Get adoption attorney referrals from other adoptive parents, your local bar association or adoption agencies.
Adoptive parents can seek out local adoption support groups as sources of local information and experience adopting (see Where to Read More for links to some local resources).
Prospective adoptive parents might consider attending adoption classes offered by your local Children’s Hospital or religious institution (see Where to Read More for links to some local resources).
Don’t forget that domestic infant adoption isn’t always confined to the state in which you live. Attorneys experienced in “interstate” adoptions can advise you on your rights and the laws related to such adoptions.
For birth parents, an experienced adoption attorney or local adoption agency can put you in touch with prospective adoptive families who have been pre-screened and approved and can help you to understand your rights and options.
Birth parents can ask an adoption attorney about post-adoption contact agreements, which are legal plans that can specify the type and amount of contact members of the birth family could have with an adopted child post-adoption.
Though international adoptions are finalized abroad, parents might want to consider re-adoption in the United States because it enables you to obtain an American birth certificate from your state of residence for your child, as well as certified copies of your child’s birth certificate from your state department of vital records (needed for school registration, athletics, etc.). A legal name change can also be completed from a re-adoption in the United States. An attorney experienced with international adoptions can help you with the re-adoption process in state court.