Questions to Ask an Adoption Lawyer

When it comes to navigating the complex legalities of adoption, a good adoption lawyer is invaluable. In your search for adoption attorneys, there are several things you should find out before deciding on one to use. Legal representation in this matter can make the difference between a smooth transition and a tense and confusing one.

Experience and Cost
Ask about the attorney's qualifications, experience, background and specialties. It's also a good idea to find out how many adoptions he's completed in his career and how many in the past year. Generally, around 15 cases per year is a good indicator of a successful practice. Find out how much of his practice is devoted to adoption issues. Anyone with less than half of his cases focusing on adoption may not be considered an adoption expert.

Always talk about the cost of services. Ask the adoption lawyer about the average cost of adoptions that she has completed. Some attorneys charge a flat fee, while others bill by the hour. Ask about any retainers, when you put money down so the attorney can begin working on your behalf. Pin down any answers you might need about methods of payment and scheduling.

Make sure that the adoption lawyer is someone with whom you can work closely. You'll be spending a lot of time and money on the adoption. It must be done with someone you feel will best represent your interests. Find out why the adoption attorney chose to specialize in adoption cases and what his general feelings about adoption are. As someone experienced in adoptions, see if he has any personal feelings about one type of adoption or another.

How will his office communicate with you? Will he respect your wishes when it comes to representing you in court and with the birth parents' attorney?

When comparing the adoption lawyer's answers with others you've interviewed, consider these things:

  • Is he informed about adoption law?
  • Are there clear communication channels open?
  • Does she do a good job in explaining and answering your questions?
  • Is there an absence of pressure or stress when dealing with him?
  • Can you ask questions without getting the feeling that she is annoyed?
  • Will he ultimately represent your best interests in the process?

If you can find an adoption attorney that meets your needs and is a qualified expert in adoption law, you are one step closer to finding that special child to adopt and having the entire process completed ethically, legally and permanently. Ultimately, it's about finding a match between what you deem are the most important qualities and how each adoption attorney measures up to them.

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