Mark Eckman is one of the founding members of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, whose membership comprises attorneys around the country who specialize in adoption law.  He now devotes approximately half of his practice to adoption  and immigration matters, and the other half to reproductive law.

Here are the adoption options in which he can assist you:

Private Placement Adoptions:

With Mark Eckman's guidance,  hundreds of couples and single individuals have identified “birth mothers”—women considering placing their children in adoption—and have proceeded to parenthood by accepting direct custody of a child, often right out of the hospital.  When he first became involved in private adoptions, it was customary for prospective adoptive parents to place classified advertisements in newspapers announcing their interest in locating an adoptable child.  Although the Classifieds are still used, a more important means of locating an adoptable child is through the Internet.  Mark Eckman and his staff will assist you in creating your own adoption profile, and taking advantage of the many resources on line.

Since the same attorney is prohibited from representing both the adoptive parents and the birth parent(s), Mark Eckman works with colleagues who are retained to represent either the adoptive or biological parents.  Through his network of  fellow members of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, he will identify a colleague with whom to collaborate.

Agency Adoptions:

Mark Eckman knows agency adoptions, having founded The Datz Foundation, an adoption agency licensed in VA, MD, DC and NC, in 1987.  He can assist you in identifying a licensed agency which might fit your needs.  Being a principal in an adoption agency himself, he remains abreast of trends in the industry.   His agency experience includes both domestic and inter-country placements.   He is therefore in a good position to refer you to a licensed agency that might meet your needs. Likewise, he can represent you in finalizing an agency adoption in your local court, if you reside in VA or DC.


Mark Eckman has considerable experience in representing clients in re-adoptions.   What are re-adoptions?   You have adopted a child according to the laws of a foreign country, and wish your local court to reconfirm the adoption and your state to issue an amended birth certificate for your child.  Mark Eckman will be happy to represent VA and DC residents in these re-adoptions.

Stepparent Adoptions:

You have gotten married and your spouse has a child.  Assuming the child’s biological parent is willing to grant his/her consent, a stepparent adoption can be accomplished both in VA and DC fairly easily.  If, on the other hand, such consent is not obtainable,  the case becomes more complicated, but certainly feasible.

For Birthparents:

Women and men considering placing their children in adoption.

The decision to place your child in adoption is a major one, but Mark Eckman is ready to help.  After a discussion with him, you may decide that you want to become parents and raise your child.  On the other hand, you may decide that the child’s best interests lie in adoption by a loving family.  If that is the case, Mark will become your advocate.

Virginia law does not allow lawyers to find an adoptive family for you.  However, lawyers may guide you to identifying a family on your own.   You and Mark Eckman together will find the right family, if not in Virginia, then in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area.  As a founding member of The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, he is in communication with a network of colleagues who specialize in adoption law.

Once the future adoptive family is located, you and they will decide what relationship you want pre- and post-birth.  Do you want to get to know the family and invite them to doctor’s appointment, or even to the delivery?  That is possible.  Or on the other hand, do you want to remain more distant, and perhaps not even meet the adoptive family face to face?  That is also possible.

If the family you choose does not work out, for whatever reason, Mark will help you identify Family #2, or Family #3—until you feel comfortable with the couple or single parent who will raise your child.  The decision is yours!

Perhaps you have already found the family with whom you want to place your child.  Congratulations!   But that is only the first step.  You need an attorney to represent your interests (bear in mind, attorney fees are generally paid by the family adopting your child, not by you).

Whatever your situation, Mark Eckman looks forward to hearing from you. 
Call him at (703)242-8801, or email him confidentially at

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