Mark Eckman was a co-founder of The Datz Foundation in 1987. He already had considerable experience in adoption, both as a facilitator based in Europe and as attorney specializing in adoption law.
Mr. Eckman completed his undergraduate work at Cornell University and after interludes in Tunis and Cairo, he earned a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. He then settled in Barcelona, Spain, where he ran a series of businesses, and first entered the field of adoption, facilitating the adoption of Latin American children by European families. Following the death of Franco and the subsequent disorientation of the Spanish economy, Mark Eckman relocated to Germany, where he continued facilitating Latin American placements.
After returning to the United States, Mr. Eckman enrolled in Catholic University Law School in Washington, DC, earning his JD in 1984. A member of the DC and VA Bars, he has maintained a private practice devoted to adoption and assisted reproduction (surrogacy) issues, as well as immigration law. Over the past twenty years he has represented all three sides of the adoption triad: biological parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees.
Mark Eckman is a nationally recognized expert on the status of adopted aliens, an area in which he combines his experience in immigration law and family law. As an advocate of surrogacy he has represented intended parents, gestational carriers and surrogates. Mr. Eckman is a zealous proponent of adoptions and surrogacies by single men and women, and supports family building by both traditional and non-traditional families.
He is a founding member of both the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproduction Technology Attorneys.
Mark lives in Vienna, Virginia with his wife Vivian Datoff and is the father of two adult sons. When asked to summarize his world view, he immediately quoted Oscar Wilde, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Mark Eckman's law practice website can be accessed here: www.hagarcenter.com