Do I need an adoption lawyer?
Adoption creates a legal relationship between a parent and child, which means there are several legal steps which are involved. First, to start the adoption process you will need to file an adoption petition with the Court. Next before the adoption hearing, all parties are given notice, including the birth parents, legal representatives, and adoption agency. Next, the adoption petition must be finalized. Finally, the court will hold an adoption hearing to decide whether or not to grant the adoption. If the judge agrees that an adoption is in the child’s best interest than they will issue an approval and the adoption is finalized.
If you decide to hire an adoption lawyer they can prepare this petition, along with the additional supporting paperwork, file the documents with the Court and appear at the adoption hearing with you.
Will an adoption lawyer be assigned to my case?
No, an adoption attorney is not assigned to you to manage your adoption case, but you are free to hire whomever you choose. To find a lawyer you may ask other adoptive parents for suggestions, talk to your local social services district, foster care agency, or adoption agency. Another option is to contact the local Bar Association referral service and request names of attorneys who have experience with adoption. Finally, you may talk to other lawyers, and friends of family members to see if they have any recommendations.
How do you know if you have found the right lawyer? Find someone who you feel comfortable talking to, who has good references, and who is able to expertly move the adoption case forward.
Paying for an Adoption or family law Attorney
If you hire an adoption lawyer you will have to pay for their services. Information about the costs will be outlined in a Retainer Agreement. This agreement should list all the fees and costs as well as the rights and responsibilities in the attorney-client relationship. Consider, however, depending on the child you are adopting, there may be some subsidies available to reimburse you for the nonrecurring adoption expenses, including your adoption attorney fees.
Deciding whether or not to hire a lawyer is your own personal choice. As with many complicated areas of law, it depends wholly on whether or not you feel you have the time and expertise to dedicate to your case and to review your adoption options.
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