We’re Building Families
Changing the culture of adoption and surrogacy to one that is inclusive, empowered and informed.
Founded in 2014, Building Families is the Columbia, South Carolina region’s only law firm focusing solely on adoption and surrogacy. Offering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, the firm helps individuals and couples to build their families through adoption and surrogacy, providing legal and agency services to clients across the state in all aspects of the adoption and surrogacy process.
Building Families’ mission is to meet the needs of our clients throughout their adoption and surrogacy journeys, walking them through each phase of the process step by step, while creating an environment of inclusion, where expectant mothers don’t feel ashamed and all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or relationship status, are supported and encouraged through their adoption or assisted reproduction journey.
Who we are,
what we believe
While open adoptions are not mandatory, Building Families believes in the importance of open adoptions with a triad-focused approach, ensuring that the expectant mother, child and adoptive parent(s) are connected and included throughout the entire journey. At Building Families, the birth mother is empowered and supported throughout the adoption process.
Allison McNair, known by clients and friends as Allie, is Building Families’ passionate, dedicated adoption and assisted reproductive technology (ART) attorney.
Allie grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and has felt drawn to the adoption field from a young age. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Furman University and a Master of Theological Studies from Duke University.
Allie attended the University of South Carolina School of Law and quickly entered the legal field determined to work in the areas of adoption and surrogacy.
In 2014, she opened the doors of Building Families to provide an inclusive space for all clients while walking them through each phase of their adoption and surrogacy journeys.
Allie is a forward-thinker, ensuring Building Families stays informed on advances in medical technology, protocols on ethical adoptions and surrogacy arrangements, as well as on changing laws in the area of adoption and surrogacy.
With a drive to make a positive impact on the community, Allie has presented before local bar associations, state bar associations, community groups, nonprofits, paralegal associations and classes at the University of South Carolina School of Law on the complexities of adoption law and third-party reproduction. Additionally, she has co-chaired the Young Lawyers Division Families Forever Adoption Fair.
Allie is a member of the American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, American Bar Association Assisted Reproductive Law Subcommittee, the South Carolina State Bar and the Richland County Bar Association.
When she’s not in the office, Allie enjoys taking nature walks with Cole and watching Duke basketball.
Coleman McNair, known by clients and friends as Cole, serves as practice manager for Building Families. He oversees all business processes, providing responsive, personalized service to clients. He also manages the firm’s surrogacy practice.
Cole was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He attended the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business, followed by the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Cole has always had a heart for children. His interest in families and their needs piqued in college when he volunteered with the Free Medical Clinic and the Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital, where he served on the hospital’s Volunteer Advisory Committee and oversaw the body’s funding support programs to better provide for the needs of pediatric patients and their families.
During law school, his interest in helping families began to focus on their interactions with the court system. Cole served as volunteer guardian ad litem for Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for many years. During this time, he also trained lay guardians ad litem across Richland County and at UofSC’s law school. Cole helped found and chaired Richland County CASA’s Volunteer Advisory Committee, presenting at the national CASAS Conference in Chicago to teach organizations how to utilize volunteer input to improve processes.
Cole enjoys being outside, playing tennis and spending time with Allie and their two dogs.
Emily Hinson is a paralegal for Building Families. She has more than 25 years of experience in the legal field with a focus in family law.
Emily began her career as a paralegal, working as an administrative assistant to a family court judge for 17 years. She then worked at the Lexington County Clerk of Court as the deputy clerk of family court and deputy clerk of circuit court for common pleas, assisting judges, litigants, lawyers and jurors in navigating the court system effectively.
Throughout her time as a paralegal, Emily learned the importance of helping children and decided to become a certified lay guardian ad litem. Emily accepts guardian ad litem appointments throughout the greater Midlands area.
Emily lives in Lexington, South Carolina, with her three dogs and husband. She has two children, a son who is an officer in the United States Navy, and a daughter who is currently attending the University of South Carolina pursuing a degree in nursing.
We would love to answer any questions you might have about surrogacy or adoption.