As I was in the process of adopting my son, I had to hire a private investigator through my attorney to find his birth father. The private investigator was successful after only a few hours of searching. Though the PI was successful, it got me to thinking.
Wouldn’t it be much more convenient, standardized, and even cost effective for attorneys to adopt their own streamlined process for birth father searches?
Since I became a private investigator after my son’s adoption, or rather, because of his adoption, one of the services I offer to attorneys is diligent adoption searches for birth fathers.
I have created an affidavit for diligent adoption searches. In it, I outline each of the steps I take as an investigator to locate a birth father. From searching for a last known address to checking activity on social networking sites to inquiring at local law enforcement agencies, the purpose of the affidavit is to provide legal proof that necessary steps were taken to find the birth father.
In cases where the birth father isn’t successfully located, the attorney has a signed affidavit from a licensed private investigator that lays out each step that was taken to find him and the results of those efforts.
In cases where the birth father is located, an affidavit isn’t necessary, but the steps are still there to show proof of exactly how the search was carried out and what led to his location.
Due to differing state adoption laws and specific needs of individual attorneys, I modify the formal affidavit I use from attorney to attorney.
If you are an attorney who accepts adoption cases, I urge you to either find a private investigator who uses an approved streamlined process for birth father searches or create your own process. Here’s why:
- The investigative portion of every adoption case you handle will follow the same rules. Consistency provides security.
- Adopting a standardized practice for birth father searches will eliminate a disruption in services when you use different investigators, paralegals, or other office staff.
- Using the same steps every time will drastically reduce fluctuations in costs for your clients.
- It is easy and commonplace to waste time or repeat investigative steps when there is no process in place.
- Creating a process that uses an affidavit when needed provides legal proof of a search.
- Standardized steps provide proof of what search methods were used and how they were carried out.
- This process eliminates questions. When a birth father is unable to be located, the attorney doesn’t have to wonder if it is due to poor investigative techniques, lack of investigator knowledge, or some other unknown.
- This standardized process acts as a map directly into the heart of the investigation, thereby giving attorneys a front row seat to each of the investigative techniques.
- Creating a process now saves time later.
- This is a free and easy way for you to further impress your clients with your organization, pre-planning, and attention to detail.
If you’re interested in contacting me directly about the process I use with other attorneys, I welcome any and all inquiries. Simply email me here and I’ll get back to you ASAP.