Michele Jackson, chair of the Adoption Practice Group at Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson (JHDJ Law) was interviewed in the December 9 edition of Indiana Lawyer. In the feature section, Pardon the Interrogation, Jackson discusses her recent Thanksgiving trip to Nicaragua, which also included JHDJ Law attorney Stephenie Jocham, and staff Amber Burton Small, and Nicole Skellenger. While a significant portion of the firm’s practice is devoted to family law (including divorce, custody and child support cases), Jackson’s practice focuses on domestic and international adoptions and international family law matters (Small is the firm’s adoption coordinator and Skellenger is a law student intern). The group’s trip to Nicaragua was coordinated through The Fatherless Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Jackson, which provides financial assistance and supplies to orphans in the US and abroad, as well as grants to adopting families. During their time in Nicaragua, the volunteers visited 3 orphanages and delivered approximately $4,000 in donations including clothing, school and medical supplies. Other activities included coordination of a baseball clinic for members of one orphanage and children who participated through a community library in Granada. The trips are just one way in which Jackson gives of her time and experience while also managing her adoption practice.
The Indiana Lawyer interview goes on to mention that Jackson has been instrumental in developing international adoption programs in numerous countries including Ukraine, Guatemala, China, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the newest, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her experience in with these countries has been in demand, given the frequent changes in international and domestic laws governing intercountry adoptions. Recent years have seen restrictions or closings of program which were once very popular including Guatemala, China and Vietnam. While international programs receive more media coverage, Jackson is quick to point out that her adoption practice also includes an active domestic program, which provides agency or private infant placements for couples adopting in the US.
In the Indiana Lawyer interview, Jackson also discusses what motivated her to become a lawyer. “I felt that it was a means for me to benefit society in some way, but didn’t know exactly where I was headed. I knew I always wanted to advocate for women and children, though.” With the continuing popularity and growing interest in adoption as well as surrogacy, Jackson has found her niche in her law practice.
Read more of the interview by selecting the interactive edition of the publication at Indiana Lawyer