Whether your pregnancy is planned or unplanned, exploring your options can be confusing, overwhelming, stressful, and hectic. It can be especially confusing if this is your first time progressing through the placement and adoption process. When starting along this journey, it is important to learn and completely and clearly understand the basics. You may find that working with an adoption attorney is a fantastic way to better understand the adoption process, retain your parental rights, and help you navigate through the long process. An attorney is just one of many adoption professionals you’ll work with. And before you begin, below is a list of common questions about an attorney.
What is an adoption attorney?
An adoption attorney is a lawyer who either solely focuses on adoption-related cases or who takes on adoption clients alongside his or her other non-adoption-related clients. If you feel more comfortable with an attorney who only works with adoption, that is perfectly fine. It is important that you feel comfortable with whomever you choose to represent you and your child. Keep in mind that there are no additional certifications to be an attorney. It is simply whether or not the attorney deals with adoption-related cases. However, there are courses or classes available to help attorneys understand adoption laws, regulations, and policies.
What are the responsibilities and duties of an adoption attorney?
The role of an attorney includes filing the appropriate paperwork to begin, continue, and finish the placement process. Another duty or responsibility of an adoption attorney is to appear with you during adoption proceedings. Your attorney should also help you with completely understanding your state’s specific adoption laws. This is something you’ll want to look for when you begin your adoption attorney search– someone who knows the applicable regulations and laws and how they will apply and affect you.
What are adoption attorneys’ fees?
Attorney adoption fees vary by state, experience, and time frame. It all really depends on which attorney you choose. It can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. There isn’t one set rate, so it is important to consider multiple adoption attorneys before you settle on one. Remember that you don’t have to work with the first adoption attorney you come across. Explore your options so that you can be confident and comfortable in your final decision.
How do you find an attorney?
There are many methods available for finding an attorney that is best for your specific situation. If you know of anyone who has been in a similar situation, ask him or her for referrals and contact information for the adoption attorney he or she used. You can also contact local adoption agencies. They should have a list of adoption attorneys they’ve worked with before. Consider joining and actively participating in a support group. This is another great way to receive contact information or attorney referrals. And one of the easiest ways to receive contact information is through our professional directory. Your search can be state-specific and professional type-specific.
Throughout this process, remember that your attorney is there to help, assist, and guide you. He or she should know of all your state’s adoption laws, rules, and regulations. Working with an attorney is a great way to progress through the placement process because of the step-by-step and hands-on help that your attorney should offer. Make use of the resources around you as you explore your options.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Do you want more choices with your adoption plan? Do you want to regain more control in your life? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. We can help you put together an adoption plan that best meets your needs.