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On Demand Audio

Handling Contested Adoptions

(569 reviews)

Produced on November 04, 2014

Taught by
$ 89 Family & Matrimonial, Public Interest, and American Indian In Stock

Course Information

Time 90 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Join returning faculty member Colleen Quinn as she discusses contested adoptions and the various issues attorneys must consider in the representation of such matters. Colleen begins by reviewing the primary types of contested adoptions including birth parents objecting to adoption, adoption on grounds of abandonment, fraud or "wrongful adoption," foster parents versus Department of Social Services (DSS), Grandparent Intervention, legal malpractice, and Indian Tribe Intervention under ICWA.  With these primary types established, Ms. Quinn then discusses the associated practical considerations including cost to the parties, stress, risk, resources, evidence to be admitted, trial and trial judge as well as the importance of understanding the evidentiary and court rules.  


Learning Objectives:

I.     Recognize primary types of contested adoptions:

  • Birth parents objecting to adoption
  • Adoption on grounds of abandonment
  • Fraud or "wrongful adoption"
  • Foster parents versus Department of Social Services (DSS)
  • Grandparent Intervention
  • Legal malpractice
  • Indian Tribe Intervention under ICWA

II.    Understand associated practical considerations: 

  • Cost to the parties, 
  • Stress
  • Risk
  • Resources
  • Evidence to be admitted
  • Trial and trial judge 
  • Evidentiary and Court rules

III.   Know Mediation Settlement considerations 

IV.   Comprehend:

  • trial strategies,
  • trial preparation, 
  • suggested discovery
  • examination questions and other trial considerations

V.  Grasp state application using Virginia as an example



Colleen Quinn

Locke Partin Deboer & Quinn

Faculty Spotlight

Honored with the Virginia State Bar Family Law Service Award (2015), “Best Lawyers in America” (2014), “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by National Trial Lawyers (2012-15), the YWCA Outstanding Woman Award for Law & Government (2011), the “Hats Off to Women Award” by the ABWA Cavalier Chapter (2011), as “Super Lawyers” Top 100 (2012 & 2013) and Top 50 (2011) in Virginia, Top 50 (2012-15) and Top 25 (2010 & 2011) Female in Virginia, and Top 50 (2013) and Top 25 (2012 & 2013) in Richmond, by Richmond magazine, by Virginia Business magazine as one of Virginia’s “Legal Elite” (2010-14,2005), the “Leader in the Law” by Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly (2009), the Congressional “Angels in Adoption” award (2008), and a “Super Lawyer” by Richmond magazine (2006-15), Colleen Marea Quinn has represented thousands of adopting parents, birth parents, adoptees, intended parents, surrogates, gestational carriers and egg donors since 1989. After graduating from the College of William and Mary and UVA Law School, Quinn clerked for the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, The Hon. Harry L. Carrico. She is a Fellow, and serves on the Board of Trustees and is President-Elect, of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (“AAAA”) and a Fellow, Founder, Executive Council and Membership Chair (2009-15) of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (“AAARTA”), both are select groups of attorneys with rigorous standards for membership.

She speaks frequently at AAAA-AAARTA Annual Meetings, was the 2011 Mid-Year Conference Chair, the 2007 Annual Convention Chair, was on the AAAA ARTS Taskforce and Committee (2006-09), and Chaired the Birth Parent Representation Committee (1999 to 2003). In 2003, she published the AAAA “Representing Birth Parents Handbook.” She is the co-author of the Fifth and Fourth Editions of the Virginia CLE “Adoption Procedures and Forms” book. She has served as a program chair, moderator and speaker for numerous adoption and ART seminars and programs. Quinn has qualified and served as an expert witness in adoption law in the Virginia court system and has been hired and deposed as an expert witness in surrogacy law. She serves/has served as a certified Guardian ad Litem and is a member of the LGBT Bar Family Law Institute, the VA Equality Bar Association, the ABA ART & Adoption Committees, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (“ASRM), RESOLVE, AAJ and the VTLA.

Quinn is a partner and equity owner in the firm of Locke & Quinn, has achieved an “AV” rating, the highest given, by Martindale Hubbell, is a Fellow of the LCA, and a member of the VTLA, RBA, VSB, and the AAJ. She is a Past-President of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Richmond Chapter, Past-Secretary of the Richmond NAWBO Foundation Board, Past-Chairman of the Richmond Women’s Business Consortium, Past-President (former Pres., Pres-Elect, VP, Sec. and Treas.) of the Metropolitan Richmond Women's Bar Association, and has served as a Chair and Co-Chair for numerous VTLA Committees.

Ms. Quinn devotes and has devoted time and energy to various civic activities such as the Creating a Family Board, United Way Women’s Leadership Council, Girl Scouts of Virginia Board of Directors, Go Red for Women, VSDV Action Alliance, Petersburg Domestic Violence Task Force, LINC, and the Richmond YWCA (prior Advisory Council, President, Board member). She is a 1996 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, a Lifetime Girl Scout member and, in her spare time, scuba dives, plays tennis, mountain bikes and teaches aerobics.


Gail S.

Covered a lot of practical tips

Michael S.


Charilyn C.

The presentation was clear, thorough, and filled with important tips for effective practice in the field of adoption. I really get a lot out of her courses - can't wait for another!

Julie A. B.

Terrific accompanying materials.

Barbara L.


Julie C.

So much information and so quick! Thank goodness for the notes provided thank you for all the supplemental material!

Andrew B.

Excellent and thorough discussion on handling contested adoptions. A must see for any family law practitioner

Amy C.

Very interesting. Thanks.

James W.

This was VERY good!

Cynthia L.

I stayed engaged. heplful

Walter T.


Jeffrey M.

As someone who happens to be an adoptee, whose mother-in-law was an adoptee, and with friends who have adopted, I was fascinated by this subject. Great course!


Matter-of-fact, well organized and presented with impressive experience and research

Melissa H.

Very thorough and well organized.

Tina M.

Interesting, easy to follow

Donna H.

Very well planned program, with terrific accompanying materials.

Michael C.

Thanks for mention of the Tribal law area. I need to learn more on that.

Carrie T.

I would like to see a bit more time on foster care issues (I'm more active as a GAL than an adoption attorney in those matters) and would have enjoyed another half hour or so. Great presenter!

Ann P.

Excellent and interesting to boot. Great CLE.



Douglas W.

very helpful

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