I know that some prospective adoptive parents choose not to retain our services because our fees are higher than most other adoption professionals. I have said in jest (somewhat) that if you think it is expensive to hire an expert try hiring an amateur!
Then a situation like the one that happened today arises. Great expectant mother from a neighboring state who was planning on coming to Indiana to deliver learns that her doctor is going to induce her in her HOME state. Usually, complying with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children is easy, and we do it all the time — often on a weekly basis. However, in this situation, there was also a Federal statute which came into play, which made it impossible to comply with both the ICPC and the Federal Statute and would have jeopardized the expectant mother’s and prospective adoptive parents’ adoption plans.
Fortunately, because of my 30 years of experience, I remembered an option which the late Judge Mills (a great man who was instrumental in my getting into adoption law) of Marion County Probate Court outlined for me nearly 30 years ago. That option is still the law in Indiana. We have formulated a strategy that satisfies the requirements of both the ICPC and the Federal Statute. Most attorneys who claim to handle adoptions would not have even recognized the myriad of legal issues presented much less been able to formulate a plan to comply with the law.
Failure to comply with the law would have put the adoption at risk, possibly FOREVER. Another favorite expression of mine told to me by my dear friend, Aaron Cohen, is “He didn’t know enough to know what he didn’t know.” You often get what you pay for. When the stakes are not too high, going with the lesser expensive alternative is okay. Adopting a child does not fall into that category.