The topic of choosing an adoption attorney recently came up in an online adoption group and we’d like to give you some things to consider and ask when choosing an adoption attorney.

*First, consider the advice of your agency or social worker. Every social worker who has worked in the field of adoption knows which attorneys are competent to practice adoption law in their area, since we work with them on a regular basis! We have all had interesting experiences in court with attorneys who do not normally practice adoption law. It is best to hire an attorney who knows and is competent in adoptions, even if it does cost a little bit more (And often times, it will cost less!)

*Ask the attorneys you are considering how many adoption cases they handle on an annual basis. Be sure to ask specific questions about cases they have finalized (an easier, straightforward process) and how many they have facilitated without the aid of an agency (private adoptions- a more complicated process.)

*Ask up front what you can expect from your attorney. What are their fees? How soon can you expect them to return phone calls or emails? When will you meet him/her? What is their role, versus the role of the paralegal?

*Speaking of paralegals, get to know them! These are the attorney’s right hand women (or men). You will speak to them often and they will do a lot of the handling of details for you.

*Ask about the attorneys’ relationship with social workers in an independent adoption. Who does what? If the attorney doesn’t have social workers they work with regularly, they may not be doing a lot of independent adoptions. A good independent adoption should involve BOTH well trained social workers as well as a trained adoption attorney (or two).

Have specific questions about adoption attorneys in Utah? We know a lot of them and are comfortable making recommendations to you about who to choose. When we first formed UAS, we met with dozens of attorneys throughout the state in an effort to identify those who are competent and to whom we can comfortably refer our clients. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or need some recommendations!