Independent, Domestic adoptions and international adoptions with care, compassion and choice by Steven G. Dubin, Esquire 1-215-322-4100
Toward Successful Adoption Our Philosophy and Practice of Infant Adoption.
The main concerns of our office are:
What does all of this translate into for YOU, the adoptive couple?
First and formost, be assured that healthy children are our first priority. HIV testing, drug testing, sonograms, nutrition care, and all of the other components of high-quality pre-natal, birth, pediatric, and post-natal care are number one for us.
We have nothing to gain by "hiding" information. All medical histories and pre-natal progress available to us, along with birth parent expectations regarding finances, or any other communication or desire will always be made fully available to you.
One of the reasons that private adoptions, versus agency adoptions, are so successful is that birth parents are no longer content to merely '"hand over" their child to an agency. They cannot allow an agency to pick "a good family FOR them." They can't be nameless, faceless incubators.
They need to know that the family in which their child will be placed, parented and loved, is "right for them." They need to be assured, as much as possible that what they are doing is the "right thing" to do and truly in "the best interest of the child."
It is impossible for a birth parent to ever "forget" a child whom they gave life and birth to; it is possible, however, for them to continue their lives KNOWING that their child is loved and cherished.
This brings us to the issue of adoptive couple anonymity. For some of our couples, this issue is overwhelming and paramount. They cannot even IMAGINE any communication whatsoever between themselves and the birth parents. Then, we have some couples who are EAGER to meet and speak with their child's birth parents. Of course, most couples fall somewhere in between. The important thing to remember here is that this is an issue of CHOlCE. If you desire complete and total anonymity, we will, of course, honor your wishes. If you desire full and complete disclosure, we will honor your wishes too.
You need to know, however, that there is a great deal of "room" in-between the two poles. You can meet, speak with and get to know your child's WITHOUT disclosing your residence, full identification or place of business. You can continue your relationship with the birth parents AFTER the child is placed with you, or you can SEVER your relationship completely after placement.
Over 90% of our placements are American-born infants, mostly Caucasian, some mixed race Hispanic or Asian American. The rest of our placements are foreign-born older children from toddler through pre-teen. Many of our older child placements are sibling (brother-sister) groups.
We do our best to structure our adoptions in ways that work best for the adoptive family. In order to do that, we require that you ask yourself some hard questions:
Don't let fear and lack of information limit or inhibit you. We can help.
Birth parents are asked very clearly, from the outset, why they are considering adoption. We want to know why they feel tbey cannot parent their child. They are also asked if there is anyone in their family, on either side, who might wish to parent the child.
Every birth parent leaves this office, or the office of any other counsel we designate, fully and completely aware that their parental rights will be totally and irrevocably terminated at the proper time. This information is repeated many times. It is our hope to make birth parents fully consider their options and the impact of what this decision will be upon the rest of their lives. To that end, when we are representing adoptive couple, we hire private counsel for the birth couple. Birth parents have legal rights that should and need to be protected.
No party, birth couple, adoptive couple, and certainly not this office, wants anyone to come forward in later years with a valid claim that their legal rights were not fully protected or explained to them.
Parental rights and adoption laws vary widely from state to state within the United States and throughout the world. We facilitate adoptions in one of three juristictions:
In most cases, in the best interest of all parties, we terminate parental rights and administer the adoption according to the jurisdiction of the residence of the birth parent. Again, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
Keep in mind that the adoption is most likely being administered and parental rights terminated according to the RESIDENCE OF THE BIRTH PARENTS.
Some states within the United States permit adoptive couples to pay medical and legal expenses ONLY. Some states allow for medical, legal and living expenses for the birth couple. This may or may not include expenses for children already living with the birth parents.
You can see that making a full and final fee prediction (our office practice is to give an "educated range") is completely dependent upon your particular situation. We want to explain all of the options open to you. And that is why we need you to be completely honest and open with us regarding the finances you are willing to commit to any particular adoption situation. Within the limits and guidelines of the laws we will abide by your discretion where finances are concerned. AT ANY TIME YOU ARE FREE TO SAY NO TO ANY SITUATION THAT IS NOT RIGHT FOR YOU
Some states allow us to irrevocably terminate parental rights three (3) to five (5) days after birth. Some states require a court hearing for final termination. That means that birth parental rights are not terminated until that hearing date. Birth parents have the right to change their minds AT ANY TIME during that period. This could take as long as six months.And, there's a great deal of variation in-between.
AGAIN, all options should and need to be, fully explained and offered to YOU, the adoptive couple. And that is what we very much would like to do.
No one can guarantee you a child. We can, however, guarantee that we will not stop assisting you in creating your family.
Very often, this offie has older children (toddler through pre-teen) available for adoption from overseas. Many of them are part of sibling groups (brother-sister). For obvious reasons everyone wants very much to be able to keep these siblings together. These children become available for adoption due to.parental illness, neglect, abuse, death, and a variety of other reasons. We are generally able to provide a medical history for these children. However, sometimes it is very sketchy because of the children's past social background. Whatever information we have, of course, is made available to you.
We will work with you through all of the stages of the home study, immigration, clearances, etc., until your child is home safely with you. Generally speaking, we are able to bring the children into your home in a relatively short period of time (two to three months).
Fees, documents, waiting periods, each vary from country to country and child to child. If you are interested in older-child adoptions, please call us, so that we can give you the information that you need to make a fully-informed decision.
We feel that it is important that you are comfortable not only with the FACTS of your adoption, but the method and the people whom you have chosen to work with you.
And finally because adoption is such a personal issue, and so important, we feel that a small introduction is in order.
Steven G. Dubin is a graduate of Villanova University and the Widener College of Delaware Law School. He has been practicing law since 1979. He and his wife, Marci Dubin, have been married over ten years. Marci Dubin is the real "people person" in our office! and she may very well be the first person with whom you speak upon calling us.
Steven and Marci are the VERY PROUD parents of two adoptive sons. Adoption is a way of life and love for our office -- it's not just a way of earning a living.
Gloria Raver is our legal assistant. She is a transplant to our state from Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and two children. Although Gloria's transfer to Pennsylvania was motivated by her husband's relocation, Gloria has always felt that something more than just "business" was at work to cause their move. Gloria has been with us since 1987. She and her husband are now positive that Gloria was destined to work here, with us, facilitating adoptions and helping to make families.
To all of you, congratulations on having made the very difficult decision to consider adoption. Whether or not you choose us to help you, we wish you all the best of luck in achieving your dreams of building your family!
Member: American Academy of Adoption Attorneys
For more information,
Call us at 1-215-322-4100 or
toll free at 1-800-745-1210