June 17, 2022

Committed to Providing Family Law Services for All Families

You may have heard the phrase “Y’all Means All” and here at Michael & Russell, PLLC, we couldn’t agree more. As Wilmington, North Carolina’s first and only adoption and collaborative family law firm, we are honored to provide legal services to all families in the area – without exceptions.

You can trust that our law firm will respect your family, no matter how it is made up or what it looks like. Every family is unique and that’s what makes each of them so special.

Our attorneys, Ashley Michael and Ashley-Nicole Russell, welcome diversity and our office is a judgment-free zone. We are experienced in helping LGBT couples with a variety of family law needs including adoption and assisted reproduction. We know that seeking legal services can be intimidating, but our knowledgeable and experienced team is here to make the process as smooth as possible for all families. No matter what your family is experiencing, we are here to help you during your time of need. In honor of June being Pride Month in the United States, we are sharing information about some of our services that often appeal to LGBT couples as they look to grow their families in North Carolina.


If your family is exploring adoption options, you may need an attorney to assist in the process. While it is an exciting time, it can sometimes be a complicated and overwhelming process. In North Carolina, state laws allow same sex couples and individuals to adopt; however, the process is often easier when the couple is married. In addition, the adoption journey comes with many questions and determinations along the way. Having an adoption attorney isn’t always necessary, but it is certainly beneficial, especially in complex situations. It is our goal to relieve the stress and reduce the paperwork while serving as a valuable resource to help you build the family you desire. There are many benefits to hiring experienced adoption attorneys to assist in the process. You can read about several of these advantages by clicking here.

Michael & Russell is proud to be the first law firm in the southeastern North Carolina region to focus on providing adoption law services. Plus, managing attorney, Ashley Michael, is a board-certified legal specialist in family law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. As of 2022, Ashley is honored to be one of 275 specialists in family law and one of just six family law specialists in New Hanover County. Through this designation, she has completed coursework that is specific to adoption law in North Carolina and continues to study this type of law through continuing education opportunities.

Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART)

If you and your partner are considering growing your family through assisted reproduction technologies, you’ll likely need – and want – an attorney’s guidance and help during this complex yet rewarding journey. For LGBT couples, there are many considerations before beginning the process of sperm donation, egg donation, or surrogacy. While many couples may find donors on their own – like a friend or family member – it is still important to have an attorney involved when drafting legal documents. It’s also essential to note that no matter how well you know your donor, legal documents are a must to safeguard your family.

When considering gestational carriers and surrogacy, this adds another layer of intricacy with finding and hiring a surrogate. Surrogacy often involves financial terms, reimbursements, and/or health insurance as well as contracts and agreements. These details should be developed and reviewed with the assistance of an attorney who is experienced in the varying aspects of ART. In addition, North Carolina has not yet adopted the Uniform Parentage Act and there is only one state law, § 49A-1. Status of child born as a result of artificial insemination, that addresses artificial reproduction. This means that attorneys working with couples involved in ART need to create pre-birth orders to determine parentage prior to the baby’s arrival. This is a niche practice which requires an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable in ART processes and laws in North Carolina. Managing attorney Ashley Michael is a Fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA). Through her specific training as part of her Fellow designation within this organization, she is able to help you navigate laws and policies that may affect your rights to use ART to build your family. You can read more about LGBT ART processes from the AAAA and access free external resources on reproductive rights by clicking here.


When you work with Michael & Russell, PLLC, you can trust that we are committed to serving you and your family with compassion and empathy. Through our New Hanover County office on Oleander Drive, we are dedicated to providing family law services to all of southeastern North Carolina. In addition, our attorneys can represent families across North Carolina with adoption and collaborative law processes, mediation, and settlement negotiation that can be handled in a virtual setting.

If you’re interested in scheduling a family law service consultation with Michael & Russell, click here to learn more about our intake process and what to expect. We would be honored to work with you and your partner as you look to build the family of your dreams. Please reach out to our Wilmington-based legal team at 910-255-5722 to learn more about our services and to schedule a consultation for your family law needs.