption.  For more on her background, she was recently featured in Metro Weekly for her service to family building clients.

In addition to her adoption services, Jennifer works with clients who are interested in growing their families through the use of assisted reproduction technology (ART), whether using a surrogate or a donor. Jennifer has experience representing donors, surrogates (gestational carriers) and intended parents.  

Jennifer is a Maryland and Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.    

A previous Court Appointed Special Advocate through the CASA program, Jennifer currently is often appointed as an attorney representing children and birth parents in adoption cases.  She handles over 20 appointments a year.  

She has been rated as a preeminent attorney by peers and clients receiving an AV* rating from Martindale-Hubbell.  An AV certification is a significant rating accomplishment reserved to only 20% of all attorneys rated nationwide.  You can see her at:  http://www.martindale.com/Jennifer-Fairfax/628067-lawyer.htm.

Jennifer was also rated a 10.0, the highest rating available by AVVO based on an attorneys reviews, experience and ethical standards.  Information about her on Avvo is at:  www.avvo.com.

In 2015, Jennifer was named a "Best Lawyer in Washington, D.C." and was the only attorney who exclusively practices adoption and surrogacy law named to the list.  

Jennifer is working with stakeholders, legislators and councilmembers to get comprehensive surrogacy legislation passed in both Maryland and the District of Columbia.  

She teaches courses on Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Technology for other legal professionals through:

  •     American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), International Adoption, November 2014
  •     American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), Parentage and Personhood, October 2014
  •     DC Bar Association, CLE, Adoption Around the Beltway, August 2013
  •     Frederick County Bar Association, Adoption and Surrogacy, July 2013
  •     Maryland Judicial Institute, Parentage, September 2013
  •     Maryland Judicial Institute, Adoption and ART, May 2013
  •     Montgomery County Bar Association, 2013
  •     Montgomery County Inns of Court, Parentage Post Marriage Recognition, July 2013
  •     Anne Arundel Bar Association CLE on Parentage (October 2012)
  •     Baltimore City Bar Association and Free State Legal (March 2011)
  •     American Bar Association (Spring 2010 ) 

Jennifer has presented seminars for potential parents through:

  •     Grubb Pharmacy, Fertility Options for LGBT Families, 2012
  •     George Washington University Lesbian Services Program (working with the Whiteman -Walker clinic) (2007)
  •     RESOLVE, Inc (2007-2010)
  •     Rainbow Families D.C., (2009-2014)

 Jennifer has been a lecturer for law students at:

  •     Villanova Law School, Family Law Course
  •     Universityf of Baltimore School of Law
  •     University of Maryland School of Law

Jennifer practices in all Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia courts, as well as the Maryland Federal courts. She is has the honor of being admitted to the United States Supreme Court.

                                                                                          

 

“AV® Preeminent ™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.” Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Reading Recommendations

20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, Sherrie Eldridge

Raising Adopted Children: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent, by Lois Ruskai Melina

Talking to Your Child About Adoption, Patricia Martinez Dorner

Making Sense of Adoption, A Parents Guide, Lois Ruskai Melina

Dialogues About Adoption: Conversations Between Parents and Their Children, Linda Bothum

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self,  byDavid M. Brodzinsky, Marshall D. Schecter and Robin Marantz Henig

The Family of Adoption, by Joyce Maguire Pavao

Taking with Young Children About Adoption, Mary Watkins and Susan Fisher

Real Parents, Real Children: Parenting the Adopted Child, Holly van Gulden and LIsa M. Bartels-Rabb

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax

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