Most adoptive families do not know that they should be asking their adoption attorney questions about their services.
At Adopt Connect we will refer you an attorney if you work with us.
If you need assistance finding an attorney, you can visit the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys website.
Every adoption attorney is different.
They can provide different services and charge for those services differently than others.
That is why it is important you are aware and comfortable with everything.
Here is a general list of questions you should be asking:
- How do you bill?
- Either an hourly fee or a flat fee.
- If hourly ask if the rate is subject to change
- Do you charge for phone calls, messages, and meetings?
- Some attorneys will charge you just for calling and leaving a message.
- QUICK TIP: If this fee applies to you, write down all of questions and concerns then knock it out in one call or meeting.
- Do you require a retainer fee in advance?
- If so, how much?
- Make sure to get the fee agreement in writing.
- What happens to my retainer fee if the birth mother changes her mind?
- Make sure to ask about their refund policies.
- What services do you provide?
- Make sure every service they are suppose to do for you is in the written fee agreement.
- Ask if there is any possibility of any additional fees that might arise if a certain situation comes up.
- Make sure you and the birth parents are represented by different attorneys.
- Do not have the same attorney representing the birth parents as well.
- What percentage of your total practice is devoted to adoption?
- Fifty to 100 percent suggests they are adoption experts.
- This is important in case there are any unexpected hiccups down the road.
- EX: Birth father consent problems, ICPC, ICWA, etc.
- Will your office keep me up-to-date and involved?
- If they charge you for phone calls to them, this is important.
Once you feel comfortable and have a clear understanding with each other, you will have a more smooth process.
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