Our law firm devotes all of its resources to helping birth parents and adoptive families. The process can be intimidating but does not need to be. I strongly believe that by educating adopting and birth families, the anxiety level is reduced significantly. What seems to be an impersonal experience evolves into a very personal experience.
Birth Parents initially provide a social and medical history which provides some information about themselves. Birth Parents are immediately entitled to receive supported counseling from a counselor, social worker, physician, clergy, or attorney. We have a strong belief in emotional support being provided immediately to a birth parent. We assist in coordinating prenatal care with health care providers if this has not already been established. Birth Mothers are also entitled to reasonable living expenses which the birth mother is unable to pay due to employment, underemployment, or disability. Reasonable living expenses are rent, utilities, basic telephone services, food, toiletries, necessary clothing, transportation, insurance, and expenses found by the court to be necessary for the health and well-being of the birth mother and the unborn child. Such expenses may be paid during the pregnancy and for a period of up to 6 weeks post-partum.
Birth Parents choose the adoptive family for their child. Birth Parents are presented with the adoptive parent profile. The choosing of an adoptive family is a big step and we will be there to assist in providing additional information to the birth parents to assist in making their decision. This matching phase considers the needs of both parties. These needs include many different factors. Some of these different factors include but are not limited to; the type of adoption (open, semi-open, closed); amount of financial assistance a birth mother requires; religion; or even race.
Once a Birth Mother chooses the adoptive family, she may choose to meet them depending on the type of adoption she prefers. Sometimes, Birth Mothers desire to have adoptive parents involved pre- birth and attend prenatal appointments, while others choose to maintain their privacy. There is no right way or wrong way to proceed in an adoption. It is simply what is most comfortable for all parties involved. The most important factor is that the Birth Mother get to know the adoptive family and know that she is making the right decision for her and her child.
At some point, prior to the child’s birth, both the adoptive family and birth mother will enter into an adoption plan which acts as a roadmap on several issues. Both families will formulate a plan as to events surrounding the birth of the child and post-birth communications if any. This is characterized as the type of adoption (open, semi-open, or closed). We will help you facilitate this relationship whether through Adopt Swap or through another mechanism. Post birth Adoption Communication Agreements are very important to all parties and are made with the intent of serving the child’s best interest to know that his/her adoption was a positive and loving experience for all parties.
A Birth Mother may not execute a consent for adoption until 48 hours after the birth of her child or the day she is notified in writing that she is fit to be discharged from the Hospital or birthing center. Any possible biological father may execute documents in favor of the adoption prebirth.The legal aspect of adoption is a two-step process. Birth parents’ rights are terminated in the first legal proceeding and the second legal proceeding is the finalization of the adoption. Birth parents have the right to waive appearance in court. This would mean that they do not need to appear in court. Should it be a contested adoption, then a court appearance may be required.
I remember feeling helpless. I didn’t know how to get Medicaid; I didn’t know how to find the right family; I didn’t even know how the adoption process worked….I was intimidated by the situation and couldn’t accept the fact that this pregnancy was a blessing and not just a “situation”. So THANK YOU for not giving up on me and for having so much patience with me. Thank you for showing me the beauty of choosing adoption.
Elizabeth is a compassionate and thoughtful human being. My husband and I were excited, yet had some anxieties about adoption. We didn’t know what to expect. We met Elizabeth who walked us through and always made sure we knew we were an important part of the whole adoption process. She answered every question and stood with us until our adoption was final. In the world of confusion and anxiety, she brought calm. Thank you Elizabeth. Now our family is complete!
Stephanie is doing this for the right reason. It's like this is her ministry.
We highly recommend and love Elizabeth Berkowitz, our adoption attorney! She has been our adoption attorney for both our 2 boys and we had incredible experiences with her. She is highly professional, extremely genuine in her care, and works hard on both the behalf of the birth family as well as the adoptive parents. She treats us with high respect and becomes a part of oura adoption family by the end of the process. It is hard to find adoption attorneys/agencies with as high of caliber as her! You are not just a number, but a family to be taken care of through the process. She has made our adoption process that much easier for us in the midst of all the ups and downs of adoption.
Thank you for helping me and journey with all the legal necessities. Thank you for not only being my amazing lawyer, but also a friend. And most of all, thank you for helping us find the perfect family for our baby! I thank God for guiding us to you and for working everything out perfectly. We could NOT have done it without you! Thank you!
How can I ever thank you for my child? You have given us a gift that feels miraculous. You truly do God’s work in the faxes, focus, phone calls and fedexes you deal with. I hope there is a special place in heaven for people like you. You make the world -and my world in particular- a wonderful, hopeful place.
You’ve given us a gift that just keeps giving! Our baby is almost 1 year old now! He is the best thing to ever happen to us and is filling our lives with joy! Thank you!
Thank you with all my heart! I am so grateful for all your time and energy spent on our case. You have given me the most incredible gift. You are forever in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you!
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The Law Offices of Berkowitz & White recognize the overwhelming emotions involved in adoption. We provide individual and affordable legal services to adoptive parents, adoption agencies, and birth parents.