Denise M. Bierly
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
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
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
Meshia G. Calhoun
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
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 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’ 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!