For a lawyer practicing family law, most cases involve negotiating the best ways to dissolve a marriage, divide property and split responsibility for raising children. Adoption is very different because it involves adding to a family. When all goes well, adoption leads to very happy results. Unfortunately, adopting a child is often an expensive and complicated process, with a lot of frustration and setbacks along the way.
Recently, a couple in the Fargo-Moorhead area talked to a local newspaper about their difficulties adopting a baby. After seeing an article about the same-sex married couple, a pregnant woman contacted them and said she was interested in giving them her baby for adoption.
The three met in person several times and agreed on the details. The couple even met with the woman to talk about her birth plan and adoption paperwork. However after a few months, the woman changed her mind and decided to raise the child herself. A follow-up article in the newspaper told of their disappointment and their continuing efforts to adopt a child.
Stories like this one are not unusual for couples seeking to adopt a baby. Indeed, North Dakota’s Department of Human Services advises prospective adoptive parents to be prepared to wait. While some types of adoption are faster than others, it’s common for couples to wait for more than a year after the state-mandated home study before they can bring their baby home.
There are many emotional aspects to adoption, but it is also a legal process. A lawyer with experience in adoption and other issues in family law can help prospective parents through this process, advising them on their options, executing contracts and resolving issues when they arise.