Get to Know Martin:
Martin Bauer, Attorney – Martin is known, both nationally and internationally, as a preeminent adoption attorney. He frequently represents either adoptive parents or birth mothers who are seeking a loving, stable home for children through the permanency of adoption. Martin has vast experience in independent and private adoptions, including offering services that match prospective adoptive parents with birth mothers during pregnancy. He is intimately familiar with the requirements of the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC), the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and the issues that arise in contested adoptions. In addition, Martin understands the unique legal challenges that surrogacy agreements and artificial reproductive technologies create. His clients include adoptive couples from across the nation and around the globe.
What do you like best about doing adoption work?
It gives me great satisfaction that birth parents and adoptive parents come to me with both having a struggle—a mother deciding if she can parent and adoptive parents who want a child to parent and finding a way to work through the issues, so that there is hopefully a positive result particularly for the child. Additionally, I love seeing adoptive parents adopt children with special needs and showing so much love even as early as the finalization of the adoption.
How did you first start doing adoption work and how has your adoption practice evolved?
I was asked to handle an adoption for a patient of a doctor we were defending in a medical malpractice case. That was more than 40 years ago. In that 40 years I have completed more than 2,000 infant adoptions and an additional 2,000 step-parent, relative and grandparent adoptions. As part of my focus on permanency for children, I have also handled multiple guardianships for children particularly children with disabilities as they transition into adulthood. As the technology has become more available, I am the only lawyer in Kansas certified by American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) meaning that I have handled the required number and variety of gestational carrier agreements to have the experience and knowledge to negotiate and draft the agreements, handle the prebirth process in the Courts and post birth procedures if ones are needed. From this work in Kansas Probate Courts, I have been appointed many times as guardian, conservator or successor trustee for individuals particularly those who have no one or no one appropriate to make health or financial decisions including seeking or maintaining Medicaid.
What certifications do you carry as an adoption attorney?
I am a Fellow (and past president) of the AAAA, which includes a certification as a specialist in adoptions requiring a minimum number of interstate adoptions in compliance with the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). I am also certified under Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) as the only attorney with the required experience in both gestational carrier and surrogacy agreements and cases in Kansas.
How do you advocate for your clients and the adoption industry?
I was appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court to the Commission to update the Kansas Adoption and Relinquishment Act. The Act had not been updated for more than 20 years and the intervening case law had created some unnecessary delays and costs for adoptions. We also learned that there were gaps that were delaying adoptions of children who had been in the foster care system and we were able to craft language that both shortened the period to finalization but also allowed the cost savings of finalization in any county selected by the adoptive parents. I have also been recognized as an authority on adoption-related legislation and have written and updated the chapter on Adoptions for the Kansas Bar Association. Additionally, I was selected to serve on the Commission to negotiate changes to the Indian Child Welfare Act(ICPC) with representatives of the five civilized Tribes and the Department of the Interior.
Get to Know Amanda:
Amanda Marino, Attorney – Amanda brings a unique perspective to her adoption and surrogacy work, having represented the State of Kansas in Child in Need of Care (CINC) matters. Amanda’s shift to private adoption practice is a perfect outgrowth of her desire to build positive permanency for children through working with loving families looking to build their family through adoption. In her previous position, Amanda worked hard to protect children in difficult circumstances of all kinds. She is well-versed in the myriad challenges facing children, birth families, foster families, and adoptive families. Amanda takes that extensive experience and puts it to work for Martin Pringle’s adoption and surrogacy clients. She loves taking an active role in creating the joy that adoption brings and being a part of the adoption journey of our clients. Amanda is a passionate advocate and believes every child deserves a permanent, loving family. Whether you are considering private adoption, or are a step-parent, grandparent or foster parent looking to adopt a child you have cared for through social services, Amanda stands ready to provide you with information, support and the legal resources to successfully navigate the adoption process.
What do you like best about doing adoption work?
Family. Family is a priority for me. (I come from a very close immediate and extended family.) Through adoption, I get the opportunity to be a part of building someone else’s family. There is so much joy in at the end of what may have been a long, difficult journey.
What type of work did you do prior to joining Martin Pringle’s Adoption Team?
I have committed my entire legal career working toward ensuring positive outcomes for children, always focusing on the child’s best interest. Prior to joining Martin Pringle’s Adoption team, I spent 15 years in the District Attorney’s Office with 12 years representing the State of Kansas in Child in Need of Care (CINC) matters. In that role, I had the unique opportunity to build relationships with families who adopted through the foster care system which ultimately inspired me to grow my law practice in the adoption and surrogacy arena. I have presented the State’s position to the court during contested hearings regarding placement with relatives or foster homes, always taking into account the child’s best interest.
Have you been involved in advocating for any adoption-related legislation?
I have! – KSA 38-2211 and 38-2212 failed to consider the district or county attorneys need for access to information relating to parties in CINC cases or matters in other jurisdictions. Sections of the CINC code contemplate our ability to access this information for termination and other findings. I drafted SB 325 for the KCDAA to present to the legislature. SB325 proposed changes to the statute to allow district and county attorneys access to the official and social file or other matters of any party to a case. I provided written testimony for the bill and also testified before committee regarding the bill. Ultimately SB 325 was adopted and amended KSA 38-2211 and KSA 38-2212.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to spend time with my family and cheer on the KU Jayhawks! In my spare time, you’ll find me coaching my kids in basketball and softball, and watching them at their 1 billion sporting events.
Get to Know Marisol:
Marisol Garcia, Attorney: Marisol was always going to be a lawyer. She attended an art, science and law magnet high school where she took classes on tort and negligence, argued cases in her school court room, and participated on the mock trial team. Outside of school Marisol was on the Wichita Youth Court, a participant in the Wichita Bar Association Grow Your Own Lawyer program and was on the Mayor’s Youth Council under Mayor Carl Brewer. Marisol completed her undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and attended the University of Kansas School of Law. She clerked at Martin Pringle for two years prior to joining the firm and focuses her practice on adoption law, divorce and family law as well as real estate.
Why were you drawn to the practice of adoption?
This is an area of law that I did not know much about or was even mentioned while I was in law school. I first started to look into adoption as a practice area that I was interested in when I started to work at MP. At first, I was asked to sit in on a few client meetings, help draft adoption petitions, but my favorite part of his practice area is getting to the end of the adoption process and seeing that happy ending. In the end the goal is the same—we all want that child to have a loving and happy life. The team here at MP is so passionate about this practice area and it’s very encouraging and makes this work even more rewarding.
How has adoption impacted your life?
My best friend in high school was adopted by her uncle. She was one of the first people I met who openly shared her story and was very proud of who she had become thanks to her family.
What do you like to do for fun?
This summer, I loved to ride my bike at Sedgwick County Park. I would listen to a lot of different podcasts (usually crime related). Some of my favorite podcasts are morbid: True Crime, My Favorite Murder, and Lore. I was a history major in college (Go Cats) so I’m a big fan of historical dramas and documentaries, specifically period pieces like Mary, Queen of Scots and the Young Victoria.
Get to Know Anna:
Anna, Adoption Paralegal: Anna has worked at Martin Pringle for 12 years, in almost every area of the firm. In addition to Anna’s litigation work, she works with our adoption attorneys, handling the matching process for infant adoptions, working closely with birth parents and waiting adoptive families. Additionally, she assists the attorneys with preparation of the paperwork and research for non-infant adoptions, including parents adopting through the foster care program, step-parent, grand-parent, and contested adoptions.
What is your favorite thing about working with adoptive couples and birth parents?
Each part of the equation, the birth mothers and adoptive couples, are coming to us to fill a different need. We bring them together and help both sides find solutions to what they’re looking for and hopefully bring them peace and joy. My absolute favorite thing is helping to find children their forever homes.
How has adoption impacted your life?
I have family members who have come into my life through adoption that I would not have otherwise had the joy of knowing! Adoption has blessed me by bringing them into my life, forever!
Get to Know Roxane:
Roxane, Adoption Legal Secretary:
Roxane’s career in adoption started at the Sedgwick County Courthouse where she served as the Adoption Clerk for the Eighteenth Judicial District for about two years. In 2008 she started working at Martin Pringle as legal secretary. With a couple years of adoption experience under her belt she began to assist with some adoption work, and in 2015, she began exclusively supporting the adoption team. Working in this field for almost five years, she has had the privilege of helping many couples become parents or extend their family.
What is your favorite thing about working with adoptive couples and birth mothers?
I love when I finally get to meet the adoptive couples face to face with their new baby. I generally meet the new parents after their first or second night with their newborn. They look tired but sooo happy.