SERVICE.  EXPERTISE.  COMMITMENT.

I believe every person deserves the chance to create a family, and I appreciate the unique journey each person follows in order to fulfill his or her dream. My law practice is focused on helping clients build their families through Independent Adoption, Collaborative Agency Adoption, Stepparent Adoption, Relative and Grandparent Adoptions, Adult Adoption, Dependency Adoption, and Guardianship Proceedings. I am committed to the goals of providing excellent service, legal expertise, and an affordable fee structure, while working to ensure full understanding of my clients' unique situations and concerns. I work hard so that my clients can focus on their most important priority: Family.

About Meg

Prior to starting her own practice in Orange County, Meg and her husband, Alex, lived in Los Angeles. Meg was recruited by the owners of a well-respected law firm practicing exclusively in adoption and guardianship law. Meg represented more than 100 families each year, and she helped her clients achieve their goal of building a safe and secure family unit through adoption and guardianship. Meg's education, legal experience, and desire to assist other families in realizing their dreams contributed to the success and growth of the firm. She now brings this unique skill set to her clients in Orange County and the surrounding areas.

Meg was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with High Distinction (Top 10%) from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, with dual bachelor degrees in Political Science and Spanish. Meg volunteered her time in college as a tutor and mentor for inner-city children in Detroit and as an intern for a United States Senator. Meg also studied in Mexico and Spain, where she immersed herself in the local cultures and customs. Upon graduating, Meg moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor in 2001. In law school, Meg served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs, and as an extern at the Office of the District Counsel, United States Department of Justice.

Meg began her legal career in Los Angeles working for two nationally-recognized law firms, where she handled complex civil and entertainment litigation for Fortune 500 companies. She also served as a mentor with the Los Angeles Volunteers in Parole, which matches parolees with attorneys to help them transition into society. Although Meg achieved many successful outcomes in corporate litigation, she found her true calling in helping clients build their families in diverse ways. Meg brings a personal understanding and sensitive approach to every client’s situation because of her own experience using assisted reproductive technology to build her family.

Meg is a Fellow in the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers and Academy of California Family Formation Lawyers (ACAL/ACFFL), an invitational society limited to licensed California attorneys with extensive adoption and assisted reproduction expertise and whose practices are of the highest standards of ethics and professional competence. She is a member of the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) Family Law Section and Conservatorship, Guardianship, and Protective Proceedings Section, the Orange County Women Lawyers Association, and the Orange County Lavender Bar Association (LGBT). Meg also completed her certification as a Mediator through OC Human Relations, and she utilizes her conflict-resolution skills to find solutions that focus on the best interests of the parties and that avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.

Meg lives with her husband and young daughter in San Juan Capistrano. She is actively involved in her community and she volunteers with the OCBA Community Outreach Committee. Meg is proficient in Spanish. She is licensed to practice in all state courts in the State of California and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Services

In an Independent Adoption in California, the birth parents are advised by a licensed clinical social worker, known as the Adoption Service Provider (ASP), and place the child directly with the adoptive parents by signing the Independent Adoption Placement Agreement in the presence of the ASP. If the birth father is not a placing parent, the parental rights of the birth father must be terminated. The county social services agency investigates the adoption and files a report to the Court providing its recommendation as to whether the Court should grant the adoption petition. Meg represents the adoptive parents in each step of the adoption process, which can be confusing and complex. Meg brings together an experienced and dedicated team of adoption professionals, including social workers, counselors, and attorneys, who work with the adoptive parents and the birth parents who are placing their child for adoption and provide them with the best service possible.
In a Collaborative Agency Adoption in California, the adoptive parents use a licensed adoption agency to locate and match with the birth parents and to take the birth parents' consent, known as the “Relinquishment.” Meg works with her clients' adoption agency and represents her clients in the finalization process. If the birth father is not a placing parent, Meg also handles the process for terminating his parental rights. She also provides guidance to her clients with adoption-related procedures after the adoption is finalized, including obtaining the new birth certificate and applying for Social Security and a Passport, all of which can be time-consuming and stressful in ways that are not expected. Meg's representation allows her clients to devote more time and attention to their families.
In a Relative Adoption in California, a family member adopts the child and the parental rights of the birth parents are terminated. It is common for grandparents to adopt their grandchildren. The county social services agency completes an investigation and files a report with the Court providing its recommendation as to whether the Court should grant the adoption petition. Meg counsels her clients as to the proper procedure, and she provides all legal services during the adoption process.
In a Stepparent Adoption in California, the spouse or domestic partner of the birth parent adopts the child while the birth parent retains parental rights and custody of the child. The other birth parent’s rights are terminated. The investigator completes an investigation and files a report with the Court providing its recommendation as to whether the Court should grant the adoption petition. Meg counsels her clients as to the proper procedure, and she provides all legal services during the adoption process.
In an Adult Adoption in California, an older adult adopts a younger adult. The purpose of an adult adoption is to formalize an already existing parent-child relationship. The parties agree to assume toward each other the legal relationship of parent and child and to have all the rights and be subject to all the duties and responsibilities of that relationship. Meg counsels her clients as to the proper procedure, and she provides all legal services during the adoption process.
In a Dependency Adoption or “Fost-Adopt” in California, the child is removed from the custody of the birth parents and declared a dependent of the court. If the judge decides adoption is the best permanent plan for the child, the parental rights of the birth parents are terminated and the child is adopted. Meg represents the adoptive family in the dependency court, and she provides all legal services during the adoption process.
In a guardianship proceeding in California, a person other than the birth parents obtains legal custody of the child and steps into shoes of the birth parents. The birth parents' rights are suspended, but they are not terminated. The guardian is responsible for the child's health, safety, and educational needs. Depending on whether the guardian is a relative of the child, the court or the county social services agency assigns a caseworker to investigate the guardianship and file a report providing a recommendation as to whether the guardianship petition should be granted. The guardian is required to file an annual status report informing the judge about the child's development and activities. The guardianship process is document-intensive and the notice requirements for the child's family members can be confusing and complex. Meg handles all legal aspects of the guardianship proceeding.

Meg's law practice focuses on providing legal services to clients seeking to build their families through Independent Adoption, Collaborative Agency Adoption, Relative and Grandparent Adoptions, Stepparent Adoption, Adult Adoption, Dependency Adoption, and Guardianship. Meg concentrates on these practice areas in order to provide her clients with the excellent service and legal expertise they deserve. Meg guides her clients through each step of the legal process, and she anticipates issues that may arise and provides sensible solutions.

Meg is licensed to practice law in all state courts in the State of California and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Meg is proficient in Spanish. Meg only handles matters filed in the State of California.

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