Karen and John* have just found out they have been selected by a birth mother to adopt. The process that led up to this moment has been both exciting and stressful. They worked closely with their adoption attorney through the highs and lows, and after a very demanding application process, and months of waiting, they finally got the good news. As family law attorneys, adoption is some of the most rewarding work we do because we are helping put families together. Karen sat down with Sodoma Law Union Principal and Attorney Penelope Hefner to talk more about their experience with adoption, and why she thinks having an attorney was crucial to their success.
Penelope: I know you are very excited, but I also know there must have been a lot of other emotions along the way. How did your attorney help prepare you to cope with the process?
Karen: The early stages of adoption come with a lot of uncertainty. Is this the right choice? How long will it take? Will someone pick us? It’s easy to quickly become overwhelmed because there is so much information to provide. Luckily, we had an amazing attorney who mentally prepared us for the road ahead. Although the wait is incredibly frustrating, having someone with experience to answer questions helped ease the stress and uncertainty. Honestly? I think I stressed the most about the photo book we had to prepare!
Penelope: What helped you cope with those emotions and frustrations?
Karen: Family and friends, for sure. Having our adoption attorney on call and knowing they were there to answer every legal question, and help us make the best decisions for our growing family, gave us more confidence in the process than we could have hoped for.
Penelope: What were your legal concerns?
Karen: The main thing on our minds, and probably most minds of anyone adopting, is wondering how final the process is. You don’t want to adopt and wonder if years down the road the birth parents may change their minds. You don’t want to worry that you will have issues with medical providers, or your child’s school. Our adoption attorney helped us put legal protections in place that gave us peace of mind about our future. Ultimately, our attorney reassured us that they were doing everything in their power to help us plan, and document, for a smooth adoption. The baby is due in December. Between now and then, we will meet with the birth mother, get updates on the pregnancy, and complete any additional paperwork with the help of our attorney.
Penelope: Any advice for other prospective parents in selecting an attorney?
Karen: Choose someone like Sodoma Law, PC who specializes in adoption law and understands the emotional and legal uncertainties that can accompany the process.
*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.