2. Have realistic expectations about the role of an attorney. The attorney should provide competent legal services, but should not be relied on to perform "hand holding" through the adoption process. Other professionals and support groups can fulfill this need.
3. Ask the following questions:
# What is the average cost of the adoptions you've handled?
# Do you charge a flat fee or bill by the hour?
# If a flat fee, what does that fee include? Home study? Matching with a birth mother? All legal fees? Counseling services? Advertising?
# Are expenses, such as preparation of letters and documents, photocopying, telephone calls, and postage, charged separately?
# Is a retainer fee required up front, and if so, how much is it?
# If the birth mother changes her mind, what happens to the retainer fee?
4. Come to all meetings well-prepared, with papers organized and questions thought out in advance, since attorneys generally charge by the hour.
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.