Barry Law Symposium: The Unintended Consequences of Adoption Law

Barry Law Symposium: The Unintended Consequences of Adoption Law

Key Players in High-profile Adoption Cases
Will Be Part of Barry Law Symposium Oct. 4


 A symposium Friday, Oct. 4, on the Barry University School of Law campus will feature speakers from some of the nation’s highest-profile adoption-rights cases. The symposium is presented by Barry Law and the school’s Child and Family Law Journal.                              

“From Baby Lenore to Baby Veronica: The Unintended Consequences of Adoption Law in America’ will examine some of the legal cases that have shaped adoption law in Florida and the United States.

Among the featured presenters will be attorney Mark Fiddler, founding director of the Indian Child Welfare Law Center.  Mr. Fiddler represented the adoptive parents in the 2013 Baby Veronica case before the U.S. Supreme Court.  The case led to a major interpretation involving the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).   

 Other presenters include:

  • Nick DeMartino, Esq.:  Mr. DeMartino is the adoptive father in one of the nation’s first prominent adoption-rights cases. In 1970, he and his wife adopted Baby Lenore. After the child’s biological mother sued to regain custody, a lengthy court battle ensued, resulting in key changes to New York law and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (now the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act).  Now a resident of South Florida, Mr. DeMartino remains an active advocate for children’s causes.  
  • Michele Nelson, Esq.:  Ms. Nelson served as an appellate attorney for the adoptive parents in the landmark Baby Emily case in South Florida in the 1990s.
  • Patricia Strowbridge, Esq.: Ms. Strowbridge, President of the Florida Adoption Council, has been practicing law for 25 years in the Orlando area. She was the primary author of the 2003 Florida Adoption Reform Act and has been involved with more than 800 adoption finalizations.
  • Linda J. Barnby, Esq.: Ms. Barnby has been an adoption attorney for more than 20 years. She created the Adoption Match Book website as a place for young women facing an unplanned pregnancy to get the information they need to make a healthy decision for themselves and their baby.
  • Marsha B. Freeman, Professor of Law, Barry University School of Law and Coordinator of the Child and Family Law Certificate Program.  Professor Freeman teaches in the Family Law area and writes on legal/social/economic issues facing American families.  She is an advocate of Collaborative Law and Therapeutic Jurisprudence.

The symposium is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Moot Court Room on the Barry Law campus. Lunch will be served in Room 311 of the Legal Advocacy Center.

 Members of the Bar, Bench and the public are invited, and registration is free. Attorneys are eligible to receive six CLE Credits for attending.

 To register and receive a complete schedule of events, please email Jessica Hallgren ( at Barry School of Law.