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Katten Attorney Helps Mother Adopt Baby Found Buried Alive

Firm News | December 4, 2018

(LOS ANGELES) Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP announced today that Litigation associate Eric S. Brin represented a woman pro bono in finalizing the adoption of a toddler, who as a newborn was abandoned by her birth mother and rescued by police who discovered her swaddled in a hospital blanket, buried in a pothole covered in asphalt and debris.

The child, named Aspen, celebrated her third birthday last month and is the 10th adoption case this year that Katten attorneys have volunteered their time and legal knowledge to oversee. Public Counsel, the nation's largest not-for-profit law firm specializing in delivering pro bono legal services, has referred more than 100 adoption matters over the last several years to attorneys in various practices at Katten.

"Katten is deeply committed to pro bono work. The firm allowed me to spend time devoting my skills and resources to helping my client sort through and file all the necessary paperwork to keep a family together," Brin said.

"The adoption process can be incredibly challenging for a person trying to do it on their own," he added. "As a new father myself, it's so powerful and rewarding to see my client open her heart and create a loving home for this little girl."

Aspen was abandoned a few days after birth along a bike path in Compton. She was four months old in April 2016 when she was initially placed by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services in the care of her adoptive mother Cassandra Frazier, an extended family member. As Frazier's pro bono attorney, Brin walked her through the adoption finalization process and handled the pile of paperwork involved in the uncontested adoption hearing. He also assisted in securing adoption benefits and services the family is entitled to receive.

"Eric's been very helpful. He's made the process easy," said Frazier, who also is the mother of three grown children. "To know that everything is finalized and completed, that this little happy girl is mine and has my last name, it's breathtaking. It's a blessing."

The adoption was finalized on November 17—National Adoption Day—at Edmund D. Edelman Children's Court in Monterey Park, where Aspen, along with 200 other newly adopted children, joined their new parents to celebrate the day. The 19th annual National Adoption Day is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of children in foster care waiting for permanent families. The day celebrates and honors families formed through adoption, and encourages others to adopt.

Last year, nearly 5,000 children in foster care were officially adopted during National Adoption Day celebrations in various cities throughout the United States. Since the first National Adoption Day in 2000, nearly 70,000 foster children across the country have finalized their adoptions as part of that occasion.

Last year, an estimated 123,000 foster care children were waiting to be adopted in the United States and more than 59,000 adoptions were finalized, according to the Children's Bureau, an office of the Administration for Children and Families, which is a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

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