Debra E. Guston is a partner in the law firm of Guston & Guston, L.L.P., Glen Rock, NJ and Lecturer at Rutgers School of Law where she teaches Family Law and Assisted Reproduction. Deb is a Past President and the current Adoption Director of the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, an international organization of close to 500 highly credentialed attorneys working in adoption and assisted reproduction law.
Deb graduated cum laude from Mount Holyoke College, holds a M.A. from Emerson College and received her J.D. from Cardozo School of Law.
Deb’s practice focuses on family formation through adoption and assisted reproduction and family protection through estate planning; estate litigation and administration and guardianships for seniors and special needs children. She also represents non-profit organizations in formation and governance issues.
Deb is a Past President of the ACLU-NJ and recently ended her tenure as a Trustee after more than twelve years. She is a Trustee Emeritus of the NJSBA Family Law Executive Committee and was honored with the Section’s Tischler Award, the highest honor given by the NJ State Bar’s Family Law Section.
Deb is appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to the Family Practice Committee, which evaluates rule changes and other issues for referral to the high court. She was also recently appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness. Deb also served on NJ State Bar task forces examining the right to assigned counsel and access to justice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deb is an author of the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act that was signed into law in May 2018 making gestational surrogacy arrangements enforceable in New Jersey. She is a leading voice for the expansion of insurance coverage for fertility procedures and frequently testifies before the NJ Legislature on these issues. She is a member of the Legal Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Deb is also an author of the 2020 New Jersey law that streamlines obtaining an adoption judgment for married and civil union couples, where one of them is not a genetic parent, but both are on the child’s birth certificate.
Deb has been the organizer and moderator of annual continuing legal education programs sponsored by NJ-ICLE on adoption and assisted reproduction topics designed to educate attorneys on new law and practice and ethics issues in these practice areas. Deb also frequently provides LGBTQ Cultural Competency programs for professionals, civic groups and municipalities.
Deb is a CCAI Angel in Adoption recipient (2017), an honor bestowed by members of Congress. She is also an Angel Award recipient from CASA of Bergen County. Deb has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education for her years of service educating her peers and has twice been honored by the New Jersey State Bar Association for her work on legislative issues on behalf of the Bar and its legislative agenda and by her alma mater, Cardozo School of Law with its E. Nathaniel Gates Award for her years of contribution to LGBT Family Law and recently by the Cardozo Center for Public Interest Law with its Inspire! Award. Deb has been honored by the National LGBT Bar Association with its Leading Practitioner Award, which recognizes lawyers in solo and small legal practices for their impact in LGBT legal issues.
Personally, Deb lives in Teaneck, New Jersey with her partner of more than 35 years, Pat. Their home is ruled by their rescue dog, Sammy. Deb continues to support her good friends in the performing arts - actors, directors and playwrights - with whom she worked as a stage director for years before and during the early years of her law practice. When not working, Deb spends time with family in Philadelphia and Arizona. She is a collector of Native American art and an avid baseball fan.