Law for childrens' sake

Madison's Law Center for Children and Families gives much-needed advice

Four years ago, a child who was victim of abuse and neglect was placed in a foster home by the Dane County Social Services. Raised in such a way, the child suffered from behavioral problems not uncommon with foster children. While Social Services agreed with the medical care the foster family deemed necessary, due to restricting policies of the system, they could not offer it without the court’s approval. Enter Theresa Roetter, an associate of the Law Center for Children and Families, who acted as the intermediary between the family and the state in an effort to provide the attention the child needed. The court eventually granted the medical services the family was fighting for, and the child has since made drastic improvements. Roetter now enjoys working on the brighter side of this case, helping the family officially welcome this child into their home through the adoption process. Roetter and four other lawyers at the Madison-based Law Center work with prospective foster parents, foster families’ relationship with the court system, and foster care leading to adoption. Open since last September, the Law Center has already represented hundreds of children and families throughout the state. Co-founder Judith Sperling-Newton, a 20-year veteran of family law, has long seen the need for work with children and families affected by the more difficult aspects of the foster care system. “Adoption and related children’s issues are important and often complex matters which affect the welfare of children,” Sperling-Newton says. “We believe strongly that children’s rights should be respected and supported in the court system.” The Law Center also represents Adoptions of Wisconsin and the Surrogacy Center, which offers a range of services to both birth and adoptive parents. For additional information, contact the Law Center for Children and Families at 821-8200. – Kalyn Waters
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