The adoption process can be a beautiful and seamless experience with the right tools and resources. Depending on which route you choose, be it through an attorney, agency, or facilitator, there are precautions every adoptive parent should take in order to ensure they’re receiving ethical and quality services.
If you’re opting for a more hands-on approach for your adoption, one of the most valuable assets to your process is your adoption attorney. As your primary source for all legal matters, you’ll definitely want to ensure your attorney is knowledgeable and trustworthy. Besides the typical questions relating to timing and costs for an adoption program, here are three telling questions to ask your adoption attorney when determining if they will be a good fit for you and your adoption search.
- Why did you get involved in adoption?
Understanding your attorney’s motives for entering the adoption field can indicate whether their values align with your own. As your attorney answers, not only will you learn more about your adoption attorney’s background (degree and experience), you’ll be able to gauge whether the two of you have the similar principles, incentives, and goals for the adoption. Maintaining an ethical practice should be a huge priority when it comes to a process as intimate as adoption. It’s crucial that you and your attorney have a shared sense of how to go about the process, and that you continue to communicate to remain on the same page in the face of important decisions.
- What services do you provide the birth mother?
Asking this question provides insight into the types of support and even the level of support that a program offers birth mothers. Understanding how a program interacts with the birth mothers, at first communication, during the match period, and post-placement, will help show how an attorney measures up to your standards and expectations for birth mother care and support. An experienced attorney should be familiar with the laws in each state related to birth mother services. Some states require a birth mother to have legal representation, while others require a social worker to represent her, but a successful attorney will likely already have contacts in each state, and select the best professional for the case. Knowing whether your adoption attorney will keep in contact with the birth mother, provide continuing support, and provide her with counseling if desired, is an indication of that program’s ethics towards birth mothers.
- Will your office keep me up to date and involved, and will you be accessible for questions?
Effective communication with your adoption professional is incredibly important. Without it, the process can seem vague and confusing. This question sets a precedent for how the entire program and adoption will be managed. It’s important that they can confidently answer this question, so you know they will be accessible throughout the process and support you as you embark on this lifelong journey together. A good attorney will look out for your best interests and you’ll be able to tell if they’re fully transparent, willing to answer your questions, and can do so satisfactorily.
Being well-informed and staying involved provides adoptive parents with a better understanding of the adoption process. By assessing your progress consistently, you can pinpoint problems and address them to make the process more efficient. At AdoptHelp, for example, case workers send “status updates” each month, informing each client about the number of times their profile was presented to a birth mother that month, if she indicated they were in her top choices, how many of their profiles we have left, and more. Using this information, adoptive parents can tell whether their profile is effective in connecting with birth mothers, and modify the profile if it isn’t. This also provides insight into how different preferences can open up or limit the number of birth mothers to which your profile is presented.
Regardless of how you choose to adopt, it is imperative to get to know your attorney. Use these questions as a guideline when evaluating potential adoption professionals. Going through the adoption process can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, so you’ll want to be sure you are finding the right people to guide you in the process.
If you want to learn more about AdoptHelp’s program or speak with an experienced adoption attorney, you can contact us here or call our office at 800-637-7999. Our lead attorney offers complimentary phone, Skype, and in-person consultations, so call today to schedule yours!