LGBT Issues 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 lawyer, 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.

Same-sex marriage was not yet legal, and I was in a pickle.
I had placed the ashes of my former partner in a memorial bench here in Indianapolis. However, nine years later I decided I should move much closer to family in Kansas City as I am getting older. Consequently, I wanted to retrieve those ashes to take with me. My partner and I had been together for 32 years, but since this was at a time when same-sex marriage was not yet legal, I was told by the Indiana Dept. of Health I did not have the right to have those ashes back as I was viewed as not being his next of kin. Michele was pragmatic about my situation, giving me sage advice on what to do to change the minds of the powers-that-be in the health department. I sent over my partner’s will, his durable power of attorney, and his medical power of attorney which ultimately changed the health department’s decision. I am so glad I had Attorney Zavos’ backing through this emotional experience as she was the encouragement that got me what I all along thought was my due. Thanks to Michele Zavos, a most compassionate professional!

Larry

Michele Zavos is an invaluable legal resource in our community
I have had the benefit of working with Michele on both my personal needs – second parent adoption – and as a resource for my clients. Her work is consistently excellent, and her knowledge of family law, especially as pertains to LGBT family law, is deep and broad. Because she has decades of experience, and been hands-on through the dizzying legislative changes regarding LGBT law, her knowledge is second to none. Her documents are clearly written, and hit all the points I look for as a financial advisor seeking good estate planning for my clients, straight or gay. I have found her judgment to be very trustworthy because of the depth of her experience, and I tell my clients – just do what Michele tells you!

Frances

Protected my family
Working with Michele Davos has given me and my family the confidence that if the worst – or just the bumps of life – befall us, we are protected. More than that, she has ensured that we breathe easily all the rest of the time. As a lesbian couple with a new child in a changing landscape of marriage equality it is difficult to know what we need to do to ensure we have full protection no matter where we are and to anticipate what protections we will need as the legal landscape continues to shift. Michele offers not only great legal advice, she is at the top of her field and can offer top notch guidance on the possible changing policy landscape and anticipate the legal protections we will need in various eventualities. I have and will continue to recommend Michele to many friends – gay and straight – as someone who will put the best interests of their family first.

Chloe C

Michele and her team are the best!
Michele and her team have been extremely helpful and supportive of our family. We’ve worked with her and the law group through two infant adoptions and established estate planning documents. As a gay family our circumstances were a bit different (before the overturning of DOMA) than others, so special considerations needed to be taken. Michele was extremely helpful, KNOWLEDGEABLE, and provided us with some needed education along the way.

One thing that I admire about Michele is that she is actively engaged in the changing/creating of familiy laws and not just practicing law. Her active participation and legal analyses in this area makes her that much more experienced and credible to benefit the firm’s clients.

Ed

If you need an expert on LGBT issues, call Michele!
My partner and I hired Michele to assist us with a second parent adoption in Washington, DC. She impressed us with her expertise on all things adoption, but also on other legal issues facing same-sex couples. Her services are reasonably-priced, and the rest of her staff was great, too. Highly recommend!

Christie

Changing laws, estate planning and adoptions all done with moxie
I first met Michele in 2010 when my same sex divorce was denied at the circuit court level. I was devastated and unsure of my next step. Michele and her law group took on my case pro-bono, explained the legal process, and helped relieve my anxieties about being legally married when I was trying to move forward with my life. Not only did they win my case at the Maryland Supreme Court level, they changed a law in the process! My questions no matter how seemingly trivial were answered promptly and professionally. Most importantly I always felt supported by an extremely competent law team through the lengthy process of taking a case to the state Supreme Court level. Michele gave me the opportunity to close a chapter in my life. When my new wife and I began thinking about starting a family we immediately contacted Michele. We used Michele with her compassion and expertise for all of our wills and estate planning. We will also be going through her for our second parent adoption when our son gets here in just a little over 3 weeks! I cannot recommend Michele enough for any family law obstacle or protection you may need!

Jessica

Can’t say enough good things about this amazing lawyer and her team!
Michele and her responsive, smart, energetic, caring team helped me and my family navigate the waters of domestic partnership, wills and medical power of attorney and adoption with expert skill, unwavering patient persistence and professionalism. The adoption, in particular, showed us just how lucky we were to have found Michele Zavos. Her passion for justice and for legal protection for families and for gay families specifically is inspiring. We knew that, if there was a way to provide our family legal protection in a state (Virginia) that goes out of its way to deny such protection Michele would find it…or create it. I am proud and relieved to say that my son and his two moms are a family that is now recognized nationwide because of Michele’s groundbreaking work in the District of Columbia court system on our behalf. I don’t know why you would work with anyone else if you’re serious about getting the best advice and advocacy for yourself or your family. Thank you, Michele!!

Lauren

A professional, well-informed, and kind attorney
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

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

Knowledgeable, wise counsel
Michele came highly recommended by a co-worker of mine and lived up to her reputation. She recently drafted a complete suite of documents to ensure legal protections for my same-sex relationship. Additionally, she has handled my adoption of the baby my partner just had. I have been impressed with the breadth and depth of her knowledge of the legal nuances and local intricacies involved — invaluable in this area of law.

Anonymous

Wonderful Counsel for Everything Life Throws at You
Michele is completely knowledgeable and trustworthy. She is a dedicated advocate, particularly for families like my own who often are not otherwise fullly 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

The Best Lawyer Available!

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!

Lindy and Alma

Life dream come true
Michele, was a wonder, experienced person. Who made you feel part of her family. She help my partner and I adopt our daughter and assisted with our estate planning. I would recommend her to anyone. Thanks again

David, Billy & Alyssa

A great guide through the donor contract process
We had a wonderful experience working with Michele to develop a contract with our sperm donor and his partner. She and her staff were warm, non-judgmental and approachable for questions big and small. They explained the entire process clearly and helped us think through important scenarios that we would not have thought of on our own. When we found ourselves facing a situation that required swift action (and over the holidays, no less!), Michele and her staff went above and beyond to make sure we could get the contract completed and signed in time. Throughout the process, we always felt like she wanted the best for our family over the long-term and we really appreciate her experience and counsel.

Alexis

D. Hunte, former client
Michel 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’s experience in her life and her practice have been a corner stone in the building of our family.

Our deepest gratitude,

Tom and the Snowmen

As mothers of three sons, it has been extremely important to us to protect our relationships with them and with one another to the greatest extent possible. Through two adoptions, powers of attorney, wills, and more, Michele has helped us achieve this goal. We trust her counsel completely and her presence at pivotal and often vulnerable moments has been extremely reassuring. Unfortunately, one often needs an attorney at the most difficult times in life. It gives us great peace of mind knowing that Michele will be there for us when need her, and that she will always provide the most high-quality legal services.

N. B-K. And R. B-K.

When my [male] partner first wanted to adopt my son (conceived through super modern technology and without another dad) we were told that the process would be a rough one. Fortunately, a friend recommended Michele and she made it easy. Where other lawyers I described our situation to said “explain this once more slowly” she immediately understood the nuances of our situation and came up with a clear, economical and rapid plan to let my partner adopt. We didn’t trust till it was over that it would be as easy as she said�but it was. It was even positive and affirmed our family!

A.F.

Michele has been helping protect our family ever since our older son was born 14 years ago. She counseled both of us in how best to write a will and durable power of attorney. Because only one of us was the legal parent and because our son had serious medical problems, it was imperative that the mother in our family with no legal rights had the power to make medical decisions for our son. When we adopted our younger son, Michele helped us revise all of our legal documents.

Michele was actively involved in the effort to make second-parent adoptions a routine legal practice. She monitored the political conditions in Maryland for years before calling us and informing us that “now’s the time” to file for our second-parent adoption. The rebellious part of me deeply resented that we had to “adopt” our children but the practical part of me knew that we had to do it. When it was all over, I was surprised to discover the depth of my relief that our children now had the protection of two legal parents.

I know that the legal expertise and personal concern that Michele brought to bear for our family is what she brings to all her clients. The GLBT community is lucky to have an attorney with her breadth of experience and personal commitment to our families.

L.W. and E. W.

Michele Zavos in an invaluable legal resource in our community, I have had the benefit of working with Michele on both my personal needs – second parent adoption – and as a resource for my clients. Her work is consistently excellent, and her knowledge of family law, especially as pertains to LGBT family law, is deep and broad. Because she has decades of experience, and been hands-on through the dizzying legislative changes regarding LGBT law, her knowledge is second to none. Her documents are clearly written, and hit all the points I look for as a financial adviser seeking good estate planning for my clients, straight or gay. I have found her judgment to be very trustworthy because of the depth of her experience, and I tell my clients – just do what Michele tells you!

F.

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 nor 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!!

A. and A.

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.

G.

One thing that I admire about Michele is that she is actively engaged in the changing/creating of family laws and not just practicing law. Her active participation and legal analyses in this area makes her that much more experienced and credible to benefit the Firm’s clients.

E.