Whether it is the relative, foreign, step parent or third party adoption, one factor critical to a seamless management of all necessary legal legwork is the choice of adoption attorney.
Why so much emphasis on appointing the right adoption lawyer? How to differentiate a good attorney from an average one? What gives one edge of the other?
We would try and address these questions in this article as we explore the matter in slight more detail.
The role of an attorney
Usually, and adoptive parent(s) would either have to contact a private agency or state adoption department to look for a child who may be available for placement with a new family. In some cases, however, the arrangement can be made between the biological and adoptive parents only who may be friends but are not related by blood to each other; this is called the third party adoption.
What remains constant, though, is the legal procedures and documentation that is governed by strict adoption laws of the land; falling short of which has tough penalty. The experience and expertise of lawyer therefore is great help is seeing you through the entire process. From filing a petition to finalizing the adoption and handing down the necessary paperwork, the attorney is your representative and helper all through.
What should I look for when hiring an adoption attorney?
Here is an overview of the qualities you should seek in an attorney that may work best for your case.
You may ask why this is so important when generally, hardly any adoption attorneys would sell expertise in only one type of adoption. However, if you are filing for adopting a child from some foreign country while living in georgia, you better appoint someone who has handled at least a few cases of the same nature. While any local adoption is no child’ s play either, foreign adoptions are particularly more technical as the Georgia adoption laws and those of the child’s country of origin would apply at different stages. Anybody lacking this experience might not as well versed and hence quick with the processes.
Affiliation with relevant associations
Although this isn’t really mandatory if somebody you know, has had a great experience with the attorney in question. But having affiliation with an accredited association would ensure that the attorney is competent and recognized for his services in your country. For instance, Thomas Tebeau III is registered with and recognized by The Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers and has testimonials of a wonderful and smooth process witnessed by the clients. This makes him a perfect choice if you are in search of an adoption attorney in Atlanta.
And the, this association makes the search for the attorney rather easy.
Charges fair fee
Whether you like it or not, the total expense of the adoption that you have planned depends on a lot of different factors like
- Type of adoption
- Attorney’s fee
- The home study fee
- Court charges
It goes without saying that you cannot expect a uniform fee from all attorneys as they would definitely differ in their experience, expertise and the quality of services provided. However, our recommendation would be to go after quality rather than affordability alone; an incapable adoption can cost you a lot of time and peace of mind in the present the effects of which can go into the future.
An adoption lawyers has to be a lot more than just your representative in the court and responsible to prepare documentation. The legal advice of the lawyer as an expert in the field could mean the entire difference in you experience adopting a child. Plus, as an adoptive parent, he/she has to be your best source of knowledge on family laws so that you can handle all matters related to the adopted child in a streamlined manner.
Approachable & compassionate
While this might sound like a minor quality, trust us, a lawyer who does not respond to your calls or does not do so in a timely manner is a hint of a bad choice. Only if he is compassionate enough to realize your need and the fact that adoption could change a child’s life for the better, to treat the case with care and meticulousness, you might be in for a very rough legal ride. And then with these qualities, you would see, they would be in a better position to communicate with parents at both ends of the adoption as well as the child in question; in case the child is 14 years or more in age.