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What comes first…the lawyer or the agency?
Posted: 11 March 2010 09:56 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  1

Hello everyone. I am new to the AFC forum group and am learning a lot from everyone!

My husband and I are finally getting serious about finding and agency and starting the adoption process. I get the impression through research that even when going through an agency, we should still retain an adoption lawyer. Should we reatin the lawyer, then look for an agency? This way we could ask the lawyer any questions about contracts, etc. that we might need help with when deciding on an agency. Or do most people wait to get the agency picked out first, then retain a lawyer?

Any help would be appreciated!

Also, if anyone has any references for attorneys or adoption agencies (domestic) in Wisconsin or Illinois, I would love to hear!

Posted: 03 April 2010 04:32 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  4

The agency that we used had a lawyer that they used for all of their adoptions.  The lawyer has worked with them for 23 years and is for the adoptive couples only.  They explained to us at our first seminar that if anyone wanted to have their own lawyer to look over paperwork that would be fine, but you would be paying them additional money to do the same thing that the lawyer they work with would be doing.  We’ve had a great experience so far.  Our lawyer has been great.  Whenever we have any questions, we can just call or email him and he responds very quickly if he’s not in the office. Hope that helps!

Posted: 08 May 2010 09:34 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  3

The second response is correct.  You are going to pay for legal/attorney and court fees when you adopt through a private adoption agency.  They would prefer that you use their attorney to file and initial and final adoption petitions.  If you have your own attorney review the paperwork (and, of course, the private agencies have to agree to this) then, you will be paying for two individual’s time.  It will be just as well to use the agency attorney as they are familiar with the process perhaps more so than an attorney you might select.

As a Certified Adoption Specialist, I prefer for people to select their own attorney because they can ask questions about the attorney’s qualifications, cost, etc., and have a pretty good idea of the process before they get started.  With a private adoption agency’s attorney, it is a pretty much closed process and several parents have told me that they really did not understand what was happening until it was over with.  This may not be true for every situation, however, it is something to ask about before making a decision.  Hope this is of some help.