You need an experienced adoption attorney who can ensure you’re complying with the laws of the birth mother’s state as well as your own. For instance, some states don’t allow birth mother expenses to be paid directly the birth mother; others put strict limits on the amount that can be paid and for what purpose. The danger is that the money you spend may be deemed as inducement for the birth mother to place which can undo your adoption by invalidating her consent.
You don’t want to violate the Indian Child Welfare Act which requires inquiry into whether the birth mother or presumed father is an eligible member of a Native American tribe. Notice to each federally registered tribe may be required. If not done correctly and there is membership, the tribe may invalidate the adoption up until the day it is finalized.
If you’re adopting a child from another state, you must comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. This complicated, paperwork-heavy process can be daunting if you haven’t done it before. Errors on or submission of incomplete paperwork could significantly delay finalizing your adoption.
An experienced adoption attorney knows how to identify the legal status of the child’s father, how to obtain his consent or waiver, and most important, knows how to get a court order dispensing with his consent. Failure to obtain legally binding court orders with respect to all potential birth fathers’ parental rights could undo your adoption should the birth father contest the adoption.
If you’re thinking about placing a child for adoption or want more information about how we can help you build your family through adoption, contact our office today for a complementary 15 minute consultation.