Are you considering adoption? The process of adoption is a very rewarding journey, although it can be time-consuming and stressful too. To finalize adopting a child, whether it’s a domestic or international adoption, you’re going to need an attorney.
But hiring an adoption attorney can be a daunting task too. How do you know you’re hiring a trustworthy advocate, not someone who’s just looking to take your money? It’s important for families planning to adopt to have an attorney who will help them navigate the legalese. A qualified attorney can provide your family with the guidance and expertise you need to navigate adoption.
The first thing you should do is look for an attorney in your area who is experienced in handling adoptions. Then, once you locate a few potential candidates, sit down with each one and interview them. Not sure what to ask? Here are six questions every client should ask their adoption attorney before you hire them:
1. Will the attorney actively assist in finding an adoption situation as well as helping with the necessary legal work?
An experienced adoption attorney may be able to help you consider your options for adopting and help you locate a child to adopt. Be sure you know how much they can help you.
2. Does the attorney handle open adoptions, confidential adoptions, or both?
Ask your attorney to explain the kinds of adoption cases they’ve handled in the past.
3. How many non-relative adoptions has the attorney completed?
In any legal situation, an experienced attorney means less legal headaches for you.
4. How long has the attorney worked in adoption?
Again, experience counts. A seasoned attorney can help you avoid potential pitfalls and disappointments, saving you money and time.
5. What is the average cost of the adoptions the attorney has handled?
Adoption can be expensive. If you’re concerned about the legal fees associated with adopting, a legal protection plan might be able to help. Many prepaid legal plans cover adoption as a family law benefit, meaning you pay only a small monthly premium and your legal fees for the adoption are completely covered.
6. When the attorney is away from the office, is there another knowledgeable attorney available?
You never know when you’re going to get a call that your adoption is moving forward or that a critical step needs to be taken. What if your lawyer is in court or on vacation? Make sure a trusted colleague is available to answer your questions and help you when you need it.
After you’ve asked these important questions and listened to the answers, it’s also time for a gut check. Does the attorney seem trustworthy? Do they seem compassionate and understanding? Do they appear knowledgeable about your options for adoption? It’s important to feel like your attorney is on your side and is listening to you.
Adoption can change the life of a child and bring a lot of love to your family. Make sure your lawyer is ready to help you with the journey of adoption. To learn more about adoption and see kids in Texas who are waiting to be adopted, visit Adopt Us Kids and the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange.