The relationship between a single woman and her adoption attorney is vital. This person can and should be your strongest ally for finding the placement that works — and making sure the adoption is finalized in a timely way. This advice was posted to the Choice Mom discussion board by Holly, a wonderful resource for Choice Moms who use the foster care adoption route in particular.
1. ask for references of clients who have recently finished the finalization and then call them, ask them how this person was through the whole process, did they file timely, did they prepare documents in a timely fashion, etc.
2. get a feel for this attorney: is this someone who you have a gut feeling will be willing to work with you in the long haul? does this person make themselves available for filings just for you? (more below) and do you get a good gut feeling from them? (I know, so subjective, but I clicked instantly with my attorney and we’re STILL friends today, three years post-adoption!)
The reason I mention filing just for you is, in Los Angeles, where I finalized my daughter’s adoption, it wasn’t cost-effective for the attorney to file paperwork for one case at a time — many take the approach of waiting until they have a couple of them to file to do so. Meaning, your filing dates could be delayed and thus delaying dates to appear before the judge, etc. After waiting 13 months to adopt my daughter, I didn’t want to un-necessarily wait a couple more months to finalize. I know, a couple months compared to a lifetime with her is nothing … but I was DONE with the whole process at that point and just wanted to be able to make simple decisions for my child that I couldn’t pre-finalization (as a foster-adopt family).
My attorney AND all of our case workers (DCFS in LA and our FFA case workers) STILL remain a large part of our lives — but as friends of a family they helped create. I send them all letters on the day of finalization every year thanking them for another year of being a family (I even send one to our Judge as well!). I wholeheartedly acknowledge that without the parts that every person played in harmony with each other, FOR my daughter and me, we wouldn’t be a family today. I will forever be eternally grateful to all the women and men who worked countless hours to make my dream of motherhood a reality.
I don’t know how you can impart these feelings to an interview with an attorney but relaying what a vital role this person plays for you during this process, IMHO, is as important a piece as how they are as an attorney. I was so fortunate to have an attorney who “got it” on both the single mom by choice AND foster-adopt — I’m so hoping you find the same for someone who can support you and your route to adoption.
Add in Comments below the names of adoption attorneys you recommend.
One that a Choice Mom suggested in the Dallas area is Dave Cole at Little Flower. https://www.adoptlegal.com/Adoption/