Top Ten Tips for Choosing an Adoption Lawyer

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10 Tips For Hiring an Adoption Laywer


  1. Check with your state to make sure adopting through an attorney rather than an agency is allowed.  (At last count, it was specifically allowed in all but four states.) Also make sure that your state allows an adoption attorney to match expectant mothers and adoptive parents if this is a service you want.
  2. Adoption laws differ significantly in each state, so you must use an adoption attorney that is licensed in your state and if the expectant woman lives in another state, your attorney will consult with an adoption lawyer in her state.
  3. Choose an attorney that specializes in adoption. Family law is not the same as adoption law. Three places to look for an adoption law specialist are:
  4. If the attorney has a section on their website for expectant parents, read that section to see if the same information is being shared as on the section for adoptive parents. Read over this section with an eye towards whether the woman is being coerced or promised more than is realistic.
  5. Find out the hourly rate of the attorney and her paralegal. Ask the average cost of adoptions they have finalized in the last two years. See our list of questions to ask before hiring.
  6. Bring up early any concerns about specifics in your case or in your background (ex. DWI/DUI, # of divorces, health issues, etc.) that you are worried about.
  7. Ask up front if the expectant woman will be expected to pay for services she received during her pregnancy if she changes her mind and decides to parent.
  8. If you know you will likely be “high maintenance” and will need a great deal of hand holding, ask if the attorney or her paralegal usually handle these calls. Find out their policy for how soon they return phone calls and emails.
  9. Expect that you will need to pay not only for your adoption attorney, but also for an attorney to represent the birth parents and/or a counselor to advise her, so there is no conflict of interest.
  10. If you want an open adoption, ask about the attorney’s attitude on openness and how he facilitates this process.

06/10/2014 | by Fact Sheets | Categories: Adoption, Other Adoption Resources | 3 Comments

3 Responses to Top Ten Tips for Choosing an Adoption Lawyer

  1. Avatar William Cook says:

    I was looking for this information relating to such ten tips choosing an adoption lawyer. You have really eased my work by posting this article, loved your writing skill as well. Please keep sharing more, would love to read more from you!

  2. Avatar Eileen Benson says:

    I like your suggestion to ask about the average cost of adoptions that the attorney has handled recently. My husband and I have been talking about adopting for a while, and we think we’re finally ready to start the process by finding a family law attorney. Asking your suggested questions should make it easier to find the right adoption lawyer to work with!

  3. Avatar Alise Harper says:

    I had no idea that you could use an adoption attorney rather than just going through an agency. I think this is really interesting that all but four states allow using an adoption attorney. I will have to tell my friends who are wanting to adopt to try using an attorney for the adoption process. Thanks for the information!

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