You would think, given all the unwanted children and orphans in the world, that adopting a child would be a relatively quick and painless process. Sadly that's not the case. Abusive foster families, illegal child labor, and just plain old fashioned due diligence have made it necessary for parents looking to adopt a child to go through a thorough, arduous vetting process.
It's frustrating to think about, but in the end it is in the child's best interest. And because the process is so long, detailed and complex, any prospective parents are best served to find an adoption lawyer.
Obviously a good place to begin your search is online. There are firms that have attorneys that specifically work on adoptions; it's their speciality, and an experienced adoption lawyer can be worth his or her weight in gold.
Once you have an adoption lawyer you're happy with, it's time to figure out what you need to discuss. There are myriad different types of adoptions, some more complex than others. For example, friends of mine recently adopted a special needs baby from China. Yes, they're great, great people to take in a child who would otherwise live her entire life in poverty as part of the unwanted, unwashed masses of the world's largest totalitarian state.
But I digress. The process of adopting their child was difficult and long, but the legalities were fairly straight-forward. They had to meet specific criteria, had to prove residence and income, had to provide literally dozens of recommendations from friends, family and work associates. Lots of paper-work, including immigration concerns, immunizations, et cetera.
Adopting a child from its birth-parent, however, is where it gets very, very involved. Courts in the United States have a history of favoring birth-parents who get cold feet over adoptive parents who have actually lovingly raised a child. This is why, if you're adopting from a birth parent, it's imperative that you get an adoption lawyer. No matter how nice or stable the birth parent seems, if they decide three years down the line that they want "their" child back, you're going to be in a legal fight. That's why you need a professional there who can dot all the i's and cross all the t's, so that if the fateful day ever comes, you're prepared and fully ahead of the game.