Winter 2021

Welcome to our latest newsletter. In this issue we discuss a new U.S. policy that expands citizenship to children born overseas through assisted reproductive technologies, two new Colorado laws affecting surrogacy and adoption, and an amazing client story about a young man determined to adopt five neglected siblings and obtain the services they needed to heal.

Despite the continued pandemic, our firm continues to be extremely busy building families through adoption, surrogacy and gamete donation, the child welfare system and immigration. We have embraced advanced technologies in our practices and within the Courts to better serve our clients. Moreover, clients and prospective clients now have the opportunity to meet virtually or in-person at our office to provide greater flexibility in scheduling. 

As we near Thanksgiving, we are reminded of our gratitude for our clients and partners. Thank you for being part of the Grob & Eirich family. As always, if we can be of any assistance in adoption, assisted reproduction, immigration, or child welfare matters, please don't hesitate to contact our office at 303.679.8266 or visit our website at
Have a very happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the holiday season!

Seth & Tim
U.S. Immigration Policy Expands U.S. Citizenship Transmission to Children Born Abroad Using Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
A new U.S. immigration policy expands the transmission of U.S. citizenship to children born abroad using ART, provided the child’s legal parents are married to one another at the time of birth and at least one of the legal parents has a genetic or gestational relationship to the child. Significantly, U.S. immigration authorities now define “child” to include the child of a U.S. citizen parent who is married to the child’s genetic or legal gestational parent at the time of the child’s birth if both parents are recognized by the relevant jurisdiction as the child’s legal parents. Previously, only the genetic or gestational parent could convey U.S. citizenship.

This policy expansion is significant in that children born abroad who have a genetic or gestational tie to a non-U.S. parent can now acquire U.S. citizenship from their genetic or gestational parent’s U.S. citizen spouse. Click the links to read about this policy from Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the BBC.

“This overdue policy expansion removes a significant barrier to family unity,” said Katie Glynn, Grob & Eirich attorney. “The shift impacts what we do here at Grob & Eirich in a positive way: assist our clients in building their families utilizing immigration and assisted reproduction law.”
Two New Colorado Laws Affect Surrogacy and Adoption
Surrogacy Agreement Act

The Surrogacy Agreement Act was enacted in Colorado in May of this year. This legislation allows for the enforcement of surrogacy agreements, provided that statutorily required procedures are met. Colorado now joins approximately twelve other states that legally recognize surrogacy arrangements. The new legislation includes protections for all parties, allows surrogates to be compensated, and outlines procedures regarding party responsibilities and how agreements can be terminated. The legislation also recognizes both types of surrogacies: traditional, where the surrogate uses her own egg, and gestational surrogacy, where the carrier is not genetically related to the child. All parties are required to have legal counsel licensed in Colorado. Seth Grob provided technical assistance in the drafting of the legislation, which took place over two years.

“There was always a concern, particularly in traditional surrogacy cases, that a surrogate could change her mind during the course of the pregnancy and seek to parent the child she was carrying,” said Seth Grob. “Now, intended parents will know that if they comply with the statutory requirements and include all of the necessary terms within a surrogacy contract, they will be legally recognized as the child’s parents by our Colorado courts. We did not have legislation in this area before. Previously, we relied on a myriad of parentage statutes; but they weren’t always clear given they did not specifically address compensated surrogacy arrangements. The new legislation removes much of the uncertainty previously encountered by both intended parents and surrogates. I have no doubt that intended parents in Colorado, throughout the United States, and across the globe, will look favorably to using a surrogate in Colorado given these new protections.”

Click here to read the legislation.

Open Adoption Act

In September of this year, the Open Adoption Act was also passed in Colorado, which allows for post-adoption contact agreements.  Post-adoption contact agreements, known as PACAs, allow the enforceability of contact between biological family members and the adopted child in both private and child welfare cases. PACAs are court-ordered only if such contact is in the child’s best interests and agreed to by the birth family and the adoptive family. Tim Eirich contributed to the drafting of the legislation.

“This new bill will minimize litigation and provide a guaranteed mechanism for continued contact to occur between adopted children and biological family members,” said Tim Eirich. “It’s another creative tool we can use to resolve conflict. If a biological parent or family member wants continued contact with the child, and the foster or pre-adoptive parents agree, this law allows that the agreement for contact to be enforceable.”

Click here to read the legislation.
Subsidy Allows Five Siblings to Get the Services They Need to Heal
The children were found wandering outside unattended while their mother was passed out on the sofa. Two of the children were severely burnt by a hair straightener on their legs. Food was scarce and the children were not fed regularly. There was substance abuse and incidents of domestic violence in the home. These are the findings from the reports over several years, until finally the Department of Human Services opened an abuse and neglect case was opened in 2016. There were five children in all, ranging in age from infant to five-years-old.

“I’ve known all the kids since they were born,” said family friend, Michael Alley. “I was invited to birthday celebrations and helped their mom when she needed it. I knew the parents drank a lot, but I had no idea what was really going on.”

Michael got involved in 2017 when the oldest child was having a difficult time with his siblings. “I asked if the child N.A. could stay with me for Christmas break,” said Michael. “He was all of five years old; he said he didn’t want to be with his parents and was grateful to be away from them. After that, I committed to having him on weekends.” It wasn’t long before M.A., the second oldest, wanted to stay at Michael’s too.

The baby, Z.A., was sent to a foster home to help with his severe developmental delays. He was also diagnosed with attachment issues as a result of significant neglect.

All five children were living with their grandparents by this time, until it came to light that, due to substance abuse, this was also not an appropriate placement. Within six months, Michael went from taking care of one child on the weekends, to having five children under the age of five living in his home.

“It was very expensive,” said Michael. “I had changes in my work, needed childcare, and didn’t have documentation to enroll them anywhere. I needed a bigger house, a bigger car, and all I had was my savings. I remember at one point thinking, ‘how am I going to pay my bills?’ But I couldn’t quit. I would tell other adults, ‘These kids are pure and innocent and it’s not their fault. If we quit, we aren’t any better than their parents.’”

The trauma the children had endured led to some extreme behaviors. Each of the children had some difficulty regulating their urinary habits, and four of them were in diapers at the same time. The kids had also developed varying issues around food and eating, including significant overeating and hoarding food. The children would sometimes act violently, and some had night terrors.

For instance, one of the children was so traumatized he could not control his urination. “In kindergarten and first grade, he was changing his diaper by himself three or four times a day at school. He used hand signals with his teacher when he needed to change it,” said Michael. But Malachi has made significant progress while in Michael’s care. “Now he is nine years old and, while he still has accidents at night, it used to be six times a day.”

Michael settled into routines with the children and paid out-of-pocket for the therapies they needed. Michael decided he wanted to adopt the children, but the Department of Human Services was slow in processing the case and creating permanency for the children. That’s when Michael hired Tim Eirich at Grob & Eirich.

“I had already had the kids for years, but the case was not moving along,” said Michael. “The kids would get a new GAL and we would have to start over, or they would think the parents were making progress when they weren’t. I hired Tim to fight for us. As soon as he was involved, things started getting done.”

The termination of parental rights was finalized in 2019, and Michael says Tim was instrumental in finally making that happen. “Working with Tim felt like we had the smartest person in the room on our side,” said Michael. “When we got to trial, everything had already been done and there wasn’t much left to do.”

Michael and his husband, TJ, were married in 2021. They were determined to get the kids the services they needed to heal. “The most important thing to us was the therapy,” said Michael. “We spent so many years going to different clinics that had less experience and education than we needed. We finally found one led by PhDs where every child and parent gets their own therapist, and they all work together.”

Senior Associate, Kerry Simpson, joined Tim on the case, and she was able to negotiate a significant subsidy for Michael in order to ensure proper care of the children. The subsidy included Medicaid, adoption expense reimbursement, a generous cash subsidy per child, per year until age 18, as well as respite care and therapy reimbursement for three years. 

“It was a huge victory,” said Kerry. “And it didn’t take months. It was just offer, counter, offer, done. These children have significantly high needs and are now in a home together where they are thriving. We need people like Michael, but there is a cost. The department has to support the children’s needs.”

“We wanted to fight to get as much as we could because that is what the law allows, and these kids deserve it,” said Michael.

Once the subsidy was finalized, the children were ready for adoption, and the kids wanted to start the school year with their new last name. “Kerry worked hard to get a phone hearing the week before school started,” said Michael. “We had the same judge who had overseen the case for all five years, and the kids each got a plaque that is now hanging in their rooms.” The children were adopted this past August, followed by a huge party in the park.

Michael was only 24 years old when N.A. came to stay with him, and as an LGBT couple, the department was skeptical if he and TJ would provide a stable home. “But we have been able to prove to be one of the most positive outcomes Colorado has ever seen,” said Michael. “We can be an example to others in our community, a way to change people’s minds. One day, our goal is to establish a nonprofit to buy large homes for people who want to take in large sibling groups.”

“Michael, TJ and the kids are such a beautiful family. They show us what it means to be a family, biology or not,” said Kerry.
Partner Spotlight: Adoption Institute of Colorado
We recently caught up with Linda Gansler of the Adoption Institute of Colorado to hear about her new agency and how they fill a need in Colorado.

Tell me about Adoption Institute of Colorado.
We are a home study agency. We prepare families for adoption, do the home study, and provide comprehensive education and training for families seeking domestic and international adoption. We assist with referrals to agencies that also do the matching, and then we do post placement supervision once a child is placed in the adoptive family’s home. We use Seth and Tim to handle all the legal matters associated with terminating all possible birth parents’ rights to legally free the child for adoption. Once the child is available for adoption, we also use Grob & Eirich to finalize the adoptions.

I’ve been in the adoption field and doing this work for 27 years. I thought I was going to retire in Alaska and was there for two years but was so bored I came back and opened another agency.

What is different about Adoption Institute?
We focus on the families. They really get the short end of the stick, and they often have to fend for themselves. So much emphasis is on the birth moms, as it should be, but I saw there was a need for more support for adoptive families. We can walk them through the whole process without any pressure. I can ask the questions they don’t know to ask.

How long have you worked with Seth and Tim?
When I opened my first agency in 2013, they were my “go-to” for all legal matters, relinquishment and termination of parental rights, subsidies, and adoption finalizations. I would also call them for advice. I had a bad experience with another attorney in a different state and realized I was spoiled with Seth and Tim. They always had my back. And they are just really nice, smart, and professional.

When there is new legislation, they make sure our agency knows about it. They offered trainings to my whole staff, which has been super helpful. The support they offer is wonderful.

For more information visit
Seth Grob and Tim Eirich

Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Colorado, Adoption Dreams Come True, Colorado Christian Services, Hope’s Promise and Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, “Open Adoption: Post Adoption Contract Agreements” (Webinar, November 2021).

Adoption Options, “Open Adoption: Post Adoption Contract Agreements” (Webinar, September 2021).

Adoption Institute of Colorado, “Open Adoption: Post Adoption Contract Agreements” (Webinar, September 2021).
Family Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association, “Private Adoptions: Navigating Issues and Avoiding Pitfalls,” (Webinar, April 2021).

Katie Glynn

Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) and Colorado Lawyers Committee (CLC), “Representing Abused, Abandoned, and Neglected Immigrant Children in State Court: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Predicate Order,” with Kacie Mulhern of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center and Alyssa Telander of RMIAN’s Children’s Program (Webinar Training, August & September 2021).