Adoption is both a beautiful and difficult reality. Difficult for the families who have to give up their children for adoption, but beautiful for the new families that are able to care for them as if they were their own. For families considering adoption, there are many legal guidelines and protocols in place that you’ll need to follow. As complicated as this can sometimes be, you do not have to deal with the legal aspects on your own. Adoption lawyers are abundant, and finding the best adoption lawyers can prove to be an easy feat if done correctly. With their guidance to steer you straight, you can start planning towards a process that is both rewarding and fulfilling in many regards. It’s a time-consuming process, so be prepared to work on your diligence, consistency, and above all, patience during the whole process of adopting a child. Throughout this article, the role and purpose of an adoption attorney will be explained, alongside the benefits and disadvantages of acquiring one.
Role of an adoption attorney and the benefits of hiring one:
1. Main role:
The best adoption lawyers are able to handle legal situations that are probably out of the wheelhouse of an adoption agency. They are useful for quite a few functions in the adoption process. Some families utilize their services to lower the adoption costs. In a case like that, lawyers for adoption are using and adjusting their expertise to function as if they were the adoption agency themselves.
2. Specialty and expertise:
Some of the best adoption lawyers have accrued a background in family law, with a focus on adoption. Adoption law firms usually consist of a group of attorneys, typically one or two who are practicing law. Their expertise can vary from step-parent law to independent adoption. These attorneys are equipped in dealing with legal matters, but they are not required to locate the birth parents for their clients. There are other kinds of cases where attorneys can conduct research on behalf of their clients to locate birth mothers of these children, coordinate communication, handle living expenses, and protect the financial investment in your family. If you are going down this route, these services are usually provided by agency professionals who have expertise in this area.
3. Working with adoption law firms:
The plus of working closely with lawyers for adoption is having peace of mind in knowing that the services they provide are both safe and legal. Adoption is an arduous process to tackle all on your own. But if you have the assistance of an attorney on your side, it certainly eases the process of finding lawyers for adoption.
This is not meant to discourage you from working with adoption agencies and attorneys that represent them. But with most things, nothing is perfect. Flaws do exist, and they can prove to be rather disadvantageous at times.
1. Longer wait times:
Due to factors such as an increase in your expenses and lower rates of efficiency, longer wait times will become more prevalent in terms of successful adoption placement. This has little to do with poor performance on the adoption attorney’s part, but rather, the adoption process is not what most people are prepared to handle.
2. Unpredictability for costs:
Adoption is not always reasonable when it comes to fair costs. This fluctuates depending on the law firm that you are dealing with. Many lawyers will fix their costs for hourly rates, and this can make the adoption process more costly based on how much it’s stretched out for. Certain adoption agencies will even offer fixed costs and the fee will steadily increase over time.
3. A lack of advertising:
The purpose of the adoption process is to find opportunities for parents that have the means to care for children that are less fortunate. There is a process known as adoption advertising, which involves reaching out to birth mothers with extensive family profiles. Adoption agencies typically have the connections to help you with a process like this, but if you choose to deal with an attorney, you are fresh out of luck because they do not have the same resources at their disposal that the agency does. If matters become complicated, the family may take the advertising into their own hands. This is a risky move to take because it poses a big risk for whoever goes down this road. Certain states make it illegal to conduct this kind of advertising on your own, making it even more ineffective and expensive. Families will ultimately pay more in advertising, whether they go through a firm or choose to do it independently.
4. Less support for birth parents:
Comprehensive social workers are crucial in the adoption process. Dealing with adoption law firms is not always an easy task. In fact, many families grow frustrated with these firms as they do not have a social service department. Social workers have the skills to evaluate, educate, and guide birth mothers throughout the course of the entire adoption process. In cases where a social worker isn’t used, families can end up in situations where there isn’t a significant level of commitment to the adoption process. This is accompanied by feelings of emotional distress that can seek to cause further disruptions in the adoption process.
5. Lack of availability:
Availability with adoption lawyers and their firms is already pretty restricted. This comes with the job, as many attorneys are juggling multiple cases at once, but more importantly, a lot of them lack or have little front office staff to coordinate communication after hours when the lawyers themselves aren’t able to. Sometimes, you aren’t able to get all of your needs met in an 8-hour window. Someone should be readily available to answer your questions and concerns throughout the points of the day. Adhering to a 9-5 schedule is something that is not conducive to everyone’s needs and desires. In conclusion, acquiring an attorney with comprehensive front office staff will do wonders for your case.