Watch Diana's TED Talk here:
The nuclear family model may no longer be the norm in the US, but it's still the basis for social and economic benefits like health care, tax breaks and citizenship. Lawyer and LBGTQIA advocate Diana Adams believes that all families, regardless of biological relationship or legal marriage, are deserving of equal legal rights and recognition. They present a vision for how US laws can benefit all families -- from same-sex bonds to multi-parent partnerships -- and explain how a more inclusive definition of family could strengthen your relationships and community.
Diana is a leader in the legal support of LGBTQ families.
Diana founded both the Chosen Family Law Center, Inc. and their own boutique LGBTQ family law and mediation firm Diana Adams Law & Mediation, PLLC based in New York City. Both organizations serve primarily same-sex couples and non-nuclear families. Diana is passionately dedicated to helping form healthy, stable families, whether between same-sex couples, platonic co-parents, polyamorous families, or different-sex couples, by facilitating conversations that support the creation of clear personal agreements, as well as solid legal agreements to protect their families. Diana is proud to be one of the New York State representatives for the selective national organization of leaders on LGBTQ family law, LBGT Family Law Institute of The National LGBT Bar Association.
Diana not only advocates for same-sex couples, but for family groups of three or more who may be polyamorous, platonic co-parents, or in an intergenerational family structure. Diana has also long been a referral for Kink Aware Professionals. In addition, Diana has argued many child custody and divorce cases in New York State in which a parent has had their private adult consensual sexual behavior unfairly used against them in a child custody case in which the child is unaffected and no inappropriate behavior toward the child has occurred, such as when a parent is polyamorous or participates in BDSM or kink behavior, naturism/nudism, or adult industry employment. Diana consults on trial strategy in these cases nationwide.
Diana speaks internationally about LGBTQI parenting, marriage alternatives, and the evolving structure of the family. Diana does frequent law school teaching, most recently as an Adjunct Law Professor at Cornell Law School teaching LGBTQ Family Law, and as a frequent guest lecturer at Harvard law School. Diana is frequently interviewed as an expert on LGBTQ and nontraditional family structures, with interviews in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, New York Magazine and many more, and on TV’s The View and MTV, among others. This coverage is due in part to their outspokenness about their own nontraditional family. Diana’s ability to speak boldly about their own life and about proposals for legal reform reflect an unflinching perseverance which they bring to advocacy on behalf of their clients.
Diana is currently based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and spends every third month in New York. While in Frankfurt, Diana serves Americans living in Europe, and works with NY clients remotely. While in NY, Diana schedules intensives with clients (see below), in which they work in a compressed period to resolve a case efficiently.
Diana is Director of the Euro LGBT Family Law Institute, bringing together leaders on LGBTQ family issues across Europe.
Diana has been a social justice activist on feminist, LGBTQ, environmental, and anti-poverty issues for decades. After law school, Diana did welfare policy reform work for the New York City Human Resources Administration. Later, they were the Staff Attorney and Pro Bono Coordinator for the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, where they led this legal services office in representation of indigent Brooklyn residents in child custody, child support, divorce, domestic violence and Civil Court debt collection cases, supervised hundreds of other attorneys' cases, and trained other attorneys. This position created the wealth of experiences and contacts within the legal community sufficient to support them in launching their own innovative firm in 2007.
Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by National LGBT Bar Association, 2014
Folsom Street East Sexual Freedom Hero Award, 2011
Empire Justice Award for pro bono service 2008, 2009
Freeman Award for Civil-Human Rights, selected by law faculty for graduation from Cornell Law, 2004
National Assoc. of Women Lawyers Award for most promising female law graduate, 2004
Diana’s symposium article Equality for Unmarried America: Legal Choice for America’s Diverse Families was published by the Charlotte Law Review in 2013.