Choosing an adoption attorney: What you need to know

Separate Legal Representation for the Birth Parents
Even if it is not required in your state, adoption experts recommend that separate legal representation be provided to the birth parents, rather than representation by your attorney. If the birth mother and father are no longer together as a couple, they can each have an attorney to represent their best interests. Although this may cost more, it is the ethical thing to do and may prevent much heartache further along in the adoption process. If an attorney recommends otherwise, you may want to reconsider using that attorney.


Benefits of a Putative Father Registry
You may decide to adopt only in a state that has a putative father registry. Otherwise, if the birth father is not actively participating in the adoption plan, is unidentified and not willing to take a paternity test or if the birth mother is not able or willing to name a birth father, you and your attorney will have to evaluate such circumstances very carefully. These are the kinds of situations that involve the most risk.

Overall, less than one percent of adoptions are contested. Thousands of adoptions are successfully completed every year. Headlines notwithstanding, with good adoption practice, you can minimize the risks of a contested independent adoption.

Most of this article was originally written by the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse.

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