Karen grew up knowing she wanted to do something to help people and give back to her community. After receiving a degree in History from The University of Missouri, she continued her education at The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, earning her law degree in 1985.
A Great Place to Work
In 1986, Karen joined Krigel & Krigel and worked with the firm for 6 years before getting married and moving to Chicago. A couple years later she and her husband moved back to Kansas City and Karen rejoined the firm. Karen enjoys the culture and wide range of knowledge and practice experience of the attorneys at the firm. While each attorney has their own practice area, they all work together to find the best solutions for their clients.
A Focus on Adoption Law
Karen practiced in a variety of areas during her first few years with Krigel & Krigel. It wasn’t until she covered an adoption hearing for another attorney that she found her niche. She loved that she could help people build their families and make a real impact on their lives.
Today her adoption law practice includes working with adoptive parents and birthparents in all types of adoptions, including private and agency adoptions; interstate adoptions; stepparent adoptions; same-sex adoptions and adult adoptions. Karen enjoys doing this work at Krigel & Krigel where they build relationships with the agencies and hospitals they work with, and often take on complex cases that other attorneys don’t want.
Today, there is much more openness in adoption, both during the birthmother’s pregnancy and continuining after the child is born and grows older. Karen enjoys being part of the process and seeing the relationships that develop between birthparents and adoptive parents, as they join together to do what is best for the child.
A Pioneer in Assisted Reproductive Technology Law
Over the years, Karen’s practice has expanded to include assisted reproductive technology matters, such as gestational carrier arrangements, traditional surrogacy, gamete donation, and embryo donation.While assisted reproductive technology is becoming more common, neither Kansas nor Missouri has laws that address all of the various legal components of the process. Because of this, Karen, and the other attorneys at Krigel & Krigel, have had to create legal arrangements to best fit each unique situation. Karen has seen the changes throughout the years and remembers when she would have to explain the process to judges who weren’t familiar with the technology.
Giving Back to Her Community
Karen is heavily involved in the legal and adoptive community, collaborating with adoption agencies, other attorneys, parents and prospective parents. She is a regular speaker at the Metropolitan Adoption Council of Greater Kansas City and Friends of Adoption. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA).
When Karen isn’t practicing law or donating her time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and two dogs, and cheering on the Missouri Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals (born and raised Cardinal fan!), and Kansas City Royals. She also likes staying active with yoga, and has recently returned to a childhood passion: tap dancing.
If you have questions about adoption or assisted reproductive technology matters and would like to connect with Karen, contact her at 816-285-6014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Karen headshot
*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions.