When you decide to grow your family through adoption, you begin the process by choosing an adoption attorney. Adopting a child is a significant life event, so it’s important to find the right attorney for your needs. Below are some tips to help you select an adoption attorney in Florida.
You likely already have a short list of attorneys to consider. Now, you need to research each one. First, make sure the lawyer is licensed to work in Florida and is in good standing with the bar association. Beyond those initial requirements, look for evidence of their reputation. You can find ratings and reviews on websites such as AVVO. Also, check to see if they are a member of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. This organization has highly vetted adoption and assisted reproduction attorneys dedicated to the competent and ethical practice of adoption and assisted reproduction law. Finally, if you know people who have been through the adoption process, ask for their recommendations.
Schedule a Consultation
After you have researched attorneys, speak with the ones you are considering. You may schedule an in-person meeting or speak with them on the phone. This allows you to ask important questions. Some suggested inquiries include:
- What is your experience in adoption?
- Will I be working directly with you or support staff?
- What is your response time when I have a question or concern?
- What are your primary means of communicating with clients? (phone, email, text)
- What does the adoption process look like?
- How long does it take?
Inquire About Costs
Make sure you understand the attorney’s fees and the total cost of adoption. You want to know how the costs are broken down. Find out if the attorney charges on an hourly basis, has a retainer or follows another fee structure. Ask for an itemized estimate, but keep in mind that estimates are not a precise science. Things happen that can change the initial figure. Ask the attorney what unforeseen circumstances might change the final cost.
Make a List of Specific Questions
Each family is unique, and you probably have some specific questions. Sit down with your partner or family members to create a list of questions you want to ask the attorney. This will help you identify the Florida adoption attorney who is best suited for you.
Your instincts are the best guide for selecting the right attorney. You want to work with someone who makes you feel welcome and comfortable. You should feel that the person is knowledgeable and that you are in good hands. Most of us get an uneasy feeling when things aren’t quite right. If something seems odd, just walk away and find someone else to work with your family.
Select the Right Adoption Attorney
Expanding your family through adoption is a wonderful and joyous event. However, it can also be stressful and confusing. This is why it’s important to find the right adoption attorney to help guide you through the process. Here at the Law Office of Tammi J. Driver, we strive to provide families with all the resources needed to have a smooth and successful adoption. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 727-800-6681.