At times, adoption can be an extremely stressful process. Having the right adoption attorney in your corner can help relieve some of this stress, but finding a reliable attorney can often feel challenging in its own right. To help make this step of the adoption process easier for you, below is a list of four things that you should look for when choosing your counsel:
Different attorneys have vastly different levels of experience in the adoption system; you’ll want to find an adoption attorney who has recent experience with cases like yours. For example, if you are a single parent who’s looking to adopt, you’ll want to find an attorney who has worked with single adoptive parents within the last three years. Furthermore, before you settle on an adoption attorney, you will want to ask them about their familiarity with your state’s adoption laws and their applications to situations like yours.
Lastly, you may want to find out if they are members of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys or if they come with any recommendations. Both of these factors are good signs that they have experience in the field.
In addition to having diverse experience levels, different adoption attorneys will come with differing accessibility standards. In other words, some may be available to speak directly with you on evenings and weekends, while others might route you through other staff members at their offices. Furthermore, some attorneys may prefer to communicate via email, but others might prefer to receive texts or phone calls.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how accessible you need your attorney to be. However, when it comes to accessibility, you should be sure that your attorney’s expectations match your own before you decide to work with them.
Another factor to consider when choosing an adoption attorney is cost. On top of knowing your attorney’s rates, you’ll also want to know when and how they charge. Do they have a set fee, or will you have to pay an hourly rate? Will they accept a payment plan, or will you need to
pay all at once? Are there any additional fees that might crop up under certain circumstances? You will want to have the answers to all of these questions before you decide on your attorney; if you don’t, you might end up paying more than you expected to.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to find an attorney who is compassionate and invested in your adoption journey. Adoption is a significant life change that comes with a huge variety of emotions and stresses. As you go through this complex, incredible process, you’ll want to have an attorney by your side who can help combat your nervousness, confusion, and fear.
Therefore, when you choose an attorney, you should take your emotions and gut feelings into account. If you have troubles connecting with an attorney, feel that they are not very compassionate about your situation, or worry that they might make your adoption process more stressful instead of less, then you should look for your counsel elsewhere.