The majority of people in the US are not living in nuclear families with a spouse and kids — yet this is treated like it’s a bad thing. Advocating for more inclusive laws that also support LGBTQIA, polyamorous triads or quads, co-parents and domestic partnerships, Adams explains how a more expansive view of family would strengthen all relationships.
November 2023: Spiegel (Germany)
In the US city of Somerville, many polyamorous people live and love in new relationship models. Here, three households talk about their everyday lives between freedom and scheduling, cohesion and jealousy.
November 2023: Gay Community News (GCN) Ireland
There are plenty of laws that protect heteronormative family structures, but polyamorous families need laws to recognise their partnerships and protect them from discrimination.
October 2023: Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
Diana Adams was intereviewed and featured for this article in one of Japan's largest newspapers.
July 2023: Vanity Fair
Caroline Giuliani wrote this beautifully comprehensive piece for Vanity Fair in July 2023 highlighting the work of Diana Adams and others in the movement to destigmatize polyamory and establish rights+protections for poly families.
JUNE 2023: Watch Diana Adams address European Parliament in Madrid
Diana Adams was invited to present in-person at the Madrid Summit's International Conference on Human Rights, hosted by the European Parliament and EU Human Rights Commission in Madrid (Summer 2023). They spoke during a panel called "Legal Tools & Strategic Litigation for Protecting LGBTQIA+ Rights."
Click HERE to watch their talk, which starts at 5:31:30.
June 2023: SOLO with Peter McGraw
Peter McGraw speaks to Diana Adams, the founder of the Chosen Family Law Center, Inc. and boutique LGBTQ family law and mediation firm Diana Adams Law & Mediation, PLLC. Both organizations serve primarily same-sex couples and non-nuclear families. Diana’s incredible TED talk “Why US laws must expand beyond the nuclear family” serves as the basis for the conversation. They suggest that, although the nuclear family model may no longer be the norm in the US. It’s still the basis for social and economic benefits like health care, tax breaks, and citizenship. Diana contends that all families, regardless of biological relationship or legal marriage, are deserving of equal legal rights and recognition. Peter and Diana have a wide-ranging conversation that includes how Solos are affected by these laws – and present a call to action for aging Solos. LISTEN HERE
May 2023: The New York Times
Laws granting rights to people in polyamorous relationships are being recognized in more cities.
"In late March, Somerville passed two more laws extending the rights of nonmonogamous residents, this time banning discrimination on the basis of “family or relationship structure” in city employment and policing . . . After Somerville passed its domestic partnership law, Arlington and Cambridge, two other cities in Massachusetts, added polyamorous units to their existing domestic partnership ordinances. But once people register as domestic partners there, benefits may extend beyond Massachusetts as well: “So people around the country are able to come get registered and go home to generally use it as they would any other domestic partnership they registered for in their home city or anywhere,” Diana Adams."
March 2023: Boston Globe
"The Massachusetts-based Polyamory Legal Advocacy Coalition helped draft the language for the legislation in these communities . . . Adams, whose New York City-based organization oversees the Polyamory Legal Advocacy Coalition, said the legislation will have a ripple effect. Adams said they know people outside of Massachusetts who, following the 2020 ordinance, registered with multiple partners in Somerville and have used the designation to get health insurance for a partner back home. Adams said policies on a municipal level can be the start of big change. That was one of the lessons of the same-sex partnership movement, they said; that once you can put your partner and family on paper, “that really helps change social attitudes.”
March 2023: INSIDER
"These kinds of laws create a mindset shift" in communities, workplaces, and families, Diana Adams, Wright's lawyer and the executive director of the Chosen Family Law Center, told Insider. "It's a seal of approval from the government that this is something that's legitimate and should be respected."
January 2023: The Economist
"...In October they held a commitment ceremony resembling a wedding …The arrangement has no legal weight as a marriage: every state bans bigamy or polygamy. So they signed a “no-nup”: a contract outlining alimony and child-care responsibilities in the event of a break-up or death among partners who were never legally married. Their lawyer, Diana Adams, notarised it with a “lovely stamp that goes ker-chunk”.
December 2022: Washington Post
"Is it perfect? No."
Diana Adams shares concerns about Respect for Marriage Act passed in Nov 2022 - a necessary stop gap but dangerous potential expansion of religious freedom exemptions to marriage. Civil rights shouldn't have exemptions.
Note that this article is behind a paywall.
April 2022: TED Radio Hour
For LGBTQIA and non-nuclear families, navigating the legal system and family benefits is difficult. Attorney Diana Adams says we need more inclusive laws that cater to all chosen families.
March 22, 2021: The New Yorker: "How Polyamorists and Polygamists Are Challenging Family Norms"
From opposite sides of the culture, parallel campaigns for legal recognition may soon make multiple-partner marriages as unremarkable as same-sex marriages. This New Yorker article by Andrew Solomon features our Senior Associate Attorney Andy Izenson and their family.
September 22, 2020: The Atlantic
Diana Adams is not only the founder and Principal Attorney at Diana Adams Law & Mediation, PLLC, they are also the founder and Executive Director of the not-for-profit Chosen Family Law Center. Diana was interviewed by The Atlantic about their work at CFLC for this article on 3-parent families:
July 30, 2020: Georgia Public Broadcasting (PBS/NPR)
Senior Associate Attorney Andy Izenson discusses legal implications of X Markers for nonbinary clients:
Nonbinary Georgians Raise Concerns, Questions As Other States Offer Legal Recognition
July 23, 2020: Psychology Today
Legal Protections for People in Polyamorous Relationships
"During her decades serving as a legal advocate for families of sex and gender minorities, Adams has witnessed what the lack of legal protections can do to families who are left vulnerable to stigma and discrimination. “All families deserve the support of legal stability and recognition, including the many polyamorous partners among our clients and communities. Many in polyamorous relationships will now benefit from health insurance coverage through their partners, which is essential especially in these times of COVID-19. Ultimately, we shouldn't need to depend upon our employers or relationships for health insurance, but while that is our American system, those in polyamorous relationships shouldn't lack health insurance coverage because some disapprove of their relationship configuration.”
While this small step towards legal protection is enforceable only within a highly localized area, it is nevertheless significant. When cities enact ordinances such as these at the local level, it can serve to inspire others to consider and perhaps even craft similar protections of their citizens. Adams concludes, “At Chosen Family Law Center, we plan to introduce similar domestic partnership ordinances in progressive cities, and welcome local advocates to get in touch for support and collaboration. Somerville is just the beginning of a movement for partnership protections for polyamorous and multi-parent families.”
July 1, 2020: New York Times
Our Senior Associate Attorney Andy Izenson, who is also Senior Legal Director for Chosen Family Law Center, was interviewed by the NYT regarding the Somerville, MA Poly Families ordinance:
"Andy Izenson, a lawyer with the Chosen Family Law Center, a nonprofit organization that provides legal services to polyamorous and other nontraditional families, said the ordinance could be put to a judicial test if health insurance companies reject the city’s more expansive definition of domestic partnership. It could also run into resistance from conservatives, as same-sex marriage did in 2015.
Or it could, as he put it, “fly under the radar.”
“When one area does it, and it serves as a test case, and legislators see that the town or county has not had a culture war implosion,” he said, “that’s how things spread.”
July 1, 2020: Wicked Local on the Sommerville, MA Poly Families Ordinance
https://somerville.wickedlocal.com/news/20200701/somerville-recognizes-polyamorous-domestic-partnerships “I think it’s pretty amazing – strategies like this are the best chance we have of moving towards a legal understanding of family that’s as comprehensive as it needs to be to serve all families,” said Izenson. “I’ve seen a few other small-scale or local entities that have taken steps towards recognizing that relationships between adults are not only between two adults, but this is the first time I have seen this strategy brought to fruition.” Izenson noted states recognizing third-parent adoptions as action that is close to offering broader rights to families, but pointed out that most gains in “marriage equality” have all been carefully defined as between two people.“ There’s a reflexive flinch away from families including more than two partners,” they said.
SAVAGE LOVE: Diana has been a guest on Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” podcast several times:
May 19,2020: "IT'S NOT EASY BEING POLY... "
On this Savage Lovecast Magnum, Dan Savage & Diana had a lively talk about polyamory challenges during the pandemic! Hierarchy pain as some partners are in/some out for quarantine, strategies for being in a rough roommate situation with an ex, & as usual, a smackdown on dishonesty in 'ethical' nonmonogamy!
April 14, 2015: “IT'S POLY COCKTAIL TIME!”
September 30, 2014: “WHAT DOES ANN LANDERS' DAUGHTER THINK ABOUT TANTRIC SEX?” https://www.savagelovecast.com/episodes/414#.XJjQZdFG2Rs
April 1, 2014: “DAD, WHOSE PANTIES ARE THESE?”
January 7, 2014: “DO EX-GIRLFRIENDS MAKE GOOD UNICORNS?”
October 24, 2019: CBS News
Diana was interviewed about our legal practice as part of a CBSN Originals 23-minute documentary on consensually non-monogamous partnerships and families: Speaking Frankly: Non-monogamy.
Following that, Diana had a one-on-one interview with CBS news anchor Tanya Rivero to more fully discuss the challenges for non-monogamous and LGBTQ+ families, including child custody, immigration and health insurance. You can view that interview here: Diana Adams on “Legal Hurdles in Non-Monogamous Relationships”.
July 4, 2019: Stuff Mom Never Told You
Diana appeared on the “STUFF MOM NEVER TOLD YOU” podcast to discuss bisexuality:
June 20, 2019: Why I Decided To Get NonMarried
Nancy Einhart wrote about working with Diana as her lawyer to create a nonmarital Cohabitation Agreement, and the differences between that and getting married, for PopSugar:
May 10, 2019: Diana writes on #MeToo: A Communication Revolution
April 18, 2019: Diana writes “LIKE A BOSS: 5 Ways to Unlearn Female Politeness & Fast-Track Your Career”
April 8, 2019: A Millennial's Guide to Saving the World Redefining Family, Marriage & Feminism
Diana Adams is an attorney, mediator, speaker and social justice activist. Deciding early on that she wanted her work to be meaningful and something that she could see tangible results of within her lifetime, she decided to represent those in non-traditional/chosen family structures. Our conversation touches on the history of marriage, the social construction of traditional, nuclear families + the nature of feminism & what it means to be a courageous woman. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/17-redefining-family-marriage-feminism-diana-adams/id1439745707?i=1000434462396
September/October 2018: Andy on Radio Kingston
Associate Attorney Andy Izenson was part of a live panel and community event hosted by Radio Kingston, "MeToo Kingston: A Conversation on Sexual Harassment," about sexual harassment and violence. Andy spoke about Restorative and Transformative Justice, which we are actively engaged in as a firm. The full panel discussion is here (facebook live); Andy’s speaking part begins at 02:15.
Andy was also a guest on Radio Kingston on Friday, October 5th to discuss the confirmation of Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. You can listen to the whole interview here: https://radiokingston.org/en/broadcast/source-hillary-harvey/episodes/andy-izenson
July 2018: Andy on The Intimacy Dojo
Andy spoke with Cathy Vartuli from www.TheIntimacyDojo.com about co-leading “No Daddies, No Masters: D/s and Power Play as Anarchist and Access Intimacy” with Aida Manduley, MSW, Roo Khan, and Kate D’Adamo, at the 2018 Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. Watch and listen here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U1jfkgAEok&feature=youtu.be
July 2018: Andy on SexGetsReal
Andy Izenson spoke with Dawn Serra on the podcast @SexGetsReal about community, resilience, and masculinity. Listen here: http://sexgetsreal.com/ep221
July 2018: Diana writes on #MeToo
Diana published an article along with the Omega Institute entitled “Moving Forward from #MeToo: A Revolution in Communication:”Lawyer and activist Diana Adams shares how learning the "soft skills" of empowered communication will keep women safer and happier. The #MeToo movement caused a cultural revelation about the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault against women. #MeToo is a teachable moment wherein we can learn how to better communicate about sex and consent as individuals and as a society. We can learn to better advocate for our needs and desires, and create a culture that will hear each of us...Read the whole article HERE.
February 2018: Tangentially Speaking
Diana was a guest on Chris Ryan’s Podcast “Tangentially Speaking” to discuss her work as an LGBTQ lawyer and civil rights activist:
January 2018: Andy on medium.com
Andy wrote a popular piece for medium.com about transformative justice that addresses some of the motivation for the work we've been doing in this realm:
October 2017: Diana in MONOGAMISH (Film)
MONGAMISH: the 2017 documentary film Monogamish is about Director Tao Ruspoli’s journey with consensual nonmonogamy. Diana appears as an expert in the film speaking on legal issues for nonmonogamous families, the coercion into marital relationships, and the movement beyond the nuclear family, along with luminary thinkers including her heroes Esther Perel, Dan Savage, and Christopher Ryan.
September 2017: Diana on the Grow Big Always podcast
Diana was honored to be a guest on the Grow Big Always podcast with Sam Lawrence
“This heart-melting lawyer will make you rethink non-traditional love."
August 2017: Diana on the Multiamory podcast
June 2017: The New York Times
Diana was interviewed by the NYT for a June 20, 2017 article on Same-Sex Parenting:
May 2017: Diana Interviewed in Psychology Today
Diana was interviewed by Psychology Today as part of an installment regarding Child Custody and Polyamorous Families:
February 2017: Radio New Zealand
Diana was a guest on Radio New Zealand, where she answered questions about LGBTQ law and nontraditional families in the U.S. You can listen to the full live interview here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/nights/audio/201832339/diana-adams-family-law-for-nontraditional-families
January 2017: UCLA Law School
On January 23, 2017 Diana presented at the University of California, Los Angeles Law School on “How to Protect LGBTQ & Nontraditional Families Under Threat.” She discussed current LGBTQ and nontraditional family law issues, predicted what to expect under the Trump administration, and gave suggestions on how both lawyers and non-lawyers can support the community over the next four years. It has been well-received online internationally as a resource for activists and lawyers. You can view the full recorded guest lecture here.
December 2016: Bloomberg.com interview with Diana Adams
Diana was interviewed for a piece in Bloomberg Businessweek, speaking on how triads (or configurations of more than 2) can plan finances, and legally protect themselves beyond the traditional couple: How Couples Do Money (Bloomberg.com)
November 2016: VICE interview with Diana Adams
Diana was interviewed by VICE about her work representing poly/kinky/trans parents in custody cases & the bias they face. Notice the illustration at the top of the article, which may perpetuate the very stereotypes we try to combat.
October 2016: “After Marriage" Conference video with Andy Izenson
Andy presented at the “After Marriage Conference: The Future of LGBTQ Politics and Scholarship” at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC as part of panel on “Where Do We Go From Here? A Roundtable Discussion on Future Fronts in the Battles for Family Diversity." Watch the video here .
May 2016: Woodhull Freedom Foundation Guest Blog Post by Andy Izenson
April 2016: NPR interview with Diana Adams
April 2016: Sex for Smart People podcast interview with Andy Izenson
Associate Attorney Andy Izenson was interviewed by Stephanie Ryan Johnstone for the Sex for Smart People podcast:
February 2016: Washington Post interview with Diana Adams
November 2015: VICE Magazine Interview with Diana Adams
July 2015: Huffington Post interview with Associate Attorney Andy Izenson
June 2015: Reason Magazine article by Diana Adams
February 19, 2014: The Atlantic: “Up for Polyamory? Creating Alternatives to Marriage”
How one lawyer helps those, like her, in non-traditional relationships: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/up-for-polyamory-creating-alternatives-to-marriage/283920/
September 2013: Diana on "Special Arrangements" Panel
Diana was thrilled to be on the Polyamory Experts Speak On Non-Monogamy - "Special Arrangements" Discussion Panel: "Special Arrangements: The Changing Face of the 21st Century Relationship" discussing non-monogamy and polyamory with Sunny Bates (moderator), Reid Mihalko of http://ReidAboutSex.com, and Esther Perel of http://www.EstherPerel.com/.
Watch the full video here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iDluKrMvYw
2012: Healing Shame: Interview for Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance
Making Sense of Sex interview of Reid Mihalko by Diana Adams, discussing Reid's work, dealing with societal shame about sexuality, touch starvation, etc. This video is a collaboration between Sex Crimes Cabaret and Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance.
2012 Woodhull SFA interview with Diana Adams:
2011: Sexual Freedom Day 2011 talk for Woodhull SFA: Sexual Freedom as it Relates to Family Policy
2009: MTV True Life: “I Am Polyamorous” episode with Diana Adams
2008: New York Times Article on Polyamory: “Hopelessly Devoted to You, and You, and You”