Meet Our Team of Adoption and Family Building Experts
Adams, Romer, Stoeckenius & Wotherspoon LLP
Specializing in adoption and family building for 70 years.
Karin Stoeckenius, Joining Legal Skill and Passion
Attorney Karin Stoeckenius practices exclusively in the area of adoption and family building. She is a member of the Academy of California Adoption Attorneys, an invitation-only professional association. She was trained in Collaborative Law, which focuses on solving disputes respectfully and without litigation. She has formal training in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. She is a member of the Sonoma County Bar Association, and has served on its Education Committee. She serves on an event planning committee for On Your Feet Foundation, Northern California. Karin holds a law degree from Empire College School of Law, a master’s degree in Business from the University of San Francisco, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado.
“Collaboration with birth parents and adoptive families can help people come up with creative agreements and develop relationships that work. I love this child-centered work—together, we focus on meeting the needs of the child, including the need for security and connection to biological roots. I am lucky to be able to combine my legal analysis skills with my passion for building families.”
Holly Wotherspoon, Your Advisor and Advocate
Attorney Holly Hohlbein Wotherspoon has been advising and guiding family law clients for over 25 years. A licensed attorney in both California and Washington, Holly now practices exclusively in the area of adoption and family building. Holly is a collaborative attorney with extensive negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution training. She served as a leader, trainer, and founding member of various organizations including Collaborative Professionals of Washington and Stories of Autism, a non-profit autism organization. Holly has been a featured legal expert on television, radio and Internet broadcasts. She graduated from Seattle University School of Law with honors and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado. Most recently, Holly completed training in advanced negotiations at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation. Holly is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA).
“Adoption and family building are a time of excitement as well as challenge. You can rely on me to bring my legal skill as well as many years navigating complex emotional circumstances with my clients. It has been said that a leader is someone you choose to follow to a place you wouldn’t go by yourself. I look forward to sharing your journey.”
Sue Kaupe, Experience and Compassion On Your Side
Certified Paralegal and Office Manager Sue Kaupe has been in the legal profession for over 30 years and received her paralegal certification from Ashworth College. She holds AA Degrees in both Psychology and Business Administration, and has also completed mediation training. Sue excels at assisting our clients at every step of the process and looks forward to assisting you in building a family.
“The compassion and dedication our team has for each and every client is heartwarming. From the first phone call or email to our firm, I am here to share with you all the work that we do and how we can help in your quest to build a family. I am always available to help in any way I can. Part of my role is to keep the lines of communication open, to help ensure that the process is moving along smoothly and to uphold the reputation this firm has built – all to work toward a successful outcome to your adoption journey. I look forward to working with you and being a part of this exciting time for you.”
Susan Romer, Now “Of Counsel” to Our Firm
Attorney Susan Romer helped match children and families for almost 20 years. Susan is a retired member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) and was a long time member of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers (ACAL). She received the “Angels in Adoption” Award for her long time work in open adoption in 2012. Susan is the founder and president of On Your Feet Foundation, Northern California, She holds a law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law, a Ph.D. in education from the University of California at Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. Susan worked for several years as the partner of Philip Adams, one of the pioneers of open adoption in California.
“You can be an active participant, developing your relationship as birth parents and adoptive parents during the pregnancy, at the hospital, and in the future. I have found that success is more likely when all parties are full partners in their adoption process. “I love my work because it allows me to combine my expertise in adoption law with the personal side of people’s lives. No lawyer can guarantee success, but you will receive my full attention and support with the goal of bringing a child into a safe loving home. That is my promise!”
Team Approach to Meeting Your Needs
We offer an experienced team approach to adoption and other family building processes, managing your case from the moment you retain our office through finalization. We evaluate the needs of families, and help both birth and adoptive parents to develop achievable goals that meet their unique needs. We continue to offer support to families even after an adoptive placement.
You can be an active participant, developing your relationship as birth parents and adoptive or intended parents during the pregnancy, at the hospital, and in the future. We have found that success is more likely when all parties are full partners in their family building process. We strive to provide an atmosphere of collaboration for all participants.
Our Firm’s Philosophy
Adoption is a positive way to make a family’s dreams come true. We pride ourselves on providing compassionate, exceptional legal services.
History: Specializing in Family Building for Over 70 years
Our firm was founded by Philip Adams (1905-1997), a leading California attorney and author of “Adoption Practice in California,” which was the primary text on California adoption law. Phil was a leader and pioneer in open adoption, a process in which the birth mother, with the help of an attorney, is able to choose the adoptive parents, rather than have an agency or social worker determine where her child would be placed. Our firm continues Phil’s legacy of openness and commitment to the needs of all participants in an adoption.
Thank you for your interest in our law firm. We would love to hear from you.