An important part of any adoption is legal advice from an attorney experienced in handling adoption. The initial consultation should provide an overview of the legal process and legal issues involved. State laws vary as to consents by prospective birth parents, payment of prospective birth mother expenses, restrictions on advertising and the ability to pursue a private adoption.
Without initial legal advice, prospective adoptive parents may make commitments that they cannot fulfill or that may jeopardize the Court’s approval of the adoption or more importantly, be illegal and subject to criminal prosecution. The rights of prospective birth fathers must also be addressed early in the process to reduce the risk of a disrupted adoption.
It is important to ask for references when trying to locate an attorney who is experienced in handling private and agency adoptions. Adoptive parents who have gone through the process often provide the best insight on the attorney’s abilities.