You and your spouse have made the life-changing decision to adopt a child. It’s an emotional time—filled with excitement and love. You may delve into the process filled with anticipation.
But then you start googling. The more you research the actual process involved, the more you realize it’s far more complicated than you ever expected. You feel your enthusiasm dissipate as you sink deeper into the internet rabbit hole—attempting to make sense of all the paperwork, processes and expenses involved.
The adoption process can be overwhelming—especially if you go it alone. An adoption attorney can provide much-needed clarity and help to relieve your burden. In addition, they provide the valuable service of ensuring that your legal interests in the process are fully protected.
While you may not want to hire an adoption attorney from the start to finish of your adoption, there are a few times in the process when involving an adoption attorney can be especially worthwhile:
Adoption laws vary from state to state, so talking to a Florida adoption attorney can give you a good idea of what to expect. Adoption lawyers are also well connected with adoption resources in your area, and they have a wide breadth of knowledge concerning opportunities for private adoptions, local agency adoptions and international adoptions. If you’re interested in adoption but confused about your options or the process, an adoption lawyer can help give you some direction.
Legal document review
Having a lawyer look over your legal documentation may not sound necessary, but with something as definitive as your adoption on the line, you want to be sure you have all of your I’s dotted and T’s crossed. What if the birth mother decides she wants the baby back? What if the baby is born with serious medical conditions? An adoption attorney should review all of your legal documents—both with the adoption agency and the court—to make sure that your interests are fully protected in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.
Some adoption agencies offer “full-service adoptions” that have legal counsel built into their adoption fees and services. It’s important to understand that in such cases, the agency’s lawyer may not be representing your best interests. It’s still worthwhile to have your own adoption lawyer review any agreements you sign.
The adoption process can seem overwhelming at times. The good news is, there are plenty of local resources available to help good people create a family with a child in need.