Attorneys have traditionally presided over independent adoption and handled the court aspects of agency adoptions as well. Adoption law can be complicated and the suffering resulting from failure to know and follow the law can be profound.
Unlike adoption agencies, attorneys may have a duty of full disclosure of relevant facts to all the parties. It is critical to a safe adoption for counsel to frankly discuss all the facts with birth parents and adopting parents alike. There are some risks.
An important part in representing adopting parents is the ability to investigate and establish that the birth parents are who they say they are, the birth mother is really pregnant, that she has been tested for controlled substances and HIV, that she has no criminal convictions, and that there is no reason to believe that she is dealing with more than one adopting family at the same time. It is important, too, to ascertain that she is healthy and the baby appears to be normal, and certainly, to find out if the birth father will cooperate with adoption plans.