We are a unique team of dedicated adoption and assisted reproduction professionals, including one of the only adoption attorneys in the country who is also a birth mother. Our lead attorney and one of our adoption case managers both adopted daughters through our firm; and our surrogacy program director is an experienced surrogate. We care deeply about this firm and the work we do and are incredibly proud of our team. We bring passion and commitment to each individual case and look forward to the possibility of working with you.
Megan Cohen (Attorney) is one of the only adoption attorneys in the country who is also a birth mother (read her adoption story). Admitted to the bar in January 2010, Megan began working with Diane that same year and made partner by 2011. She took over the firm in 2013 and has since received Super Lawyers’ Northern California Rising Star award in 2013 and 2014. Megan graduated magna cum laude and first in her class from law school where she earned multiple awards for academic excellence. As a law student, she worked for three years as an advocate for victims of domestic violence. Prior to studying law, Megan was both a successful small business owner and a high school English teacher. Her passion for adoption began when she placed her son for adoption in 1988. She continues to have an open relationship with her adopted son and his parents, and has intimate knowledge of what it means to place a child, to choose the child’s parents, and to both stay connected and reunite with the adopting family.
Diane Michelsen (Consultant) found her calling in the family formation field. Previously licensed to practice law in California and Hawaii, and now retired, she also has a Masters degree in Social Work and has practiced family counseling and mediation. Her optimistic, innovative and “can do” approach has led to her recognition as a groundbreaking leader in the family formation field. She continues to be actively involved with the Family Formation practice.
Dory Pierce is Co-Director of our Surrogacy Program. Dory’s philanthropic nature drove her to pursue something more meaningful and personally rewarding. Having been a surrogate herself she knew the field of family building would be the perfect fit. She understands firsthand both the clinical and emotional complexities of the surrogacy journey and she is able to relate to clients on a personal level. She considers it a joy and a privilege to have a small part in creating a family and she is always happy to answer questions and provide reassurance and emotional support to both surrogates and intended parents.
Maura V. Kelley (Paralegal and Adoption Case Manager) joined Family Formation in September 2016. Having a lifelong passion for social justice and reproductive rights, Maura is thrilled to be able to join the FFLO team. She primarily works with the adoption cases ensuring that all parties have a positive experience with forming their families. Additionally, she supports the entire assisted reproductive practice by working closely with Megan and Dory to secure all necessary legal documentation. She graduated from Fordham University (Go Rams!) and JFK School of Law. She lives in Walnut Creek with her husband and son.
Linda Knoll is our Adoption Case Manager. She handles the nonlegal aspects of our adoption cases. She is delightfully detail-oriented and consistently shows patience and good humor.
Natalie Alderete is our Marketing and Administrative Assistant and joined our firm in the fall of 2013. She has several family members and close friends that have built their families through adoption and surrogacy and understands what a blessing it is to be able to do so. Natalie is a wife and mother to a 3-year-old daugther. She loves working with our clients and especially enjoys working with Dory to recruit and screen surrogates into our program. Natalie loves getting to know them and truly admires the amazing gift that they give to loving parents who are waiting for a child.
Fenny Wong-Mok is our unflappable bookkeeper. Originally from Hong Kong, she oversees all aspects of trust and escrow account management, ensuring accuracy and accountability.