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.