THE PRE-ADOPTION CONFERENCE

September 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

In the 12th District, we have long had a practice of requiring the attorney to appear personally to confer with the judge in a pre-adoption conference without the adoptive parent(s) in uncontested adoptions.

Some out-of-district lawyers question why we deem this necessary.

Imagine getting your client and spouse to take a day off of work, perhaps take the other children out of school, to travel to the courthouse for the long-anticipated day.  Spirits are high and festive.  A new member of the family is about to be welcomed in.  Or maybe not.

The judge calls you into chambers and points out that you have failed to obtain a statement from a physician, as required by the statute.  Or your pleading is inadequate under the new jurisdiction statute.

So your clients’ happy day turns to ashes and you are embarassed.

With a pre-adoption conference, you get the chance to learn what you need to do to get your case in shape so that your clients’ happy occasion can truly be happy.  When you file for an adoption that you know will be uncontested, call the court administrator and set up an appointment for a pre-adoption conference as soon as possible.  When the judge gives you the green light, you can set it for final presentation to the court. 

If you’re filing for adoption in another district, it would not hurt to ask the Chancellor for an appointment to look over your filing in advance of presenting it with your clients present.

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