Jennifer Fairfax

Jennifer Fairfax

Jennifer's life has intersected with the areas of adoption and family building since she was a teen.  Her adult goddaughter is an international adoptee from Korea who was adopted when Jennifer was 18 and her adult nephew is a domestic adoptee who was adopted when Jennifer was beginning her solo career.  She, herself, underwent fertility treatments to become a parent and has found assisting others in buidling their families through adoption and/or ART rewarding.  She has a compassion and vision for famlies unmatched by others in the area and limits her practice to these areas of the law to ensure she can provide the best service to her clients.    

She is a Fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys ("AAAA"), the lead organization in family building Adoption and ART.  Jennifer served on the Board for four years before serving as Vice President in 2017.  She was awarded the Academy's President's Award for her Leadership, Dedication, Fairness and Vision for Adoption and ART. 

Jennifer is admitted to practice law in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. She is also admitted to practice before the United States Federal Courts in Maryland and the United States Supreme Court. 

Jennifer handles domestic agency and independent adoptions as well as matters clients involving donor and surrogacy options including the use of egg, embryo or sperm donors.  She represent all types of  families including single parents, married or unmarried heterosexual couples, gay and lesbian (lgbt) parents and grandparents.  She represents expectant parents, birth parents and adoptees in uncontested adoptive placements. 

Jennifer's 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 also 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 also has substantial experience working 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 represents donors, surrogates (gestational carriers) and intended parents.  She has obtained birth orders both pre-birth and post birth, handled birth certificate amendments in Virginia and assisted many clients in ensuring their parental rights are secure.   

Jennifer is highly regarded in the adoption field having authored the "go to" book on adoption for Adoption Professionals, 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 served 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

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.  Jennifer has been a Maryland and Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer since 2015 and continues to hold that distinction.  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.  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 has been rated as a preeminent attorney by peers and clients receiving an AV* rating from Martindale-Hubbell since 2015.  An AV certification is a significant rating accomplishment reserved to only 20% of all attorneys rated nationwide.  You can see her listing at:  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:  In 2015 - 2018, 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 routinely works with stakeholders, legislators and council members on legistlation related to both adoption and ART.  She was an intregal part of getting the Collaborative Act on surrogacy passed in DC in 2017 and has been working to achieve similar success in Maryland. 

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

  •     American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), International Adoption
  •     American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), Parentage and Personhood
  •     DC Bar Association, CLE, Adoption Around the Beltway
  •     Frederick County Bar Association, Adoption and Surrogacy
  •     Maryland Judicial Institute, Parentage
  •     Maryland Judicial Institute, Adoption and ART
  •     Montgomery County Bar Association
  •     Montgomery County Inns of Court, Parentage Post Marriage Recognition
  •     Anne Arundel Bar Association CLE on Parentage 
  •     Baltimore City Bar Association and Free State Legal 
  •     American Bar Association  

Jennifer has presented seminars for potential parents through:

  •     Grubb Pharmacy, Fertility Options for LGBT Families
  •     George Washington University Lesbian Services Program (working with the Whiteman -Walker clinic) 
  •     RESOLVE, Inc 
  •     Rainbow Families D.C.
  •     Academy of Adotion and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys.

 Jennifer has been a lecturer for law students at:

  •     Villanova Law School
  •     Universityf of Baltimore School of Law
  •     University of Maryland School of Law
  •     George Washington School of Law
  •     Georgetown School of Law 




“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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