Adoption offers an exciting opportunity to couples or individuals who might otherwise never be able to add children to their loving family unit. If you’re approaching the prospect of adopting, you’ve likely spent a lot of time researching, thinking, and consulting with various professionals.
By this point, you may feel like an expert, or you may still feel completely out of your depth. Regardless, you should hire a family law attorney before you begin the process to ensure that you navigate the difficult legal issues of adoption as smoothly as possible.
In this blog, we discuss four vital services that your family law attorney provides during this process.
1. Ensured Legal Compliance
As with many family law situations, adoption evokes a lot of strong emotions. As new parents, you may find yourself caught up in the moment and miss important legal steps. Leave these measures to your attorney.
For example, if you choose to work directly with your child’s birth mother, your lawyer ensures that all parties complete the required paperwork. These documents can include comprehensive consent forms from the birth mother and birth father when needed, compliance paperwork from the hospital, and a host of other legal contracts.
Having a lawyer provide, oversee, and review your paperwork is one of the best ways to avoid legal hiccups that could delay or halt the adoption process.
2. Legal Protection
Unless you have completed multiple adoptions before this one and you work in the field, you likely don’t have the background to identify possible adoption pitfalls before you encounter them. Your attorney has the resources and experience to help you avoid untrustworthy agencies, coercive situations, and proceedings which can draw out the adoptions process indefinitely.
Whether you choose to adopt through an agency or in an independent process, you need the legal protection an attorney provides.
In addition to protection from unpleasant circumstances, an attorney provides ideal communication between you and the other involved parties. A family law attorney mediates between the adopting parents and the agency or birth mother.
Mediation becomes particularly important should any legal or circumstantial issues arise. For example, if the birth mother begins to rethink her decision, the child experiences any serious medical issues, or another issue arises, your lawyer handles the situation. Having an experienced family law attorney in your corner ensures that all parties stay informed and your agreements stay up to date with the current situation.
4. Tailored Agreements
In most legal situations, you can find standard documents to fill out, and adoption is no different. However, contracts drawn up by an attorney acquainted with your situation have far greater value than a traditional agreement.
These contracts drawn up by your lawyer play a particularly large role if you plan to adopt independent of an agency. You may have an agreement to pay for the birth mother’s pregnancy expenses, but what happens if she rethinks her decision? That’s where your contractual agreement comes in. Your lawyer can create a
document which stipulates which circumstances invalidate your agreement to cover specific expenses.
Tailor-made agreements protect you and your future child from the messiness that can occur during the adoptions process.
Before you begin the adoptions process, reach out to your trusted family law attorney. Ideally, you should discuss your situation and desires with your attorney before you ever contact an agency or prospective birth mother. Your attorney can provide all of the services listed above, as well as recommendations based on your family situation, desires, and personal history.
As you expand your family, trust your attorney to simplify the process. For more information on the services offered by our family law firm, visit our blog section.