Reported Decisions, Published Works and Media Appearances

Reported Decisions

After successfully obtaining visitation for a de facto mother at the trial court and at the the Maryland Court of Special Appeals that de facto parents are entitled to visitation in the reported case of Janice M. v. Margaret K., Ms. Fairfax argued the case before the Maryland Court of Appeals. Amicus Briefs supporting her positions were filed by NCLR, ACLU, NASW and the University of Baltimore Law School. The Maryland Court of Appeals dealt a serious blow to the LGBT community in its decision, Janice M. v. Margaret K., 404 Md. 661, in holding that Maryland does not recognize defacto parents. The case can be found at

Publications and Media

Jennifer has been interviewed and featured in Time Magazine's Money section regarding "The Real Cost of Adopting a Kid." 

Gay with Kids article on "The cost of gay fatherhood" highlighted Jennifer's practice in this area of adoption law. 

Jennifer has appeared on "Making it Last" to discuss private and agency adoption from beginning the process to years after the adoption when adoptees or birth parents search for birth relatives.   

Jennifer is the author of the "Adoption Law Handbook" published by the ABA in 2018.  The Handbook is the go to guide for adoption professionals for best practices in adoption law.  It is a comprehensive guide that covers everything from client intake to finalization of adoptions.  It includes forms and resources for every aspect of adoption law.  You can order a copy by following this link.

Jennifer was interviewed on ABC News Channel 7 regarding marriage recognition in Maryland and the parental presumption that is created with a valid marriage.

Jennifer Fairfax has been interviewed about international adoption by Washington Parent Magazine and featured in the article “Gotcha in my Heart. The joys and challenges of International Adoption”. Click here to enter the website and go to page 58.

Jennifer Fairfax was interviewed about LGBT adoption in U.S. News and World Report

Jennifer was a guest on the "Paul Samakow Radio Show" addressing Adoption and ART in  Maryland.

Jennifer has twice appeared on the Law School for the Public television show as a panel speaker on Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Technology.

Jennifer Fairfax has published the following articles:

  • Families for Private Adoption, Post Adoption contact agreements.
  • Frederick County Newsletter, Adoption Expenses in Maryland
  • Resolve Quarterly Newsletter, an article titled, "Adoption Basics"
  • Frederick County Bar Newsletter, "Representing LGBT clients who want to build their family through domestic adoption"
  • Solo Newsletter for the American Bar Association an article titled "Representing Same Sex Adoption Clients"
  • Maryland Family Law Newsletter for the Maryland State Bar Association, and article titled "Representing Lesbian, Gay and Single Parents in Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Technology Cases."

Teaching and Speaking Engagements

Jennifer teaches on Adoption and Assisted Reproduction, has presented at seminars for potential parents, and has been a guest lecturer for law students

Jennifer presents on Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Technology for other legal professionals:

  • American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (San Diego, 2013)
  • Frederick County Bar Association (2013)
  • Inns of Court (2013)
  • Montgomery County Divorce Roundtable, (2013)
  • Maryland 5th Circuit Judicial Meeting (Winter 2012) 
  • Anne Arundel Bar Association (Fall 2012)
  • American University Law Students for Reproductive Justice (Spring 2012)
  • American Bar Association (Spring 2010 );
  • District of Columbia Bar Association (October 2012, August 2013)
  • Baltimore City Bar Association (2011),
  • Free State Legal Services, (2011) 
  • National Business Institute (2009).

Jennifer has presented seminars for potential parents through:

  • Freddie Mac Expo, Adoption from A to Z
  • Grubb Road Pharmacy, "Fertility Options"
  • Cradle of Hope Adoption Center, "Starting Adoption" 
  • Families for Private Adoption
  • George Washington University Lesbian Services Program (working with the Whiteman -Walker clinic);
  • RESOLVE, Inc;
  • Rainbow Families D.C.,;
  • local parenting groups and organizations in Maryland and the District of Columbia on the issues of adoption, surrogacy, family planning, parenting, LGBT legal issues and children’s issues.

Jennifer has been a guest lecturer for law students at:

  • University of Baltimore School of Law, on Contemporary Family Law issues and Adoption/ART for GLBT families
  • University of Maryland School of Law on Contemporary family building issues including adoption and ART
  • George Washington University
  • Villanova School of Law, Adoption Law
  • Nothern Virginia Community College (paralegal course)

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