VIDEO REPLAY February 27, 2012





The New York State Bar Association


The Committee on Children and the Law
2012 Robert J. Schack Memorial Program



Truth in Parentage:

Adoption Secrecy and Paternity Estoppel in the Age of Information


Where and when:


9:00 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.

Hilton New York

1335 Avenue of the Americas
(between 53rd and 54th Streets)

New York City



This program will cover the elements of a paternity estoppel case, and considerations supporting preservation or abolition of estoppel;  advantages and disadvantages of open adoption;  (limited) remedies for finding birth parents or obtaining medical information;   an overview of developments in broad-based genetic testing and sharing of information;  and the psychological ramifications of truth in parentage.

Under New York’s MCLE rules, this program has been approved for all attorneys including those newly admitted for a total of 3.5 credit hours in the area of professional practice.





8:30-9:00 a.m.  Registration


9:00-9:05         Welcome and Opening Remarks

                        George E. Reed, Jr., Esq.

                        Program Chair


 9:05-9:55       Who’s Your Daddy?  Paternity by Estoppel in a DNA World

·        The Historical Origins of Equitable Estoppel and its First Applications
to Paternity Cases

·        Shondel and its Progeny

·        The Estoppel Permutations

·        DNA at Birth -- What Happens When They Private Test?

·        What Does This Mean for the Attorneys in the Courtroom?

Speakers:        Hon. W. Dennis Duggan
John J. Aman, Esq.


9:55-10:20      The Psychological Ramifications of Truth in Parentage

Speakers:        Richard Mayer, M.D.
Anne Reynolds Copps, Esq.

10:20-10:30     Coffee Break

10:30-10:55     Adoption Secrecy in New York

·        Accessing Records

·        Post-Adoption Contract Agreements

·        Practical Implications of Agreements – Enforcement,                                                                            Modifications and Waiver

Speaker:          Anne Reynolds Copps, Esq. 

10:55-11:45     Adoption Secrecy in the United States

·        History of Access to Adoption Records

·        Effects of Recent Changes in State Laws

·        Open Sesame -- Who Are My Other Parents?

                        Speaker:          Professor Elizabeth Samuels

11:45-12:10     Panel Discussion

12:10               Adjournment





Committee Chair

Professor Merril Sobie

Pace University School of Law

White Plains


Program Chair

George E. Reed, Jr., Esq.

White Plains


John J. Aman, Esq.

Deputy Chief Support Magistrate


Richard Mayer, M.D.

New York



Anne Reynolds Copps, Esq.




Prof. Elizabeth Samuels

University of Baltimore

Baltimore, Md.


Hon. W. Dennis Duggan

Judge of the Family Court, Albany County









About Robert J. Schack


Robert J. Schack was a founding member of the Committee on Children and the Law and, for many years, Chair of the Legislative Subcommittee. A supervising attorney at the New York State Attorney General's Office, Mr. Schack represented the State in several landmark juvenile justice and child welfare cases. He was a tireless advocate for children’s rights and interests, and contributed enormously to the Committee's and  Bar Association’s achievements.





Discounts and Scholarships: New York State Bar Association  members may apply for a discount or scholarship to attend this program, based on financial hardship. Any member of the Association who has a genuine basis of financial hardship can receive a discount or scholarship, depending on the circumstances. To apply for a discount or scholarship, please send your request in writing to the New York State Bar Association, Attn: Catheryn Teeter, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207 or via e-mail


Special Note for Attorneys Representing Children and Family Court Assigned Counsel Panel Members: Attorneys for Children and panel members are eligible to apply for a discounted registration fee for this program.  If you qualify, you cannot register online.  You must obtain a 2012 Discounted Registration Fee Form from your Program Director or download the waiver form at, attach it to the completed Annual Meeting Registration Form, and fax or mail back the completed forms to the number/address listed.  A limited number of forms are available on a first come/first serve basis for Family Court or Family Court Appeals assigned counsel panel members who are not currently attorneys for children.  To inquire about these waivers, please call Catheryn Teeter at (518) 487-5621 before Friday, January 6, 2012.  No waivers can be issued after the cutoff date.  Please note that if you are not a member of the New York State Bar Association, the $200 nonmember surcharge cannot be waived.


Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities: NYSBA will make reasonable modifications/accommodations to allow participation in its services, programs, or activities by persons with disabilities. NYSBA will provide auxiliary aids and services upon request. NYSBA will remove architectural barriers and communication barriers that are structural in nature where readily achievable. To request auxiliary aids or services or if you have any questions regarding accessibility, please contact Katherine Suchocki at 518-487-5591.


For overnight room accommodations, please call the Hilton New York at 1-800-445-8667 and identify yourself as a member of the New York State Bar Association. Room rates are $259.00 for single/double occupancy. Reservations must be made by December 23, 2011. You also can reserve your overnight room on the web at


For questions about this specific program, please contact Katherine Suchocki at or
For registration questions only, please call 518-487-5621. Fax registration form to 866-680-0946.


Table of Contents of Program Book

Registration Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Committee on Children and the Law Program
View this Flyer in PDF

Annual Meeting Registration Form

NYSBA General Annual Meeting Information

Register on-line now (not for Attorneys for Children)

2012 Waiver Form for Attorneys for Children


Last Updated February 3, 2012


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