What to Expect During Your First Adoption Attorney Consult

You have decided to adopt a child, and now you’re building your adoption team to support you through the process. It’s time to consult with an experienced adoption attorney, but you might be wondering how to prepare for the meeting and what to expect when you’re there. Below are a few guidelines to get you started on the right track.

What to Bring

After you’ve scheduled a meeting with an adoption attorney, start gathering useful materials to bring with you. These may include:

  • Relevant documents you have so far, including research, files, and correspondence with any agencies you’ve spoken to about adopting
  • A pen and paper or a device on which you can take notes
  • A list of questions and concerns to discuss
  • Anything else that may help facilitate a productive discussion with the attorney

The initial consultation is meant to help you select the right lawyer for your situation and to share your goals for the adoption and needs during the process.

What to Ask

In a previous post, I described the merits of having a qualified attorney on your side from day one. But many good lawyers handle adoptions. Your initial consult should give you the confidence that you have made the right choice in legal representation.

Start by asking good questions. For example:

  • Which types of adoption do you handle? Do you specialize in or prefer a particular type?
  • What is your billing structure?
  • What kind of help, support, and services do you provide through the process? What tasks would I be responsible for completing on my own?
  • Who will be my primary point of contact at your firm if I have questions or need assistance? Will I speak directly to you, or will an assistant be assigned to my case?

Asking pointed questions during your initial consultation will make for a valuable discussion. It will also allow you to better understand an attorney’s qualifications, attitude, and personality. You should leave the conversation having a good idea of whether he or she would be a good fit to represent you.

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