The Adoptee Rights Law Center PLLC is an adoptee-focused legal practice founded by Gregory Luce, a Minnesota lawyer and D.C.-born adoptee.
Day-to-day, my practice focus will be representing adult adoptees in Minnesota. Nationally, however, I work with lawyers and activists to develop legal strategies to advance adoptee rights, whether through legal briefs and research, support to lawyers on the ground, pro bono representation for adoptees, or coordination of state-by-state legal efforts.
Plans and Goals
- Completed. Launch this website, containing in part a synopsis of every state law on original birth certificate access. View the status of state laws here or view our interactive maps, including maps of pending adoptee-rights legislation.
- Continue work to engage attorneys from across the country who have an interest in and commitment to advancing legal rights for adoptees. Are you an attorney with this interest? Contact me.
- Create an Adoptee Rights Law Slack group to help communicate between interested lawyers and activists across the country, though the focus will naturally be on legal efforts to secure adoptee rights. If you are interested in working with me or joining me on Slack, contact me here.
- Completed. Launch an online “OBC Request Tracker” that will confidentially seek information on individual efforts—whether successful or not—to obtain original birth certificates. The tracker will be used in part to identify trends in states across the country and to determine what lawyers may be able to do to counteract denials of OBCs (e.g., identifying disclosure vetoes that may violate due process or other legal protections).
- Identify where lawyers and activists lack specific statistical data on adoptee access to OBCs and other information. This will be used for possible Freedom of Information Act Requests for needed data.
- Determine the need for legal counsel for intercountry adoptees who do not have U.S. citizenship and did not qualify for automatic citizenship through the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
- I welcome and am always open to your own ideas. So, throw them my way, either here or directly by email to [email protected].
- Inject a bit of fun and humor into otherwise serious and sometimes disappointing work.
A Narrow Focus, by Design
Adoptee Rights Law is not a legislative advocacy group. Many advocacy groups are doing strong and remarkable work in advancing adoptee rights legislatively. Even if it were possible, it would be dumb to try to duplicate these current and ongoing advocacy efforts. I support efforts to introduce and pass unrestricted OBC access legislation and other adoptee-based reforms. But I remain focused on exploiting any legal means available to adult adoptees to secure their own basic rights.
Though a legal focus may also overlap with adoptee efforts to find a birth relative, Adoptee Rights Law is specifically not an adoptee search and reunion gig. Unrestricted access to an original birth certificate is a basic civil right; reunion with a relative is not. That said, resources and legal information provided through Adoptee Rights Law will likely assist adoptees who search. I am not, however, set up to assist directly with those efforts.
I am a Minnesota lawyer and adult adoptee. I have been practicing law in Minnesota state and federal courts since 1993, in a wide range of areas, including family law, employment law, CHIPS cases, civil litigation, and housing law. I also currently provide pro bono legal representation for clients who qualify for the U.S. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
If you want more info about me, contact me here or read my full(ish) bio on my personal blog, where you can also read about adoptee-related musings and my own legal efforts to unseal my OBC and other records.