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| || Who Are We?
| ||NorthWest Adoptions does adoptions in Washington and Oregon and is a part of the Central Washington Law Firm of Lyon Weigand & Gustafson PS, located in Yakima, Washington and founded more than 57 years ago by Charles R. Lyon.|
Adoption practice became a focus of the Law Firm in January, 1976 when Attorney J. Eric Gustafson joined the firm. Eric was actively involved in his own adoptive search at the time and his first son arrived two months later. Eric was active in the Yakima Adoption Support Group and began representing private agencies in dealing with birth parents and their termination proceedings. He also successfully defended agency and private litigants in contested adoption termination and consent revocation actions. Eric is a founding member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA). He served two terms on AAAA's Board of Trustees, chaired its Membership Committee for three years and has served on its Ethics Committee. He is a member of the Washington State Adoption Council and has testified before and served on a study panel of the Washingtion State Legislature related to adoption law and issues. He has been a presenter for various adoption related legal and public seminars. Eric is licensed to practice law in Washington and Oregon, and chooses to also retain a practice in Elder Law.
On the personal side, Eric has two adoptive and one biological child. His passions are flyfishing, golf, vintage trucks, related gas and oil collectibles and supporting Riverside Christian School. He is an elder of First Presbyterian Church, a 24 year member of Yakima Rotary and the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He is supported in all by his junior high school sweetheart and wife of 36 years, Nancy.
As a result of client inquiry and ever lenghtening agency waiting lists, a natural shift to independent adoptions occurred in the early 1980's. Although the Law Firm generally remains business and litigation oriented, the adoption division of the office concentrates its practice in helping dozens of families and birth parents annually with independent adoptions, planning and placement.
Adoption Case Manager, Sarah Classen, is an adoptee herself. After eight years in other law offices and a hiatus to raise her son, Sean, she joined our adoption practice in 1985 as a legal assistant. She exclusively handles adoption cases and supervises all day-to-day activities of the adoption division. Sarah has 20 years of caring for adoptive families, birth parents and dealing with the hundreds of unique circumstances of each adoptive plan. Everyday she is acclaimed by adoptive couples, birth mother's and other professionals as unparalleled.
Adoption Legal Assistant, Sally Aberle, spent eight years as a personal injury legal assistant, but found heightened satisfaction and significance in joining our calling to "Transform Unplanned Pregnancies Into Human Dreams" in 2001.