Adoption Laws

Adoption laws vary from state to state and sometimes county to county.

The legal process is the last leg of a sometimes long adoption relay race. As with every race, the last leg is the most important. Adoption safety is every family's primary concern. That is why we follow the safest legal avenues and utilize only the best adoption attorneys in the country. As you know, attorneys specialize much like physicians, so our first priority is to ascertain that the adoption is legally secure. The finalization is often performed in the birth parents' state. We highly suggest utilizing the agency attorneys as we have selected each very carefully. This helps diminish confusion and eradicate errors. It is no secret that legal loopholes are the main reason adoptions are overturned. Your legal services are the safety of your adoption and are not an area to cut corners or costs. We STRONGLY RECOMMEND using attorneys within our network.

Some families have an attorney friend or have heard positive things about an attorney who specializes in adoption. Consequently, families will ask if they can use these attorneys in their adoption. Unfortunately, most times these attorneys are not in our adoption network. Seeking advice from attorneys outside our network can be very complicated and often leads to problems. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. First, the laws governing an adoption are typically those of the state in which the child is born. This means attorneys in your area will not have the knowledge or expertise to provide correct legal advice. Without understanding which laws govern certain aspects of the adoption, these attorneys will often provide families with wrong advice and wrong information. In many adoptions, an attorney is not needed in the adoptive family's state because no legal proceedings will take place there. This means your state laws will have little or no effect on your adoption.
  2. The second most common problem is families who seek advice from an attorney with limited adoption experience or have little experience in agency adoptions. Examples of these attorneys are one's who practice family law, or have been involved in only a few agency adoptions, or mostly handled public state adoptions. Unfortunately, none of these adoption experiences provides them the expertise to provide correct advice with cross state adoptions. Adoption procedures not only vary from state to state but from county to county. The legal practice in adoption is never as easy as following the state statutes. Each court system looks for and often demands different things. Less qualified private adoption attorneys often cause serious delays in terminating parental rights and finalizing the adoption. Most adoptions that are overturned are due to slow or incompetent legal work.
  3. The third most common mistake is to hire a qualified adoption attorney who is out of our attorney network. This may be permissible but often causes our agency extra work and usually is less reliable than those in our network. Confusion, miscommunication, and delays occur in part because each adoption agency handles adoption differently. Out of network attorneys and our agency must spend additional time discussing the procedures therefore charging more for his/her time. We must discuss step by step what areas are our responsibilities and what areas are their responsibilities. With our attorney network, we have invested many hours working together so the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. This has resulted in many more satisfied customers and many more successful adoptions with fewer legal fees for the adoptive family.

On a side note, we have found an attorney's experience in adoption does not guarantee efficiency, competence, or responsiveness. With attorneys out of our network, there are many times we essentially do an attorney's work for them. Such a formula is risky for families and can seriously jeopardize the safety of your adoption. Consequently, we reserve the right to refuse working with attorneys outside of our network. In many areas, using out of network attorneys is not an option. If you are considering using an out of network attorney, you must seek our approval prior to joining our list. To work with attorneys outside of our network, we charge a minimum of $1,000 to cover additional staff time.

Finalizing the Adoption

In order to complete the adoption the courts must finalize it. The amount of time it takes to finalize an adoption depends on the state in which you adopt. Each state's finalization laws are different and can vary from 10 days to 12 months. We will provide you with all of the legal and post-placement information for your adoption once a match has occurred. This service is provided by our network of attorneys and is included in their fee.

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