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.