Tips for Choosing an Adoption Attorney
- Contact an attorney as early as possible in the decision-making process.
- Know what the attorney charges and how the fees are structured. Make sure they are affordable.
- Know the specific types of adoptions and services the attorney provides. Ask what percentage of the practice is dedicated to adoption and how many adoption proceedings the attorney has handled.
- Ask for references. Ask lots of questions, share your concerns and provide the attorney with all relevant documents.
- Choose an attorney who is experienced in the type of adoption you are considering.
Why Hire an Adoption Attorney? Adoption is a wonderful option for expanding your family, but the laws governing the process can be quite complex. Working with an expert in adoption law will help ensure that your adoption proceeds smoothly. An adoption attorney will:
- Provide an unbiased explanation of adoption methods and resources and help you develop a legally secure plan tailored to your needs;
- Explain your rights and the adoption laws in your state or refer you to adoption attorneys who practice in other states or internationally;
- Assess the risks involved, including 1) determining what costs are legally permissible and 2) ensuring that the birth parents' rights are legally terminated before placement is finalized
- Review and negotiate adoption agency contracts to ensure that your interests are served;
- Clarify your options for post-placement arrangements, if any, with birth parent(s) and draft or review an agreement to ensure your best interests and those of the child are served
Fact Sheet from the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, 202-832-2222, www.adoptionattorneys.org
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