Adoption Attorneys Guide [What to Expect from Your Adoption Lawyer]
During an adoption, you will encounter various legal steps, which can be confusing and frustrating. There will also be situations where the services of legal representation are a must — which is why it’s important to work with a trusted adoption attorney.
The adoption agency you choose to work with will provide legal help throughout the adoption process (including connecting you with an adoption attorney, when needed), but understanding the role your adoption attorney plays and the services they provide is an important step in your adoption journey. What does an adoption attorney do? Continue reading for information on the role of an adoption law firm and adoption attorneys.
What are Adoption Attorneys?
The idea of facing legal hurdles in an already emotional situation like an adoption can be overwhelming for both prospective birth mothers and hopeful adoptive families. Luckily, specialized adoption attorneys and law firms, which focus on adoption and family law, exist to take on each legal step during an adoption.
The main goal of an adoption law attorney is to protect the rights of prospective birth mothers and adoptive couples and to make sure each adoption is completed following state and federal law requirements. To ensure your adoption is being done legally and ethically, you will need to work with an adoption attorney. In most cases, if you are pursuing adoption as a prospective birth mother, your adoption agency will provide you with free services from trusted legal professionals. These individuals are needed through various stages in the adoption process and work side-by-side with your adoption agency and specialist to provide all the services you need.
What Does an Adoption Lawyer Do?
Your adoption attorney assigned to your case is there to protect you and your rights. With adoption law becoming complex at times, the completion of an adoption relies heavily on the work of adoption attorneys and their services.
For prospective birth mothers, an adoption attorney will take you through the process of consent, terminating parental rights and the associated paperwork. Hopeful adoptive couples are guided through the finalization process and every step along the way to make sure every aspect of the adoption is done legally. Adoption attorneys are regulated by their state bar association, meaning they are up to date on all adoption laws and regulations.
Do You Have to Use an Adoption Attorney?
Yes; adoption attorneys are needed for any adoption to become final and legal. Many prospective birth and adoptive parents also work with an adoption agency for the other services they need through the process. In these types of agency-assisted adoptions, the adoption lawyer works alongside the staff at the adoption agency to complete the legal steps of the adoption.
However, if a prospective birth mother is voluntarily placing her child for adoption with some she knows or is directly acquainted with, the use of an adoption agency is not required. While an agency certainly provides services making the adoption process easier and done so with the help of licensed professionals, a prospective birth mother has the right to simply work with an adoption law firm and attorney to complete an independent adoption.
The downside to electing to not work with an adoption agency means that you may not have the professionals to help in a number of important areas, including:
- Developing an adoption plan that puts your needs first
- Mediating contact with the adoptive family
- Ensuring that you receive full financial support. (Your adoption attorney will work with state laws to make sure living expenses are taken care of by the adoptive parents, but additional costs during pregnancy may not be covered should you choose to forego the services of an adoption agency)
- Ensuring your adoption hospital plan is executed to your exact specifications
- Providing the emotional support and counseling services you’re entitled to
- And more
Additionally, if you simply prefer to skip working with an adoption agency, finding and matching with adoptive families can be difficult. Unless a family is specifically advertising their desire to adopt, your adoption attorney may not have the access to available families ready to adopt either locally or nationally.
Adoption Attorneys and Adoption Agencies
As the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one.” This can be applied to the opportunity to work with an adoption agency and the adoption attorney they provide as a part of their services. The two parties working in conjunction can almost guarantee your adoption is successful.
An adoption agency helps with matching and providing important services, such as:
- 24/7 counseling
- Financial support
- Personal case management and support
- Home study services
- Post-placement support
- And more
An adoption agency can also do the legwork in finding the right adoption law professional to work on the legal side of your adoption.
Are you ready to begin your open adoption journey? Get free information and advice from a trained specialist now. Contact us any time to be connected with a helpful adoption professional.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.