Adopting a child is a uniquely rewarding experience. Whether you adopt an infant or an older child, adding a new member to a loving family and knowing you are helping out a child who had no place to go is an amazing feeling. However, if you have never gone through the adoption process before, it is important to understand the process, including whether you should hire a family law attorney in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Adoption Agencies vs. Foster Care
Many who choose to adopt either do so through an agency or via the foster care system. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. Agencies have a set path to adoption that includes a home study, counseling and building a profile for birth parents to view. While agency adoption is most common, it is also the most expensive and can have very long wait times. This process is for you if you want something predictable and don't mind the possibility of waiting for months or even years to be chosen.
Some people choose to go through the foster system to adopt. The process, which is more affordable than other options, includes a training program and a home study. Most people who use this system are foster parents first and must be prepared in case the child goes back to his birth parents. It is important to keep in mind that more than 70 percent of the kids in foster care are over the age of five. If you want to adopt an infant, foster care probably won't provide that. If you want to help one of the nearly 50,000 children who need to be adopted out of the system each year, this is the perfect route.
Some people also choose to go through private channels to adopt. Regardless of the route you choose to take, the adoption will either be open or closed. An open adoption allows the child to have contact with his birth parents and may be preferable in some cases, especially if you adopt from someone you already know or adopt an older child.
Finding a Lawyer
Even if you have gone through the adoption process before, you probably want to hire a family law attorney in Wilmington, North Carolina, to help you navigate the waters. A lawyer helps with tasks such as finding a legitimate agency, negotiating the terms of an open adoption and ensuring you have followed the proper legal procedures to prevent delays or problems down the line. He can also assist you with filling out paperwork and meeting deadlines.
Paying for the Adoption
The cost of adopting a child varies greatly depending on the route you take. If you decide to adopt from the foster system, it typically costs almost nothing. Should you choose to use an agency or go the private route, it could cost tens of thousands of dollars, especially once you factor in any medical bills you pay for the birth mother and consider fees for a family lawyer in Wilmington, North Carolina. Many people pay for the adoption using their savings, home equity loans or even fundraising.
When seeking a family law attorney in Wilmington, North Carolina, to help with your adoption, ensure you hire someone who has experience in the type of adoption you choose. He should also be properly licensed to work on cases, especially if you are adopting across state or international lines.
John Trinh has been writing for 10+ years. He first delved into the world of writing when he wrote his first article for his university's paper. Since then, John has enjoyed writing about technology, business, marketing, and anything that he thinks he should write about. For more details family law attorney Wilmingto