Even the simplest of adoptions require a person to have the knowledge of the processes and procedures needed to terminate the rights of the parent or parents and then establish the rights of the adoptive parent or parents. Each adoption process has many steps involved. I am often asked whether it is possible to do an adoption without an attorney. I respond that it is. I then tell them that it is also possible for me to run a marathon. Adoptions like marathons require a substantial amount of training to be done to completion and to be done correctly. I will not be running a marathon anytime soon because I am unwilling to put the time in to train to the level necessary to complete the marathon.
A local TV station interviewed me concerning a website that offered forms for step-parent adoptions for $325.00. A woman purchased the forms to facilitate the adoption and was unable to complete the adoption for one reason or another. I stated in the interview that, “Ultimately you’re getting a form, you’re not getting the advice of an attorney and that’s the part people don’t understand.” The advice of an attorney often cost more money than folks are willing to pay. The results of almost all the adoption I have been a part of as an attorney or as a GAL with an attorney representing the adoptive parents has been the approval of the adoption. Which was more costly, the failed adoption or the advice of an attorney? I guess it depends on your perspective.