One of the most joyous times for a couple involves the adoption of a child. However, the adoption process can be complex, involving a lot of legal documents, regulations, and rules that have been put in place by Virginia lawmakers. The entire process can be very confusing, even to an attorney who doesn’t have experience in adoption law. This is why it is so critical to retain the services of an Arlington Virginia adoption lawyer. The following is a brief overview of the adoption process. For more details, contact the legal team at May Law LLP.
What are the financial requirements to the birth mother?
If prospective parents are adopting a child not born yet, the birth mother may request the adoptive parents provide certain financial assistance as part of the termination of parental rights agreement. Some of these expenses can include medical bills, legal costs, and living expenses (rent, food, etc.). However, there are no laws that require that this be part of the process or even what services or items are required. However, as an Arlington Virginia adoption lawyer can explain, there are stringent laws in place that prohibit that payment be made for the placement of the baby or child for adoption.
What is the process for the termination of parental rights agreement?
In order for the party or parties who are adopting the child to gain custody, the birth mother is required to sign a termination of parental rights document. This legal document terminates her rights to custody, visitation, and financial support for the child. It also terminates her responsibility for any misconduct on the part of the child or the child’s right to any inheritance from the birth mother or her family. If the whereabouts of the birth father is unknown or if the birth father has not agreed to terminate his parental rights, then an adoption lawyer in Arlington Virginia must file a petition with the courts to terminate the birth father’s parental rights. Each state has its own laws regarding how long a birth mother or father has to change their mind after signing a termination of parental rights document. Yourfamily lawyer Arlington VA provides can provide the details for your situation.
Contact an Arlington Virginia Adoption Lawyer for Help
Whether you are planning on adopting a child or you are planning on giving your child up for adoption, you should retain the help of a seasoned adoption lawyer Arlington Virginia families trust. Contact May Law LLP to speak with a member of our legal team to ensure that the adoption process goes smoothly for you and your child.Our firm can also help with stepparent and LGBT family adoptions. Our firm takes pride in our part in helping to bring families together. Call our office today.
Hiring the Right Adoption Lawyer
Choosing to adopt a child is a truly earth-shattering decision for all involved, and in order to ensure it goes successfully, it is important to ensure that you have an adoption lawyer Arlington Virginia clients recommend, who understands the stakes. The process is very complex, even for legal professionals, and there are certain questions that should be asked in order to ensure you get a knowledgeable attorney. The following are some key issues to consider about the lawyer you hire. For more detailed information, contact May Law, LLP.
Is the Lawyer Experienced in Adoption Law?
This is perhaps the most important question that can be asked; the process is quite complex for anyone, even those with experience, especially if you wish to adopt internationally. The most recent available data shows there are more than 10,000 adoptions brokered internationally each year in the United States, with the majority being from countries where procedures were either not conducted in English, were prone to adjustment, or both. This can be a severe roadblock for an inexperienced attorney.
What Types of Adoptions Does the Law Firm Handle?
There are multiple types of adoptions, including private, open, agency-assisted, and many others. Some Arlington adoption lawyers refuse to work with adoption agencies or may refuse to handle adoptions in specific countries – this is legal as long as this information is communicated upfront, but it is not always communicated this way.
What Is the Average Legal Fee for the Adoption Process?
While there is no specific fee that is appropriate or inappropriate, it is important to have a sense of what will add up. A flat fee may be preferable for your situation, it is not out of the realm of possibility that an ethical attorney will still charge an hourly rate (the rationale is that they may spend fewer hours on a matter than an attorney who has less experience or ability). As long as your Arlington adoption lawyer is honest with you on fees, no red flags should be evident.
Does the Firm Charge a Retainer Fee?
While the proverbial jury is still out on the appropriateness of such a charge, some adoption lawyers do charge retainers, and some do not. Many feel that it is inappropriate, especially since in Virginia, the birth mother is granted 10 days after the birth of a child to decide whether she truly wishes to place that child up for adoption, leaving the adoptive parents in the proverbial lurch if she elects to keep the baby. Others are of the belief that adoption is more of a gamble, and people should be prepared to lose money.
What Type of Communication Level Exists Between Lawyer and Client?
While this is hopefully a given for any competent Arlington adoption lawyer, it should still be asked. If your lawyer is a solo practitioner, or if they are the only knowledgeable associate on adoption in their firm, you may wind up without contact while they are busy on other matters. It is important to get a clear picture of your potential lawyer’s availability.
Call Our Firm Today
If you are considering adoption, make sure you understand the process completely. Call May Law, LLP today to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Arlington adoption lawyer.