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Is this Malpractice?

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MacalisterBali

New member
California


My partner and I wanted to adopt a baby from a friend in precarious situation. We went through AXXX, and later met with the attorney to discuss the process and get the ball rolling. The lawyer told us it would be best to start off as legal guardians and adopt a year later.



So we did all the paper work , signed a contract and the lawyer told us as soon as the birth mother gives birth give her a call she will bring the paper work and file it immediately. This did not happen.



The day of the birth we called the lawyer constantly and she wouldn’t pick up and was no where to be found, we called the office building and no luck and even went there. We called AXXX explained the situation and they couldn’t get in touch with her either. So they tried to find us another lawyer.



Unfortunately during this time the social worker talked to the birth mother and indicated that it was obvious we didn’t have an attorney and her best option was to give the baby to child protective services. And thats what she did.



We are obviously heart broken and didn’t hear back from the original attorney till 4 days later. The new appointed attorney tried to contact the birth mother but she refused to talk to him because the CPS advocate told her not to.



Needless to say we lost the baby due to the negligence of the original lawyer and would like to take action.
 


quincy

Senior Member
California


My partner and I wanted to adopt a baby from a friend in precarious situation. We went through A., and later met with the attorney to discuss the process and get the ball rolling. The lawyer told us it would be best to start off as legal guardians and adopt a year later.



So we did all the paper work , signed a contract and the lawyer told us as soon as the birth mother gives birth give her a call she will bring the paper work and file it immediately. This did not happen.



The day of the birth we called the lawyer constantly and she wouldn’t pick up and was no where to be found, we called the office building and no luck and even went there. We called A. explained the situation and they couldn’t get in touch with her either. So they tried to find us another lawyer.



Unfortunately during this time the social worker talked to the birth mother and indicated that it was obvious we didn’t have an attorney and her best option was to give the baby to child protective services. And thats what she did.



We are obviously heart broken and didn’t hear back from the original attorney till 4 days later. The new appointed attorney tried to contact the birth mother but she refused to talk to him because the CPS advocate told her not to.



Needless to say we lost the baby due to the negligence of the original lawyer and would like to take action.
It is generally best to speak to your attorney first to get an explanation of what happened but, if you are unable to schedule an appointment with the attorney, you can file a complaint against the attorney with the State Bar and they will investigate her conduct.

Whether there was malpractice or not requires knowing more facts. The attorney's lack of communication with you (both before and after the birth), and the attorney's failure to file necessary paperwork, certainly seems to indicate the attorney did not perform the services for you that she was hired to perform.

You can wait for the State to complete their investigation and/or you can consult with a malpractice attorney in your area for a personal review.

It is possible that the attorney had a medical emergency. It is also possible that the mother decided against adoption. There are several other possibilities including the possibility that you can still adopt the baby.

I can understand how upset you must be. Good luck.
 
Last edited:

quincy

Senior Member
In order to be successful with an attorney malpractice suit, you must prove that you would have obtained a better result if the attorney had acted differently.

Malpractice suits are "but for" legal actions. But for the negligent acts or omissions of your attorney, the adoption would have gone through as you had hoped.

There are facts you present that make it appear the legal guardianship/adoption was never a "sure thing" although you also present facts that make it appear the attorney failed to act as a reasonably careful and competent attorney would have acted, at least in her communications with you.

It is not known if the change in adoption plans were because of the mother's change of mind or because of other factors out of your attorney's control (did the baby's father agree to giving up his rights?). Clarification from your attorney, or a personal review by a different attorney/State Bar, seems necessary.
 
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