Brendan C. O’Shea is a founding partner of Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O’Shea, and concentrates his practice in adoption, foster care, custody and related court proceedings. Mr. O’Shea has represented adoptive parents and birth parents in all types of adoption proceedings. He represents adoptive families engaged in processing and finalizing adoptions, including private adoptions, step-parent adoptions and second parent adoptions in both domestic and international forums. Mr. O’Shea also represents individuals or couples who are considering whether to place a child for adoption.
While most adoptions are uncontested, Mr. O’Shea has represented adoptive families in contested adoptions at both the trial and appellate court levels. In 1994, he represented a same-sex couple who successfully challenged a ruling which prevented them from adopting. Mr. O’Shea also has represented couples who found themselves the target of contested adoption proceedings brought by biological parents.
Mr. O’Shea drafted Chapter 680 of the Laws of 2007, entitled “An Act to Amend the Domestic Relations Law and the Social Services Law, in Relation to Consents in Private-Placement Adoption.”
Mr. O’Shea also represents licensed and registered private schools and colleges in matters pending before the New York Department of Education, Office of the State Comptroller and the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.
Prior to his affiliation with the firm, Mr. O’Shea served as a confidential law assistant at the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department.
Prior to entering law school, Mr. O’Shea was an elementary school teacher in the Boston, Massachusetts area for six years.
- Adoption Law
- Foster Care
- Custody Litigation
- Administrative Law
- Education Law
- Appellate Practice
- New York
- United States District Court, Northern District of New York
- United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- United State Supreme Court
- J.D., Albany Law School of Union University, 1980
- Albany Law Review Member (1978-1980) and Note and Comment Editor (1979-1980)
- Massachusetts Public Teaching Certificate, Lesley College, 1973
- B.A., Georgetown University, 1971
Mr. O'Shea is a frequent lecturer at American Academy of Adoption Attorneys conventions, for the Practicing Law Institute, and for various local adoption support groups on adoption matters, including: Ethics in Adoption; Consents, Surrenders and Contested Adoptions; Private-Placement Adoptions; Regional Updates; and Ethics in Adoption for Paralegals.
- American Bar Association
- Member, Family Law Section, Adoption Committee
- New York State Bar Association
- Member, Family Law Section, Adoption Committee
- Albany County Bar Association
- American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, 1992-present
- Member, Board of Trustees, 2012-present
- Member, Board of Grievances and Discipline, Contested Adoption Committee
- Member, Parsons Post Adoption Resource Center
- Member/volunteer, WAMC Northeast Public Radio
- Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity
Matter of Owens, ___ Misc3d ___ (Allegany Co. Fam. Ct. 2016) -- Rejected mother’s custody application; required mother to participate in best interests hearing; rejected mother’s attempt to schedule hearing in her county of residence.
Matter of Asianna NN., 119 AD3d 1243 (3rd Dept. 2014) -- Rejected mother’s application to overturn termination of parental rights; foster child freed for adoption.
Matter of Baby Boy J., 37 Misc3d 198 (Erie Co. Surrogate’s Ct. 2012) -- In voluntary adoption proceeding, tribe not entitled to notice of adoption under Indian Child Welfare Act; allowed adoptive parents to finalize adoption.
Matter of Dakiem M., 94 AD3d 1362 (3rd Dept. 2012) -- Rejected unwed father’s attempt to veto adoption; held that father had abandoned child.
Matter of Aidan D., 58 AD3d 906 (3rd Dept. 2009) -- Rejected mother's application to overturn termination of parental rights; foster child freed for adoption
Matter of Baby Boy O., 289 AD2d 633 (3rd Dept. 2001) -- Rejected mother’s attempt to invalidate her consent on ground of duress; allowed adoptive parents to finalize adoption.
Matter of Lily R., 283 AD2d 901 (4th Dept. 2001) -- Rejected unwed father's attempt to overturn adoption; held that father's rights would be assessed by examining his actions during the last six months of mother's pregnancy; allowed adoptive parents to finalize adoption.
Matter of Jarrett, 224 AD2d 901 (4th Dept. 1996: amicus curiae) -- rejected unwed father's attempt to veto adoption; held that mother's written consent was valid even if not sent to court; allowed adoptive parents to finalize adoption.
Matter of Raymond AA. v. Doe, 217 AD2d 757 (3rd Dept. 1995) -- Rejected unwed father's attempt to veto adoption; held that father was unfit to assume custody; allowed adoptive parents to finalize adoption.
Matter of Baby Girl (Anonymous), 215 AD2d 754 (2nd Dept. 1995: amicus curiae) -- Allowed New York adoption proceeding to continue after adoptive parents moved out of state.
Matter of Adoption of Anonymous, 209 AD2d 960 (4th Dept. 1994) -- Allowed applicant living in a same-sex relationship to be certified as a qualified adoptive parent.