The adoption process can be complex. There are agency guidelines, specific details of each unique adoption plan and legal requirements to take into account. As a hopeful parent considering adoption, you already have a lot on your plate. Trying to navigate the adoption process alone can make this much more difficult than it needs to be. That’s why working with a good adoption attorney is so important.
Your adoption attorney should be your go-to in the adoption process. They are on your side, protecting you at every step and ensuring that your adoption is accomplished in a safe, ethical and legal manner. Attorney Ken Nelson has worked with hundreds of adoptive families to complete successful adoptions, and is an elected fellow of the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, a national association of over 300 attorneys. You can feel confident as you work with him for your adoption.
For those of you considering adopting a child, there are a few things your adoption attorney probably wants you to know.
1. We are on your side.
High-pressure environments can cause people to become aggravated or defensive, and the adoption process can certainly be a high-pressure experience. It demands a lot of you. The natural response can be to assume an “us against the world” demeanor. But your adoption attorney wants you to know that they are here for your rights and interests. Your adoption attorney is fighting for you at every step of the process, whether or not you can see the action. Through all the legal paperwork and difficult decisions — from adoption petition to finalization hearing — your adoption attorney is on your team.
If you ever start to feel like everyone is against you, like the pressure of the adoption process is too much, just remember that your attorney is there for you. Your dream of becoming a parent is important to your adoption attorney.
2. It’s normal to feel like things are out of your control.
The term “adoption triad” refers to the three primary parties involved in adoption: the prospective birth mother, the adoptive family and the child. Realistically, there are even more people and institutions involved in adoption that can significantly impact the process. State laws, adoption agencies, adoption hospitals and court judges all play vital roles in a successful adoption.
With so many contributing factors at play, it’s easy to feel like the adoption process is out of your control. This is a normal thing to feel. It’s also a difficult thing to feel, because this family-building process will change the rest of your life. Attorney Ken Nelson has worked with many of other hopeful parents who have felt the same thing as you. Rather than fight the unknowns, trust your attorney and the process to deliver a successful adoption.
3. Flexibility is key.
As you come to terms with having less control over the adoption process than you may like, you’ll clearly see the need for flexibility. Since the potential birth mother sets most of the guidelines for the adoption plan, and there are a variety of requirements that are out of anyone’s control, you have to be ready to change your plans. New needs may arise, timing may change or an unexpected situation might pop up. It’s important to be prepared for this to happen from the beginning.
Your adoption attorney is going to do everything possible to make this a smooth experience. Responding with understanding and flexibility when something unexpected happens is a way to make your journey more successful.
4. Over-communication is better than the alternative.
You need to be as open and transparent as possible with your adoption attorney in order for them to represent you in the best way they can. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to tell your adoption attorney about something, err on the side of over-communicating. This is especially true about changes in your life, like a new home address or job, as these can impact some of the legal work being done on your behalf.
Additionally, be honest about any concerns you have. Whether those are internal fears or trepidation about something a potential birth mother told you in conversation, bring it up to your adoption attorney. It’s better to have everything on the table than to hold back a piece of information that might end up being important.
5. The documents we send you are important.
Most people are accustomed to not reading the things they sign, but this isn’t a typical terms & services agreement. Don’t just check the box and move on, and don’t assume you won’t ever need to reference the document again. Read it and save it!
Since every step of the adoption process is regulated and documented, there are certain standards that must be met in order to accomplish an ethical, legal adoption. While it is the adoption attorney’s job to make sure this happens, it helps when a family appropriately treats any new information or documents received from the attorney. Read over anything your adoption attorney sends you, and find a way to keep it all in an organized, accessible manner.
6. This can be an incredible experience.
Adoption can be beautiful. Even though the process can seem long and arduous, it culminates in the fulfilling of your dream to become a parent. All of the effort that has gone into that road to this point is worth it when you are able to hold your baby for the first time. To see them smile, laugh or even cry in your arms is a moment you will never forget.
This moment is what you are working toward, and your adoption attorney wants this moment for you too. Everyone involved in the process is working toward the same goal. With the right perspective, the adoption process can be a fulfilling experience.
If you have any questions about the legal process of adoption or would like to work with the Nelson Law Firm for your adoption, you can call 319-291-6161 today.