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’s (Attorney) passion for family building stems from her experience as a birth mother. She placed her son for adoption in 1988 and worked with ARTs industry pioneer Diane Michelsen on that adoption. Megan has been practicing assisted reproductive technologies and adoption law exclusively since 2010. She took over Diane Michelsen’s practice in 2013 and has been ranked by Super Lawyers every year since. Her experience running a surrogacy agency gives her unique insight and invaluable experience when representing intended parents or surrogates.
Megan graduated magna cum laude and first in her class from law school where she earned multiple awards for academic excellence. Prior to studying law, Megan was both a successful small business owner and a high school English teacher. 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 (Of Counsel) 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 involved with the Family Formation practice.
Dory Pierce is the 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.
Karen Erny is our Case Coordinator. Karen provides essential support to all of the firm’s practice areas. She works closely with each surrogate candidate, making sure the screening process is as smooth and stress-free as possible. She has decades of experience working with families and young children and brings to our team a passion for supporting and nurturing families.