More than 135,000 children are adopted by American families every year in the United States. In fact, over 2 million couples are currently waiting to adopt a child of their own. If you’re one of these families, you could speed up the process by hiring an adoption attorney.
Not sure if that’s the right fit for you?
Keep reading below to learn some of the things you should consider about adoption attorneys.
What Does an Adoption Attorney Do?
In short, an adoption attorney helps you gain legal guardianship of a child that isn’t biologically yours. This can include a number of tasks.
Some of the things you can expect an adoption attorney to take care of includes the following:
- Find an adoption agency
- File the necessary legal paperwork
- Advise you with “home studies” (in-home interviews with a social worker)
- Represent you at hearings (if necessary)
An adoption attorney understands your legal rights. Because of this, they can help the adoption process go as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Am I Required to Hire an Attorney to Adopt?
You do not have to hire an adoption attorney to adopt a child.
Some types of adoptions are easier than others. For example, if you want a stepparent adoption, the process is pretty straightforward. You may be able to handle the work on your own.
However, it is often a good idea to hire an adoption attorney, even if the adoption seems simple.
It can be difficult to understand all the requirements you have to meet before you can adopt and all the paperwork you have to fill out to complete the adoption. If you try to adopt on your own and make a mistake, you can slow down the entire process.
In some cases, you may even hurt your changes.
Unless you have an extensive understanding of the adoption process, you should hire a lawyer to help you through it.
5 Things to Consider Before Hiring an Adoption Attorney
Whether you’re leaning toward working with an adoption attorney or not, there are a few things you should consider before you hire.
Here’s a quick look at some of the most important factors.
1. Your Understanding of the Adoption Process
As mentioned above, if you don’t have a firm understanding of the adoption process, you should hire an attorney to help you.
Adoptions can become more complicated than they seem at first.
For example, the birth parents might change their mind about the adoption. Or they might try to extort you.
If something unexpected happens, your attorney can represent you in court or guide you through the best course of action.
2. Your Timeframe
Adoptions can take a long time to finalize.
A standard adoption could take as long as five years. Trying to go through the process on your own can take even longer. Any mistakes you make, legal complications that come up, or requirements you don’t meet will just delay the adoption.
If you want to adopt a child as quickly as possible, your best option is to hire an attorney. They will be able to help you file paperwork on time and may even be able to shorten waiting periods.
3. The Type of Adoption
There are many different types of adoptions, including stepparent adoptions, international adoptions, foster care adoptions, etc. And again, some of these adoptions are easier than others.
If you want to adopt a child from another country, hiring an attorney is in your best interest. The same is true for children in the foster care system.
Even stepparents can benefit from working with attorneys. They’ll be able to help you understand and meet requirements specific to the type of adoption you’re interested in.
4. Your Budget
Even though hiring an attorney is the best choice for most adoptions, you also have to consider your budget. Attorney’s cost money and you may not want to wait to adopt until you can hire one.
If you don’t have a lot of money, you can attempt to adopt a child on your own.
Depending on the type of adoption you’re interested in, you may want to wait to adopt until you have the money to hire legal help. You can also start the process on your own and hire an attorney when you find out you need help.
Either way, you should always do your best to hire an attorney for your adoption.
5. You Made a Mistake
If you’ve already started the adoption process but made a mistake along the way, it’s not too late to hire an attorney. They can help figure out what you did wrong and show you how to correct the problem.
Some adoptions can have long wait periods.
Being stuck in the middle of one of these periods can make it feel like your adoption is at a standstill. This is also a good time to hire an attorney. They might be able to speed up the process and get the ball moving again.
Should You Hire an Adoption Attorney?
Adoption attorneys can bring the child you’ve been waiting for into your life as quickly and stress-free as possible. They’ll also be on your side if something goes wrong and you end up in court.
No matter what type of adoption you want, you should always hire an adoption attorney to guide you through the process.
Are you looking for an adoption attorney that can help you?
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 POV. (2010, January 17). Fact Sheet | Off and Running | PBS. Retrieved from http://archive.pov.org/offandrunning/fact-sheet/
 How to Get Your House Ready for an Adoption Home Study. (2019, March 20). Retrieved from https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/how-to-get-your-house-ready-for-an-adoption-home-study/