LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 12, 2013) - Family Law Attorney Maya Shulman, managing partner of the Calabasas firm Adelman & Seide, is taking a stand against international adoptions saying that they are taking valid opportunities away from tens of thousands of needy U.S. children. Attorney Shulman, an AV®-rated attorney and six-time, Southern California 'Rising Star,' partners with Robert A. Adelman, a distinguished certified family law specialist and multiple-year, AV-rated "Super Lawyer."
While many 'would -- be' parents are turning to Eastern European countries for the 'desirable' blond children, or turning to Third World nations to make a social stand for children in need, Attorney Shulman says there's a rising tide of unwanted, underserved children in America who may never find a 'forever home.' As a result, many are doomed to spend their childhood years in the foster care system, which she points out, is a very unhappy place for a child to live.
"Since most adoptive parents prefer a newborn baby to a child who has been in the system for a few years, there are thousands of children living their lives in the foster care system," says Attorney Shulman. "With many celebrities popularizing foreign adoptions, there is a huge population of overlooked children, here in the U.S., who are never going to find a home."
As a family law attorney with a specialty in adoptions, assisted reproduction technologies (ART), and surrogacy contracts, Ms. Shulman has seen what issues can arise from foreign adoptions, for both the adopted parents and the foreign-born adopted children.
"There are a lot of issues that adoptive parents don't anticipate when bringing in a child from another country," she says. "Taking a child 6,000 miles away from home is tough enough without having to adjust to the barriers of language, culture and genetic differences. Up until recently, we've seen international adoptions increase from the Ukraine, Russia, China, the Czech Republic and Africa, while domestic adoptions have decreased. Adoptive parents may think they are doing a great service for a child from a Third World country, when in fact, foreign adoptions are rife with problems."
Ms. Shulman points to the highly-publicized case last year of the American mother who reversed her adoption of a Russian child, causing international outrage and a ban on American adoptions of Russian children by Russian President Vladimir Putin. "The fact is, the Russian child had severe disabilities that were not disclosed to the adoptive parent. This is a problem that you run into when you deal with foreign countries which may have a different set of standards about what they are willing to disclose."
In addition to working as a litigator and a mediator in Family Law Courts across California, Attorney Shulman is known for her humanitarian work representing low-income litigants through L.A.'s non-profit Vincent Family Law Center. She has also lectured and trained the staff of Haven House, Inc., an organization assisting battered women and their children, with legal representation regarding child custody and domestic violence matters.
By advocating for more public awareness about the needs of children in the foster care system, Ms. Shulman hopes to bring about a positive change to this underserved population. In the process, she hopes to see more people stepping up to serve as positive role models in the lives of the children who so badly need loving parents.
Attorney Maya Shulman is a longstanding member of the Family Law Sections of the American, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and San Fernando Valley Bar Associations. Her experience includes litigation and mediation in all areas of dissolution, paternity, domestic and international move-away custody cases, adoption, post-divorce modification of custody and support adoption and assisted reproduction technologies (ART) and family formation law including surrogacy contracts.