Adoptive Parents FAQ
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My office works with all types of adoption:
- Independent adoption where the birth mother personally selects the adoptive parents through personal knowledge of them;
- Agency Identified adoption where the birth mother or the adoptive parents are working with a licensed adoption agency and the adoptive parents are known or identified by the birth parents;
- Traditional Agency adoption where the birth mother relinquishes her rights to a licensed agency and has no personal knowledge of the adoptive parents.
An open adoption involves both birth parents and adoptive parents who meet prior to the birth of the baby and set out the terms of the agreement directly, usually with the assistance of the adoption attorney. Sometimes couples only want contact prior to birth with no contact afterwards. Others may include visitation after birth, depending upon the wishes of the parties.
My office has helped a couple in as short as four days; however, this is definitely the exception. The average waiting time is generally from six weeks to one year. Over 70% of the babies that are placed with our clients are located through my networking methods. But I also instruct clients on how to be proactive in doing their own networking. Many families who are proactive in networking find that it speeds up the search process considerably and gives them more control over the selection of a birth mother. However, I make sure I talk to all birth parents as soon as possible after they are located. I’ve found, it’s better if I do all of the birth parent information intake. The adoptive parents should just talk to the birth parents, not “interview” them.
I work diligently to be fair to both birth parents and adoptive parents regarding the costs of adoption. Generally, what is legally allowable depends upon the laws of the state in which the adoption is finalized. Most often, there are four items of expense:
- Medical expenses if no insurance or State Aid;
- Living expenses of the birth mother during her period of disability, if allowable by state law;
- Legal fees;
- Social service bureaucratic expenses, i.e., homestudy and court costs.
It’s my practice to discuss the total estimated costs with the adoptive parents before any commitment is made between them and the birth parents.
You will have to retain an attorney or agency in your home state, since in most cases you will be adopting under the laws of the state in which you live. Once you have an attorney or agency in your home state, you should feel free to contact my office; I can locate a birth mother for you.
I strongly recommend to adoptive parents that every birth mother with whom they choose to work be seen by a doctor who must conduct, at minimum, drug, alcohol and HIV screens. In addition, I recommend a Hepatitis B antigen screen, BDRL screen for syphilis and tests for anemia.
I am a founding fellow of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers (ACAL) and a founding member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA).
I believe, above all, that an adoption professional should be accessible to both birth parents and adoptive parents, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All birth parents and adoptive parents get my home telephone number so that they can contact me directly in the evening or on weekends. I personally handle all adoption files in my office. Birth parents and adoptive parents do not retain the Law Offices of David J. Radis. When you come to David J. Radis, you get David J. Radis.