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The partnership launched the Grandparent & Relative Caregiver Adoption Program to offer expertise in adoption law and other family related legal matters. It is one of the first pro bono projects of its kind in the country.

The project was launched to help settle children with new parents and caregivers, especially after so many families have been destroyed as their parents were lost to incarceration, addiction, abandonment or death.

At one point, the firm helped an Atlanta grandmother adopt seven of her grandchildren and secure guardianship of two others through the program.

Over the years, Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton has expanded its pro bono services to families in need to include estate planning and guardianships for grandparents and other relative who now have custody of children. More than a dozen attorneys draft wills, advance directives and minor guardianship documents.

Because of the undaunted success in helping others, the firm has launched a similar program with Legal Aid of North Carolina, serving clients out if its office there.

“What you don’t always see is the gratitude of our clients. They frequently cry on the phone, tears of joy, when I offer this assistance,” said Laura Rashidi-Yazd, director of pro bono services at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. “Often these clients are in the most challenging situations – they are elderly or disabled, low-income, and faced with raising a child at a time in their life that is unexpected. To know that there is help through this process is incredibly reassuring.”

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