November is National Adoption Awareness Month. It is a time for adoption celebrations gargantuan and intimate, private and public. We celebrate the creation, or in many instances, the expansion of forever families through adoption.
The traditional method by which many children are placed for adoption relies on a birth parent’s selfless decision. Yet, for a parent whose child has been removed by the state and placed into protective custody or foster care, that parent often no longer enjoys the right to make a private adoption plan for her child. It is as if that parent is labeled as not worthy, stripped of the constitutionally protected right to determine her child’s future. Regrettably, it is a scenario that has played out countless times in the juvenile courts across the United States, and prolongs permanency for children. Read the rest of this entry »
From its inception, the firm has been devoted to pro bono service. The firm handles most of the indigent adoption related cases from Bay Area Volunteer Legal Services (“BAVLP”). Members of the law firm serve as mentors to BAVLP’s pro bono attorneys and to Bay Area Legal Services’ attorneys and staff. In 2001, Danelle Barksdale received the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s (HCBA) and H.A.V.E. a Heart’s Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service for Intake Clinic. “H.A.V.E.” stands for “Hillsborough Attorneys Volunteer Efforts” and represents the 13th Judicial Circuit’s Pro Bono Program, encompassing all the pro bono projects in the Circuit. In 2006, the law firm received the HCBA’s and H.A.V.E. a Heart’s Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Law Firm.
Read the rest of this entry »