Adopting in New Mexico might be a new experience for you. As a legal process, you will need to have an experienced family law attorney to guide you and ensure that your adoption meets all state regulations and laws.
Naturally, the process of bringing a child into your family is both exciting and intimidating at the same time. Because of this, you will be relying on your attorney for assistance and support as you move toward growing your family. Before you select an attorney for your adoption, here is what you need to find out.
Who Will Do What?
Your attorney will provide you with legal services, but he or she may also connect you to additional services you will need – such as counselors or physicians – as the need arises in the adoption process. To ensure you understand what is going on and are comfortable, ask your attorney which decisions and services are needed and who will make those calls.
Do They Have Prior Experience?
Ask the attorney you are considering if they have ever handled the type of adoption you will be pursing, such as LGBTQ+ or domestic interstate adoption. Find out how many adoptions of your type they have done before and how recent their experience was, as the laws do change and you will need an attorney whose knowledge is current. Your best bet is an attorney who has experience with your adoption type and has stayed up-to-date on all the relevant laws.
What Does Their Feedback Look Like?
Attorneys are the subject of online reviews just like any other business, so do some digging and look at the feedback online about them. Check social media, forums – especially local adoption ones – and anywhere else you find information. You may also be able to talk to past clients who have used the same attorney for their adoption. If so, ask those clients about their experiences, including where they felt their attorney delivered and where he or she could have done better.
Who Is Following the Case?
Ask the attorney if you will work together directly or if you are going to be assigned to an associate, partner or office staff member. Find out what hours your contact will be available to you and how they prefer to communicate, such as via text, email or phone. It is important that you know who will oversee your adoption, if other staff are involved and who is doing what. Not being able to get in touch with your attorney or their office when there is a snag in your adoption can add a lot of unnecessary stress and complication to the experience.
What Will This Cost?
At first, the attorney will not know about any fees you are paying an agency, but they can tell you how their firm bills and in what format, such as a set rate or by the hour. You will need to have an estimated budget for your adoption to ensure you can cover all the expenses, and part of that will be the legal fees.
You will probably work with consultants, social workers and other people over the course of your adoption, but it’s your attorney who will act as your legal guide. Since you are placing a lot of trust in your attorney’s guidance and legal fees, it’s vital that you chose the proper attorney for your adoption type and situation. No one will be able to tell you exactly who to chose, so do your research and ask the right questions to ensure you are making the correct decision.