Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon (ESC) is proud to announce the addition of adoption to its roster of legal practice areas. On October 28, 2021, attorney Clay Whittaker joined the firm, bringing with him expertise in adoption and a four-year-old adoption practice, Gulf Coast Adoptions. Clay is a licensed attorney in Florida and Alabama and practices in both state and federal courts.
Gulf Coast Adoptions will operate under the umbrella of ESC, and will provide the Gulf Coast area with trusted, knowledgeable adoption services for expectant mothers, birth mothers, and families looking to adopt.
“Adoption is a sensitive, yet complex area, and it’s important for those adopting and those considering placing their children for adoption to have a highly trusted source for adoption related legal services,” said Wes Reeder, ESC firm President. “As the firm already provides other important family services such as estate planning, family law, and guardianship law, adoption was a natural fit.”
Gulf Coast Adoptions is run by Clay and his wife, Cheryl, who bring their own personal experiences with adoption. Four years ago, Clay was practicing law as a board-certified construction attorney when the couple experienced the adoption process firsthand. They became the proud adoptive parents of their daughter, but they both felt they could have improved the adoption process.
“When we adopted our daughter, we didn’t have the transparency and communication we thought should be present and which we now make a primary focus.” said Clay. “We strive to build relationships between the adoptive parents and expecting mother/birth mother to foster trust that we feel is vital not only to the success of the adoption plan but their relationship as they move forward through life. We achieve this by open and frequent communication, honesty in the process and expectations, and by being sincere, listening and not judging.”
Gulf Coast Adoptions sets itself apart with its open communication and every call or text is answered by a seasoned member of the adoption team rather than a call center. “We are available 24/7 to discuss matters with expectant mothers and birth mothers when issues or questions arise or if they simply need a friendly ear. We also communicate with adopting families during and after hours to ensure their questions are fully answered and to remove as much of the uncertainly in the process that is possible.”
In addition to handling newborn adoptions, Clay also handles stepparent adoptions, relative adoptions, second parent adoptions, adult adoptions, and identified adoptions. “Families come in all shapes and sizes, and our adoption practices recognizes that. Some of the best phone calls, Cheryl and I receive are from parents who want to ‘make official’ their parental status even though they have been raising a child as their own for a long time. We view family as the single most important thing in life and we are so lucky to be in a position to help others grow their families.”
“We’re thrilled to be a part of the ESC team,” said Clay. “Our goal is to provide expectant mothers, birth mothers and potential adoptive parents with peace of mind and the ESC name simply adds to that sense of security.”
If you’re an expectant mother considering adoption for your child or are interested in adoption, you can contact Gulf Coast Adoptions 24/7 at 850-999-7977. Or for more information, visit gulfcoastadoptions.com.
About Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon
Experienced, effective, and evolving since 1913, Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon is a full-service law firm dedicated to protecting the interests of individuals and businesses. For more information on the firm and other practice areas, visit esclaw.com or call 850.433.6581.