Joyce Kauffman - Kauffman Law & Mediation

Joyce Kauffman

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013
Phone: 617-577-1505

Joyce Kauffman is a 1992 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and a 1981 graduate of Lesley University, with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology.  In addition to an extensive divorce and traditional family law practice, her practice focuses on issues impacting the LGBT community.  On brief in Adoption of Tammy, the Massachusetts case that secured the right for same-sex couples to adopt, Attorney Kauffman also represented the first lesbian couple in Massachusetts to obtain a birth certificate without benefit of adoption upon the birth of their child, conceived through IVF using the eggs of one of the women but born to the other woman.  She has represented a number of families who have successfully obtained three-parent adoptions.  Since Goodridge and the beginning of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, Attorney Kauffman has represented a number of individuals in same-sex divorces as well as in the preparation of prenuptial agreements. She is a trained Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer.    Attorney Kauffman currently sits on the Governor’s Working Group on Child-Centered Family Laws and is a member of the Board of Directors of Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).   Attorney Kauffman is privileged to have been selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of the Lawyers of the Year in 2009; and to have been a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights since its inception.  She is the former co-chair of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association and former chair of that organization’s Family Law Section; and a current member of the Emeritus Board of Directors of Family Equality, a national organization advocating for the rights of LGBT families. Attorney Kauffman speaks frequently at continuing legal education seminars, conferences, community organizations, and universities and has published a number of articles concerning the legal rights of LGBT families.  She is the recipient of the Gwen Bloomingdale Pioneer Spirit Award from the Mass LGBTQ Bar (2007), the Fisher Davenport Award from the Family Pride Coalition (now Family Equality) and COLAGE (2004), and the Barney Frank Award from the Massachusetts School of Law (2003).  Attorney Kauffman has been selected for inclusion in Massachusetts Super Lawyers each year since 2008, and was named to “Best Lawyers in America” in 2013.     

University of Massachusetts AmherstBS 1971Lesley UniversityM.Ed 1981Northeastern UniversityJ.D. 1992
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & DefendersFamily EqualityNational Center for Lesbian RightsAmerican Association of Assisted Reproducive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA)

Case History

Adoption of Tammy — This case, decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1993 established, for the first time in Massachusetts, the right for unmarried same-sex couples to adopt.
Adoption of Galen — Decided in 1996 by the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts, this case established the principal that a request to waive the home study investigation -- a decision left to the discretion of the trial court judge -- cannot be ordered based on the sexual orientation of the petitioners.  The SJC determined that a trial court judge exercising her discretion to order a home study investigation, must support that decision with written findings.
Jane Doe v. XYZ Corp. — An unmarried woman who purchased anonymous donor sperm from a sperm bank sought an order to reveal the identity of the donor so that she could bring an action to establish paternity and seek child support.  The court determined that she was not entitled to obtain the identity of the sperm donor.
Knoll-Finn v. BIDMC — A lesbian couple who conceived a child through in vitro fertilization, where embryos were created using the non-birthmother's eggs and anonymous donor sperm and implanted in the birthmother's uterus, were determined to be the child's legal parents at birth.  This decision was reached despite the fact that the parties were not married (and in fact, occurred prior to the Goodridge decision in 2003, which granted marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Office Location

231 Third Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Practice Areas

Family Law

Other Information

Gender: Female