Adoption Testimonials

Bar Ethical Rules require this disclaimer; please keep these key points in mind:

The information in this section contains information about Michele Zavos, past legal results, testimonials about the attorney, and statements regarding the quality of her representation. The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by ZAVOS LAW or the experience of all clients or others with the firm. Every case is different, and the results obtained will be related to the facts and merits of that particular case.

Excellent Experience with Michele Zavos
Michele represented us on a complicated adoption process. She was the ultimate professional, both in terms of her legal expertise and client service. She was able to successfully guide us through the process and was an amazing advocate in an area where the law was not clear. Adoption is an emotional experience and she helped us deal with the stress and emotions with a steady hand. She also helped us obtain medical attention and insurance coverage before the adoption was complete. We would recommend Michele to anyone needing a family law attorney.

Anonymous

Amazing work
Michele and her team helped us with everything regarding our second-parent adoption, and then some. We really enjoyed our communication with them and everything was very easy. We are so very grateful for having them as we navigated through all of this, especially as we were traveling and moving. We could not have asked for a better lawyer.

Svetlana

Adoption Process COMPLETED!! Woo-hoo!!!
Ms. Zavos represented me during the adoption process.

I really appreciated her “no-nonsense approach” to address all the sensitive and sticky details.

With one single 1-hr initial meeting she clarified the entire adoption process… after that, it was just a matter of lay back and follow the initial action plan. Also, Ms. Zavos’ staff was outstanding at every single step of this journey.

Gracias.

Reinaldo

A fantastic adoption attorney!
Michelle and her team walked my husband and I through the process of adoption and were wonderful to us through the whole process. We couldn’t be happier with our happy ending!

Rachel

Responsive, Reliable and Competent
We used Michelle Zavos and her firm to help us obtain a second parent adoption in DC and to put my husband on the birth certificate in Ohio. While DC is very progressive and the adoption was easily accomplished, we really relied on Zavos’ expertise in navigating the system in Ohio where the law is not clear on placing a gay couple on a child’s birth certificate. Zavos and her team made it happen for us and we are very grateful.

Brian

Angel in Adoption
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton could not have put it in better terms when she characterized Atty. Michele Zavos’s law firm as an “Angel in Adoption.”

Because that’s what ZAVOS LAW has been for my family. My new family, that is.

Last summer my family consisted only of myself and my then 3-year old female Chihuahua terrier Queenie, but we were expecting to expand. As I had just been licensed by DC’s Child and Family 

Services Agency as a traditional foster/adoptive parent, Queenie and I were waiting for a sibling pair from the DC foster care system to join our household.

Then came an unexpected plea from my family in the Philippines. They told me that a second cousin of mine, a 15-year old boy born in Guam but brought to and abandoned in the Philippines by her parents when he was barely two years old, had tried to commit suicide by drinking lye.

Since the time of abandonment by his biological parents, the boy had been bounced around between different placement families through the years. Apparently, he had been left alone by his most recent placement family, without food or money, for more than two weeks in May 2016. The boy then presumably reached a point of desperation, a point too much for his young mind to take, that he decided to end it all.

Fortunately, his suicide attempt was unsuccessful. However, the poison he drank so damaged his digestive system that nothing can pass through his esophagus, not even his own saliva. A surgeon had to insert a feeding tube below his stomach so that pureed food can be manually delivered to his body. With no access to quality health care, he immediately faced imminent death.

After hearing this boy’s story, I decided to adopt him instead. I read portions of the DC Code pertinent to adoptions, and found a possible relief via an interlocutory adoption decree.

In early August 2016, acting pro se, I filed a petition with the DC Superior to adopt the boy, requesting for an immediate hearing for entry of an interlocutory decree of adoption so that I can go to the Philippines, apply for a U.S. passport on behalf of the boy, repatriate him to the United States, and save his life.

The judge quickly denied my request. In an Order containing a hardly ambiguous language, the judge told me to, well, hire a lawyer.

And so I did. After reading Avvo reviews of adoption lawyers, I had no doubt that Atty. Zavos was the one.

I will skip the details of the story, but the long and short of it is that with Atty. Zavos’s help, the judge eventually issued the Interlocutory decree of adoption, I was able to repatriate the boy to the United States, put him under my insurance, and give him a new chance at life. He and I are now just days away from finalizing our adoption case.

Although the boy, my son, is still on a feeding tube, and it will take a while before the surgery that will hopefully restore his ability to eat and drink by mouth can be performed, there is no doubt in my mind that he will recover fully from it all. And everything is because of Atty. Zavos and her law firm.

So, like I said in the beginning of this review, I concur with Congresswoman Holmes that ZAVOS LAW is an Angel in Adoption.

Edgardo Cureg

MADE IT HAPPEN!!!
Michele and her team were instrumental with our adoption! We were feeling frustrated and defeated in our journey to have a child. After one visit with Michele we were optimistic and excited. She pointed us in the right direction and was there for us when we needed her. We are extremely grateful to her and all of her staff. We can’t recommend ZAVOS LAW enough!!!

Lauren & Lisa

Attorney that cares
Michele Zavos and her group have helped me with two adoptions in the last 2 years. The day I met Michele she was returning from a long trip and agreed to meet on a Saturday morning. When I walked in to her office she made me feel so welcome. I was treated as if I was a valued friend she had just welcomed into her home. The entire staff were friendly, professional and knowledgeable of adoption law. I was always kept me well informed and happy to say both adoptions have been completed successfully. Thank you Michele and team. You truly are a blessing.

Juanita

excellent and caring attorney
I highly recommend Michele Zavos and her team. We turned to Michele Zavos to represent us in our second-parent adoptions and to prepare our wills, powers of attorney and other legal documents. She and her team were extraordinarily helpful. They answered all our questions quickly, accommodated our schedule, fielded our panicked call from the hospital when there was a glitch with the birth certificate, and solved the underlying bureaucratic problems. She kept us posted on changes in the law and then made the process of adoption go smoothly. Michele’s passion for her work has helped shape the law, and her kindness makes her clients feel like friends.

Ginny

Life Changing Experience working with Michele!
We first found out Alex couldn’t adopt our child when we were 3 months pregnant. We had no idea how hard it would be given that we are a same sex couple living in Virginia. We called 5 different law agencies. After speaking with four different ones, we were beyond frustrated and feeling defeated. Every person said something a little different and we never felt fully confident that they would be able to help protect our family’s rights. We called the Zavos Junker law group last. We spoke with Timothy and he was extremely helpful. Sensing we were very distraught, he was very sympathetic, patient and best of all helpful. We spoke with Michele the very same day. She told us, ‘I am not the cheapest lawyer not am I the most expensive but I know my job.’ We were sold. She is worth every penny. We could not have asked for anything more from our entire experience with this group, which we have worked with on several occasions. The staff is extremely friendly and accommodating, her assistant Timothy is very timely with his responses, the office is extremely well managed and most of all Michele knows the law! She was able to answer every one of our questions and help us to do the best we could to prepare for our daughter’s arrival. If we had not gone to her, we would never have known to deliver in DC so that Alex could eventually do a second-parent adoption. Her group fought for several years to help pass a court order to allow such adoptions in VA as long as certain criteria were met. We made sure to follow all of her recommendations and we are so happy that we did. Three weeks ago Alex was able to adopt our 18 month old daughter in DC which is legally recognized in VA. We didn’t have to move, which we were planning to do. We cannot thank Michele and her staff enough. They were perfect from the first phone call through our adoption hearing. We would recommend them (and have!) to anyone we care about. Thank you all so much!!

Alex & Amy

Finalization/Re-adoption of internationally adopted daughter
Michele handled the finalization/re-adoption of our internationally adopted daughter. Michele worked in a timely, professional manner, responding to all of our questions quickly. The day in court went smoothly, which was especially important for our 6-year-old daughter.

Anonymous

Great lawyer for adoption cases
Our advice to anyone seeking to adopt, ESPECIALLY if doing so under complicated circumstances, is to hire Michele Zavos. We encountered numerous obstacles in the process of adopting children from another country and time and time again, Michele and her colleagues found a way to overcome them. They are both “street smart” and very sophisticated in their abilities to navigate the legal system and advise their clients on how best to proceed. Their success, we suspect, is due in part to their credibility within the legal community, their energy and passion in service of their clients, and their abilities to analyze a problem and come up with a solution.

We owe a BIG thanks to Tim Compton (senior paralegal) who is, without a doubt, one of the most persistent and determined people on the planet. Mammoth bureaucracy? Indifferent and slow-moving _ we encountered along the way?? Putty in the hands of Tim.

Mona and Mathew

DC Adoption Decree for our daughter
Michele was very highly recommended to us and lived up to her reputation. She was knowledgable, warm, caring, and considerate throughout the process of obtaining a DC adoption decree for our Chinese-born daughter. We, too, will highly recommend Michele to others in need of these, and other, services, and would definitely choose Michele again.

Dean and Sarah

Terrific lawyer
Michele Zavos was incredibly helpful, sensitive, responsive and professional as she handled our adoption. She kept us informed, never made us feel as if we were asking too many or “dumb” questions, and treated us with courtesy and respect. In addition, we found her engaging and approachable. We had long heard of her–she has a terrific reputation in the community–and our experience confirms that her reputation for being a highly ethical, competent and experienced attorney is richly deserved.

Carla

No attorney is better at second-parent adoptions
Michele is a superb attorney: professional, current on the law, knowledgeable of her primary area of her practice, completely familiar with the courts and the judges, efficient, responsive to her client’s questions and concerns, and simply a kind and wonderful person to work with. My partner and I domesticated our international adoption and did our second-parent adoption through Michele and the competence that Michele and her firm showed was in stark contrast to the last few years of working with a foreign government and court system. It was a relief to finally feel that we could simply put our affairs in Michele’s hands and everything would be fine and our adoption would be quickly and easily granted. Further, I am a lawyer myself (in another practice area) and am very choosy when it comes to hiring other lawyers – Michele was excellent to work with and I will certainly hire her again when I need assistance in my estate planning.

Anonymous

Second Parent Adoption
Michele is a very knowledgeable lawyer. She thoroughly explained all the steps required to do the second parent adoption. She and her staff were always very responsive to questions. The overall environment in the office is very professional. I’m now the legal father of a beautiful girl thanks to Michele!

Anonymous

Second parent adoption a “breeze” with Mchele
My partner of 20 years and I each needed second-parent adoptions for our two children. Having known Michele for years in the DC community, we of course hired her to make it happen. Michele did a fantastic job… providing us with all of the information we needed and making the process look simple and routine. There were no glitches. Her knowledge of the local court personnel, their obvious respect for her, and her meticulous preparation of the numerous documents were the basis of a very smooth and worry-free process. We continue to recommend Michele to anyone who needs an adoption, as well as anyone who needs the equally important necessity of wills and powers of attorney. Michele can do it all!

Anonymous

D. Hunte, former client
Michele and her team assisted my family with the domestic adoption of our son. She also drafted our donor insemination agreement, living wills, power of attorney, and wills. In addition she drafted living wills, power of attorney, and wills for my parents. She is thoughful, comprehensive, VERY knowledgeable, and capable. I met Michele in 1999 when she did a workshop on wills. I was so impressed that I kept all of my notes and her business card for 4 years and consulted her when we started our process to grow our family. In the end she was instrumental in moving our adoption through the court process wen we ran into a roadblock. Her paralegal staff, Michel Callahan, is also wonderful. He kept us informed and checked-in to make sure that the process was moving. I rarely give an indivdual or organization high ratings in every area, but I just can’t say enough great things about ZAVOS LAW.

Anonymous

Michele is excellent
Michele helped us finalize the adoption for our son from India. During the process I was transferred to Thailand, and so needed the finalization to happen very quickly. The agency expected a process of 2 months. It turns out that the different courts in the area (DC, Montgomery County, Baltimore) all have different procedures and processing times and Michele made suggestions that she said might cut the time to one month. In the event, she was able to get it finalized in 10 days.

She also handled our will and did a great job with that too. Highly recommended.

Anonymous

Top of the line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We used Michele recently to represent the birth-mother of the baby we adopted. We found her to be sensitive, caring and highly competent. There was much drama involved in this adoption at the last minute and Michele navigated some difficult situations extremely quickly and successfully. As a same sex couple we have had a rough time in the world of adoption. We have faced a great deal of prejudice and have had difficulty obtaining information that pertains to gay adoption. Meeting Michele changed all of that. In just a few hours we learned more from her than all of the professionals combined that we’ve worked with in a two year period. She was absolutely wonderful with our 19 yr. old birth-mom and we are so grateful to her and her staff for making her feel well protected and cared for.

I could go on and on but for me the best thing I experienced with Michele Zavos is that she made us all feel safe in an anxiety filled time and she did it with grace. She is the best!

Anonymous

Simply the Best
My husband and I contacted Michele to help us through the private adoption of our daughter. Michele and her staff made everything, that seemed so complicated and worrisome, so simple and exciting. It was truly the best experience and one we love to share with people, especially when you mostly hear horror stories about adoption. Michele and her staff made our dreams come true; she helped us attain what we thought was unattainable…the most precious gift…a child. We are forever grateful.

Anonymous

Seamless
Working with Michele was a true pleasure. She is a consumate professional and made our second parent adoption “seamless”. It was so wonderful knowing that we could depend on her to handle the big and small details.

Anonymous

I am very thankful to have had Michele as my attorney for my son’s adoption. It is very clear that due to Michele’s experience and expertise in adoption and the DC court system that my son’s adoption was expedited in the most efficient manner. In our case, there were some nerve-racking and unexpected curve balls thrown at us but due to Michele’s rapport with the judge and her understanding of the system, my son and I are legally a family now. And from what the judge said, it occurred in record time given the details of our case.

Christopher Braman

We are pleased to have an opportunity to provide a testimonial of the services provided by Michele Zavos. Michele is highly competent in her field of practice, and quickly demonstrated that fact from beginning to end. She thoroughly explained the process to us, apprised us of the available options, promptly drafted the required filings, and followed through in a very professional manner. Michele is clearly experienced in this field, which was shown by her thorough, efficient, and confident manner in getting our step-parent adoption finalized. We were already a complete family, but Michele Zavos made it legally official, and we thank her.

J. D. and T. D.

Ms. Zavos did an excellent job with my son’s adoption. She made the whole process easy and it took less time than we expected. I highly recommend her.

Zaki Hamzaoui

When my partner and I were looking to start a family, we checked around and heard wonderful things about Michele Zavos, all of which have since proven to be true. Michele drafted a set of wills and other legal documents for us, and then was preparing to do our second-parent adoption work when an interesting wrinkle occurred. Our child was born out of state, so Michele first put us in touch with a top-flight attorney in that state. Later, when it became clear to our attorneys that the adoption laws were more favorable there, the attorneys jointly recommended that we shift the adoption work there�which meant Michele essentially sacrificed our business so that the adoption could proceed more quickly and easily. It was a generous, thoughtful thing to do, and our other attorney was quite impressed. That’s the mark of a fine attorney, he told us�someone who puts her client’s interests ahead of her own. He was also impressed by how knowledgeable Michele was in the fine points of adoption law. Not everyone is, he told us. It’s a bit unusual to rave about an attorney based partly on legal work she didn’t perform, but to us, that incident told us everything we needed to know about Michele.

Two happy dads

Working with Michele was an extremely pleasant and fruitful experience. Not only does she understand adoption laws inside and out (in our case, specifically regarding re-adoption of an infant already adopted from Guatemala), but she is very efficient and kind. We liked her so much we entrusted her with our wills and other key family legal documents. We highly recommend Michele without reservations!

Brigit Helms

Although the adoption of my son was long and difficult, Michele Zavos made it possible for me to endure by providing great legal advice and emotional support. I truly believe that Michele enjoys bringing families together, and that she really cares about her clients. I clearly remember having a meeting at Michele’s home to discuss specifics about my case, and her saying to me Don’t worry. Let me do the worrying. At that moment, I really began to trust her and knew that she had my back. Based on the quality of work that Michele brought to my case, I would definitely refer her to anyone in need of legal services for adoption.

Ricky Stith

We could not have imagined going through the process of adopting our son without the expertise and guidance of Michele Zavos. She was the first person we turned to before deciding what route and which adoption agency we would use to begin our family. Her advice helped us to plan for the future for our family. There was a sense of calmness knowing Michele was on our side and only a phone call away to answer any question. Knowing how emotional and stressful the adoption process can be , she was always there with compassion, understanding, and support. Michele became a part of our family while doing her job to help us build ours. We are forever grateful to her. She is the BEST!!!

M.B. and T.S.

Thank you all for helping us complete our adoption process, and for doing it so quickly to have it done before I need surgery. That is a huge relief! Thank you also for the books you included with the Final Order of Adoption – so sweet! Our daughter loves Boynton books!

Adoption Client

We met Michele Zavos very early in our journey to become parents and adopt our son, and we knew immediately that she was the attorney for us. She is knowledgeable, caring, and honest. There is no finer expert on same-sex adoption than Michele, and that is not only my wonderfully biased opinion but it’s also true. Michele paved the way for so many, she knows the legal issues frontward and backward, and she’s well-connected. We had confidence in our adoption process because we knew Michele would be able to navigate any hurdle that may have been placed in front of us. Fortunately, our legal process was an easy one thanks in large part to Michele. We did, however, experience some bumps along the way, all non-legal issues, and Michele was there to support us and go “above and beyond” her role as our attorney. She has an amazing ethic of care when it comes to her clients (and our children). She’s not just a lawyer-she’s an important part of every family whose journey led them to her office.

B.W.

Although the adoption of my son was long and difficult, Michele Zavos made it possible for me to endure by providing great legal advice and emotional support. I truly believe that Michele enjoys bringing families together, and that she really cares about her clients. I clearly remember having a meeting at Michele’s home to discuss specifics about my case, and her saying to me, “Don’t worry. Let me do the worrying”. At that moment, I really began to trust her and knew that she had “my back”. Based on the quality of work that Michele brought to my case, I would definitely refer her to anyone in need of legal services for adoption.

R.S.

My advice to anyone seeking to adopt, ESPECIALLY if doing so under complicated circumstances, is to hire Michele Zavos and her team at ZAVOS LAW. My husband and I encountered numerous obstacles in the process of adopting from India and time and time again, Michele and her colleagues found a way to overcome them. They are both “street smart” and very sophisticated in their abilities to navigate the legal system and advise their clients on how best to proceed. Their success, we suspect, is due in part to their credibility within the legal community, their energy and passion in service of their clients, and their abilities to analyze a problem and come up with a solution.

Anonymous

Michele came highly recommended to us by my sister and her partner who had worked with her on their second parent adoptions. My partner and I had started our second parent adoption with Michele when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Michele met with us on a Sunday afternoon, on very short notice, to draw up needed legal documents that would protect us, as a same gender couple, as much as possible before surgery. She was amazingly sensitive and supportive and we were able to go into surgery confident that we were as legally protected as possible. Even though our adoption took a rather long time (our issues, not Michele’s), Michele maintained contact and systematically removed every roadblock we faced. Not only are Michele’s legal expertise awesome, but it is so evident that she is passionate about protecting families and children. We felt like that Michele really cared about our family through the whole process as opposed to someone who just does their job. We would definitely use Michele’s services again and highly recommend her!

L. & A.

Michele has handled two second-parent adoptions for us, our wills, and other documents to guarantee our rights as a same-sex couple. She was prepared at every turn and knew exactly what to do and when to do it. She will be helping us with a third adoption and it means the world to us to be completely confident in her abilities.

Anonymous

Last Friday was made possible only due to our fortune of knowing you. My husband and I cannot express the amount of joy and happiness that you have helped to bring to our lives by linking us to our daughter. I can speak for the both of us when I say we could have never known the amount of joy being a parent and what she could bring us. We feel so fortunate and complete now that she is in our lives. You will always be so very special to us and be part of our daughter’s story that I know she will hear and tell her whole life.

Anonymous

Our son was originally adopted as a single parent adoption, as same sex parents cannot adopt in the territory where we resided at the time of his birth. We are comforted that we are now both legally protected as to our relationship with our son. More importantly, we are a completed family, thanks to Michele Zavos. The second parent adoption was seamless and quick. Michele walked us through the process and made sure we understood everything every step of the way. We would recommend her services to anyone (and we have)!

Anonymous

We have 3 sons who joined our family through adoption. Michele Zavos and her incredible team were there for us each step of the way. Each child’s adoption was very different from the next and things were really complicated at times to put it mildly. Michele is always on top of things and makes sure she is making the right plan based on the latest information. She is very reassuring and explains the process as it happens. We could not have chosen a better attorney than Michele Zavos and it has been wonderful having her stand next to us 3 times as the judge finalized our sons’ adoptions. Michele is dedicated and has shown us countless times just how deeply she cares about our family.

Anonymous

Michele is clearly experienced in this field, which was shown by her thorough, efficient, and confident manner in getting our step-parent adoption finalized. We were already a complete family, but Michele Zavos made it legally official, and we thank her.”

T. D. and J. D.

We are very happy with Michele Zavos. She made the adoption of our Daughter easier than we anticipated. Our dream of becoming a family has finally become reality. We feel that it would not have happened so fast and easy without the help of Michele. She was very professional yet she made you feel like a friend and that our family was very important to her, for that we are very thankful. Thanks again, Michele.

D.,B., & A. “Two Happy Dads”

Michele is highly competent in her field of practice, and quickly demonstrated that fact from beginning to end. She thoroughly explained the process to us, apprised us of the available options, promptly drafted the required filings, and followed through in a very professional manner.

Anonymous

Michele is completely knowledgeable and trustworthy. She is a dedicated advocate, particularly for families like my own who often are not otherwise fully protected by the law. Michele represented us through two adoptions, prepared our wills, powers of attorney and other legal documents to protect our family. I have referred countless friends and colleagues to Michele, and all have been similarly satisfied with her work.

Anonymous

Working with Michele was an extremely pleasant and fruitful experience. Not only does she understand adoption laws inside and out (in our case, specifically regarding re-adoption of an infant already adopted from Guatemala), but she is very efficient and kind. We liked her so much we entrusted her with our wills and other key family legal documents. We highly recommend Michele without reservations!

B.H. & A.M.

Michele Zavos is an extraordinary person and a phenomenal attorney. My (former) partner and I ended our relationship after 16 years and we had a three-year old son. She was the biological mom so adopting after our separation would prove to be a challenge. As we endured obstacles in the process, Michele and her team researched alternative approaches to overcome those barriers. Michele was compassionate, persistent, and creative in her approach to my unique case. She treated my adoption as if it were her own child at stake. Without Michele’s expertise and perseverance, I would not have legal rights to my son. I am forever grateful.

P.P