Our very own, James Fletcher Thompson, recently participated in the Creating a Family Radio Show as an expert commentator. This nationally recognized, weekly podcast is dedicated to discussing adoption and infertility. Jim was also featured in the Adoption 101 podcast, which can be found on our blog. This particular podcast covered a topic that we are incredibly passionate about– Using an Adoption Consultant, Facilitator, or Attorney.
Unfortunately, there tends to be a lot of confusion surrounding this topic. Why? Many times, the confusion stems from a difference of laws between states. For example, some states have a very strong adoption agency model, others do not. In South Carolina, infant adoptions are evenly divided between lawyer-based placements and agency-based placements.
To set the stage, it’s important to recognize that in private adoptions, there are far more families who want to adopt than there are children who are available for adoption. In South Carolina, there are approximately two hundred infants placed for adoption annually. This number is small compared to the millions of parents looking to adopt in the United States.
Sadly, many companies see this as a marketing opportunity, and are willing and ready to take advantage of the disparity. This type of unethical behavior takes place every day, making it even more important to stay educated during the adoption process. We put together a few red flags to look out for in a recent blog post.
Be sure to listen to the full podcast, but here is a key takeaway:
“When a lawyer is an adoption lawyer, they are a lawyer first…and then they are an adoption lawyer. By that I mean that there are canons of professional conduct. There are duties that are required by law that a lawyer has and must give to that client. By so doing, when a lawyer is working with an expectant, he has to be clear whether he’s representing that parent or representing the adoptive parent. It’s very important for any person who might be unrepresented to make sure that they have access to appropriate counsel throughout the process so that the lines of representation don’t get blurred. That’s a key component of any duty of professional conduct or fiduciary duty that lawyer has, is to make sure that all the parties are represented and empowered and affirmed, especially expectant mothers who are going through this ever so important decision…to be empowered and affirmed to make the best decision for themselves and for that child.” – James Fletcher Thompson
If you’re looking for a qualified and trustworthy adoption attorney in your state, visit www.adoptionattorneys.org. Here, you can search for an attorney by state to help your adoption run smoothly. To be a member of the American Academy, it is required to have completed at least 50 adoptions. Prospective adoptive families can also rest easy, knowing that they will not run into any ethical issues.
Looking for an adoption lawyer in South Carolina? We would love to help in any way we can. Call us today! (843) 573-5533