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When my wife and I adopted our son, we were told that we needed to hire multiple attorneys. One to represent the birth mother. One to represent the child. One to represent the birth father. And one to represent us. When we adopted our daughter we needed even more. One for the child. One for the birth mother. One for us. And one for each of the three possible birth fathers! We were outnumbered! Since no agency was involved, the attorney fees, the home study and the court costs were our only expenses. And when it came time to file our income taxes we claimed the adoption tax credit and were reimbursed the entire amount. Both times. We were fortunate. Adoptions can be, and in most cases are much more expensive.
So when exploring ways of controlling the cost of an adoption, one has to ask if all of these lawyers are really necessary. I am told that there is no legal requirement to seek legal representation. A quick search of the internet will try to convince you that there is but the majority of these websites are owned by attorneys. Of course, the laws differ in each state and so it is incumbent upon those involved to ensure that they are aware of their particular state laws and are in compliance with them.
Now if you wish to go it alone, there are ways to do so. One such way is to utilize the services of a Do-it-yourself adoption service such as RapidAdoption.com. For a reasonable fee, the fine folks at RapidAdoption.com will complete all of the necessary paperwork for the adoption in your state. They will even do it if the child is in a different state than you. They have been doing legal paperwork since 1998 and have prepared 1000’s of legal documents in all 50 states. But their service is only available in the United States and only with domestic adoptions. So if you reside outside of the United States or are adopting from another country, then this is not an option for you.
I’ve actually spoken with Matt, the owner of RapidAdoption.com. In his words they cater to people that are not able to afford lawyers. He also says that they have a money back guarantee and stand by it. In the small chance that a petition is not approved, they will refund the fee paid.
So what types of adoptions do they handle? There are four basic categories; child adoption, step parent adoption, relative adoption and adult adoption. Each are briefly described below.
The act of adopting a person under the age of 18. It allows you to create a formal parent-child relationship with the adoptee.
Step Parent Adoption
A step parent adoption is when a parent adopts the child of their current spouse. Provided both parents agree this is usually a pretty straight forward adoption.
This is when a relative, usually a grandparent or an aunt/uncle is caring for the child. This is usually the easiest adoption process.
A situation where one adult adopts another. This may be done to formalize longstanding relationships or to provide legal benefits and protections such as health insurance or inheritance.
One point that Matt mentioned that I found interesting, and certainly gives the service credibility, is that they have lawyers that use their service as well. The lawyer will sell the service to a client for thousands of dollars and then pay RapidAdoption.com to prepare the paperwork for them. There are some that they work with regularly and have an agreement with and some that just purchase the service from their website and give the paperwork to their clients as if they had done it.
They also offer a Free Adoption Booklet. It covers much need to know information on the court process.
- What to expect at court.
- The easiest method for completing and filing your adoption forms for your specific State.
- And how to save BIG money on your adoption.
It is important to mention that they are not attorneys and do NOT offer specific legal advice. They simply prepare the necessary documents so that you may act on your own behalf.
How Does The Service Work?
- Once you complete the ordering process, you will complete the “Portable Adoption Questionnaire” and submit it.
- You will then receive the completed forms by email for your review. This will take approximately 2-3 business days.
- Then you simply sign them and take them to your local County Courthouse.
- You “serve” all parties involved in the adoption. Instructions are provided.
- You contact your State Adoption Case Worker and do the Adoption Home Study.
- The Court will notify you when you are to attend your final hearing. You will then read your final statement, provided by RapidAdoptions.com.
Here are the answers to a few common questions that you may have.
- Missing Biological Father Adoption – With a missing biological father adoption, the birth mother doesn’t know where the father is and sometimes doesn’t know who the father is. Therefore, all rights to the child will be solely hers. RapidAdoption.com can handle these cases as well.
- How Long is The Adoption Process? – This depends on the State in which the adoption takes place but for the most part between 4 to 6 months.
- What Will Happen At The Hearing? – The parties involved in the adoption formally request that the parental rights of the biological parent be terminated allowing the adoption to be granted. The judge may ask some simple questions and then makes a decision to either grant or deny the adoption.
- Why is RapidAdoption.com so inexpensive compared to lawyers? – When you go to a lawyer, they represent you in court. When you use RapidAdoption.com’s service, you represent yourself. When a lawyer does your adoption case, you would meet with him or his paralegal and fill out an Adoption Questionnaire. That information is given to a paralegal to type up your adoption forms. Then the lawyer would go to court with you and reads off a pre-prepared statement. When you use RapidAdoption.com’s service, you also fill in an Adoption Questionnaire. It is given to paralegals to complete the information on the adoption forms exactly as it appears on the Adoption Questionnaire. Then you simply go to court for 10-12 minutes and read off the same pre-prepared stament. You represent yourself and you don’t have to pay $1500 or more for a lawyer to go to court for 10-12 minutes for you.
For more information, or to use their services, go to RapidAdoption.com.
It is important to note that the information on this page, or on any page at RapidAdoption.com is provided under the agreement that you understand that neither they nor I are a law firm. Therefore, we do not give legal advice. The information shared is common knowledge in the adoption industry. If you need legal advice, consult an authorized legal professional.