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Theresa L. Roetter

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Service Areas:


  • J.D., Marquette University Law School
  • B.A., cum laude, St. Norbert College


  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin

“Family Formation” is the umbrella under which Theresa provides assisted reproduction and adoption services to her clients.  One of just a handful of attorneys in Wisconsin with this combination of practice areas, Theresa’s practice is state-wide and her clients come from Wisconsin, other U.S. States, and many foreign countries.

Theresa drafts and negotiates gestational surrogacy agreements as well as sperm, egg, and embryo donation agreements and has established parentage in many Wisconsin counties. She works closely with other attorneys, surrogacy matching agencies, and psychologists to ensure that all parties are well informed as they begin their surrogacy journey.

As the child of an adopted parent, adoption has been part of Theresa’s life story.  She feels privileged to assist others is making their adoption plans and has worked with birth parents, adoptive parents and adoption agencies throughout the state.  Theresa has expertise in interstate adoptive placements and works hand-in-hand with the Wisconsin ICPC office to ensure that children can be securely placed with their adoptive parents as soon as the law permits.  Theresa has handled multiple appeals of family and children’s law matters, including arguing a case at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
On September 11, 2012, Theresa Roetter was honored as an "Angel in Adoption" by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute based in Washington, D.C. The Angels in Adoption event provides a unique opportunity for Members of Congress to honor an individual or entity that has made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of homes. Just a few weeks later, Theresa was honored by the Wisconsin governor as a “Champion of Adoption” in this state. 

In addition to her courtroom work, Theresa writes and presents frequently on a variety of topics including surrogacy, independent adoption, grandparent’s rights, serving as a guardian ad litem, and sexual orientation and the law.  The focus of Theresa’s law practice is on children and their relationships with the important people in their lives.



  • Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys – Fellow,  Vice-President (2016-17) and Trustee (2012-2016)
  • American Bar Association – Member (Family Law Section – Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee Member)
  • American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Legal Practice Group – Member
  • DeWitt LLP – Executive Committee – Member 
  • National Association of Counsel for Children – Member
  • State Bar of Wisconsin –  Member
  • State Bar of Wisconsin Children & the Law Section – former Chair & Board Member; Legislative Committee
  • State of Wisconsin – Joint Legislative Council Study Committee on Adoption Disruption & Dissolution (2014)
  • State of Wisconsin – Joint Legislative Council Study Committee on Minor Guardianships (2018-19)
  • Dawn E. Petersen Foundation Inc., which supports families living with serious illness – Co-Founder and Board member
  • St. Norbert College –  Alumni Board (2008-2014)
  • Big Brothers & Big Sisters (1995 - 2002)
  • Mock Trial coach at Monona Grove High School (2004 - 2005)

Articles & Presentations

  • Author "Chapter on Independent Adoption " –  in the Wisconsin Attorney’s Desk Reference           
  • Author, "Chapter on Grandparent’s Rights in the Advising Older Clients and Their Families Handbook"
  • Co-author "Chapter on Family Formation and Protection for Gay and Lesbian Clients" –  in the book Sexual Orientation and the Law

Awards & Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers® in America – Lawyer of the Year 2022: Collaborative Law: Family Law – Madison, Wisconsin
  • Best Lawyers in America – Family Law since 2013 and Collaborative Law: Family Law, 2022
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyer – Family Law (2008-present)
  • Angel in Adoption (2012), Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Washington, D.C.
  • Champion of Adoption (2012), State of Wisconsin, Office of the Governor
  • Madison Magazine, Top Lawyers – Adoption (2007, 2009)

Service Area Subspecialties