Denise M. Bierly

Principal Attorney

Denise M. Bierly is a recent Past-President of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. The Academy is comprised of over three hundred and forty lawyers throughout the United States and Canada, and around the world, who devote their practices to adoption and assisted reproductive technology law. As Fellows of the Academy, its members are involved in promoting their field of law practice by advocating the competent and ethical handling of all types of family building cases.Read More

Denise was awarded her undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 1987, and earned her Juris Doctor Degree from the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1990. She is a parent by both birth and adoption. Denise’s primary practice for over twenty five years has been focused on family formation, and she has assisted with more than two thousand adoption and assisted reproduction matters.

In 2014, Senator Bob Casey, in conjunction with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, awarded Denise the highest adoption award in the nation. She was designated as Senator Casey’s “Angel in Adoption”, and participated in the conferring of the award over a three day period at the Capitol in Washington, DC.

Denise has been a Fellow in the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys since 1997. She is the current Director of Adoption and has served on the Academy Board of Trustees for two terms as well as in the officer positions of Secretary, Vice-President and President-Elect, prior to taking the helm of the organization. Additionally, she has Chaired the Grievance Committee, Chaired numerous conferences, and has worked extensively with other national and international organizations devoted to ethical family-building. Denise is also a founding member and Fellow in the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. Denise has been awarded a level 10, “Superb” rating on the professional website Avvo, for her experience, industry recognition and professional conduct.

Denise was a member of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission, tasked with the reform of Pennsylvania adoption laws. She remains active in both State and Federal Adoption Laws. She is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and participates in its Legal Professional Group. Denise speaks frequently in her field to groups of judges, attorneys and members of the public on adoption and ART matters.

    Bobbie L. Rabuck

    Associate Attorney

    Bobbie L. Rabuck is member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, which consists of approximately three hundred and forty attorneys nationwide who have distinguished themselves in the field of adoption. Academy Fellows are committed to maintaining their practice according to the highest standards of ethics, competence, and professionalism., Bobbie is also a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Children’s Rights Committee and a past President of the Centre County Bar Association. Bobbie was awarded her undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 2002, and earned her Juris Doctor Degree from the Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law in 2005. Bobbie is a parent by birth; however, her extended family has been built through adoption and guardianship. Read More

    Bobbie’s primary practice during her legal career has been focused on family formation through adoption and foster care and advocating for children. Bobbie has been practicing adoption law since 2007, including helping families build and expand their families through adoption and third-party reproduction, and assisting birth parents with developing and implementing birth plans for unintended pregnancies. Bobbie assists in representing the best interests of children in termination of parental rights and custody matters. In addition, Bobbie is a solicitor for Children and Youth Services and is a member of the Pennsylvania Children and Youth Solicitors Association.

      Meshia G. Calhoun

      Office Manager

      Meshia has worked almost exclusively in family-building since finishing her degree in paralegal studies. She has worked with Denise Bierly since 2004. She is passionate about the adoption work she does. She has repeatedly shown her commitment to clients while working toward a successful goal of helping to build their family.

      Meshia is married to her husband, Phil, and loves being a mom to their beautiful four-year-old daughter, Kennedy.

        Joshua D. Gitelson

        Of Counsel

        Joshua D. Gitelson graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2013, and practiced divorce law in the Twin Cities for three-and-a-half years before he and his family moved to State College. He came to law relatively late in life, having graduated from Yale University in 1992, teaching at an American School in Tangier, Morocco, for a year, and then returning to his hometown of Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry. By the time he and his wife followed her academic career away from L.A., Josh had worked as a film editor for the final three seasons of the ABC law-themed series The Practice. After sojourns in Eugene, Oregon, and Lexington, Virginia, Josh’s family (now with two kids in tow) moved to St. Paul. Though Josh valued the human element of divorce law, his abiding legal interests have been in assisted reproductive technology and adoption. He loves working in a field where, when the judge bangs the gavel (generally metaphorically), everyone cheers.

        “The Powerful Impact of Adoption” Addition

        Josh’s Story

        Josh’s parents divorced in the late 1970s and remarried (other people) in the early 80s. Although his mom was done bearing children, her new (younger) husband had none of his own. They could have adopted, but they chose instead to take the then relatively new step of using a surrogate – the term “gestational carrier” had not yet been coined – to have a child who was genetically related to Josh’s stepfather. In early 1986 – not quite two months before a different child who came to be known as Baby M was born in New Jersey — Josh’s sister was born in Los Angeles via a traditional surrogacy. Adopted by Josh’s mom soon thereafter, Josh’s sister was – besides being just totally awesome — his unwitting introduction to the field of assisted reproduction and adoption and the wonderful possibilities they hold of creating and expanding families.

            Elvis Bierly

            Office Comedian

            Elvis’ primary responsibility in the office is to greet clients, which he takes very seriously. Elvis is very talkative and loves telling stories to the children who visit the office. His special talent in the office is to keep us laughing with his antics and never-ending quest for treats!

                Cleopatra Bierly

                Office Counselor

                Cleo is our sweet comforter. If you are having a difficult day, expect Cleo to be ready and willing to share some of your burdens. She loves visitors, and especially children who give her special attention.

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