You made the important and exciting decision to adopt. You don’t want just any attorney to help you through this significant process. You want the best adoption attorney you can find. The process can feel daunting. Few attorneys specialize in adoption. How do you find the best attorney to handle your adoption?
Where to Find an Adoption Attorney
There is no right place to find the best adoption attorney, but there are some common places to begin your search. We recommend you use all of these options to ensure you conduct a comprehensive search to find the right fit.
WORD OF MOUTH
Being referred to an attorney is by far the most common method. Everyone typically has at least one friend, family member, or coworker who will give you the name of an attorney. Usually, it was someone they used for a divorce or who helped them with that DUI after leaving a New Year’s Eve party. A recommendation from friends or family you trust is a good start, but just because they liked them doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right lawyer for you.
3RD PARTY WEBSITES
Several third-party websites claim to link you to all the top attorneys nationwide. This is where the biggest pitfall of all comes into play. Many of the lawyers at the top of the list paid the most for advertising. That doesn’t mean they are bad lawyers, but it also doesn’t mean they are any good. Our advice is not to pay much attention to website recommendations because they usually want to push you to the attorney who spends the most money.
These websites can be helpful for gathering the names of potential attorneys. Be sure to investigate each attorney further rather than relying on the website’s recommendation.
GOOGLE BUSINESS REVIEWS
Like every other service you are considering, Google reviews are pretty important and a decent way to learn about prospective attorneys. Remember, similar to the third-party websites, lawyers at the top of the search results often spend a lot to be seen. You may want to continue your search to subsequent pages to find options suitable for your needs.
Don’t immediately get caught up with glowing reviews and a 4.5-star rating. Verify great reviews are clients that hired them for adoption, and not the fender bender that happened during rush hour one day.
INDIVIDUAL ADOPTION LAWYER’S WEBSITE
You should never hire a lawyer without at least spending a few minutes on their website. Ideally, it should have enough information to give you a good sense of who this lawyer is and their experience. It will also tell you whether the attorney specializes in adoptions or does them occasionally. The website can be enough to give you the warm and fuzzies or make you feel uneasy and squeamish. Go with your gut. If you are unsure, ask for a free consultation.
Tips to Find the Best Adoption Attorney
Whether you found an attorney online or were referred to them by a friend, you will need to gather information to determine if they are the best adoption attorney for you. Here are a few things to consider in your search.
Schedule a Consultation
Setting up a personal consultation can help you make an informed decision. Prepare a list of questions to review with each prospective attorney. Take notes to review after your meeting. Also, notice how you feel. You want to choose an attorney you feel comfortable with and know you can trust.
Understand their Experience
Hiring an adoption attorney with experience and expertise in the area of adoption will ensure your process goes smoothly. You will have answers to your questions and be able to trust the details will be taken care of.
Confirm their Availability
Deciding to adopt your stepchild is a big decision. You deserve to be able to get in touch with your attorney when you need them. You want to ensure your expectations align with your attorney’s capacity.
Consider the Cost
Lawyers are expensive for a reason. It’s challenging work and requires talent and honed skills. That doesn’t mean you should sign over your house, but just remember…. you get what you pay for. You can always find a lawyer who does it cheaper than the last quote. However, the more affordable quote may also come with significantly lower quality representation.
Start Your Search
If you are looking for an adoption attorney, Stepup Adoption would love to assist you. Our team will use our experience and expertise to guide you through the process. Contact us today to learn more about our services and get started on your adoption journey.