The beginning of any adoption journey typically involves finding people who can help you navigate all the legalities and processes necessary to get to the end of the road. An adoption agency may be able to provide all the support you need to move forward, though some may choose to use an adoption lawyer instead or additionally. An adoption lawyer is an expert in the legal process of adoption. While an agency will be well versed on the process of adoption, an adoption lawyer will be able to provide additional services that may put you a bit more at ease or may be required above and beyond what an agency can provide.
1. Keep You Informed
One of the most helpful benefits of hiring an adoption attorney is his or her ability to keep you informed on all the proceedings of your case. Our adoption attorney was invaluable during our ICPC stay when we wanted to check the status of our case. She was also able to inform us exactly what we needed and should expect of the county in which we were adopting. Her knowledge made us feel like we were always in the loop and didn’t fear any surprises throughout the process.
2. Access Information You Can’t
If you have ever tried to access legal information online through a government page, you may have noticed that there is an individual login for “Attorney Access.” This feature grants attorneys access to privileged information that the general public is not able to view. They will know who to call if something is off with your case and where to look for updates. They also have access to knowledge of any paperwork you might need at a moment’s notice. My close friend’s agency missed a paper she needed for her ICPC packet, and her attorney was able to find it, fill it out, and get it to her within the day.
3. Keep Ethical Adoption a Priority
There are so many stories of adoptions gone wrong. On the news, there are stories of children being ripped from their homes and “sold” to unknowing families in the United States. There are agencies that do not represent the birth parents and make adoption simply a business. An adoption attorney can help ensure that each agency you use has been vetted and is a legitimate and ethical organization. A good adoption attorney will be sure to lead you in the right direction legally so that all steps are taken to make sure your entire process has been treated with care.
4. Ensure Legalities Are Executed Properly
Every adoption has what feels like five million pieces of paperwork that need to be submitted in order for the adoption to be legal and eventually finalized. An adoption attorney makes sure that no stone goes unturned and that every legal step is taken to ensure your adoption is legal and by the book. When you hear a story of adoption being overturned or some sort of snag after an adoption has been finalized, it is typically because someone cut a corner or did not take a legal step that was required. Hiring an adoption attorney to assure this doesn’t happen is alone worth every penny.