Dual Representation
in Adoption

The laws about dual representation in adoption varies between states.

The majority of states are silent on whether an attorney can represent both the expectant mother and the adoptive parents in an adoption. 


Twenty states prohibit dual representation.


Three states allow dual representation.
These laws should be amended.
These laws should be amended.


Twenty-seven states (plus D.C.) have no laws about dual representation
No laws = No protection. New laws are needed in these states.
No laws = No protection. New laws are needed in these states.

Dual representation of a birth parent and adoptive parents should be prohibited in all states.

Adoption is a complex legal process for everyone involved. While collaborative in nature, adoption also presents several inherent and potential conflicts between the adoptive and birth parents. Lawyers assisting with adoption are responsible for making sure their client's rights are protected and that they are fully informed about their legal rights and obligations on all aspects of the adoption, including post-adoption rights and limitations, post-adoption communication, and the birth parent's right to change their mind. Since the legal rights of adoptive and birth parents can quickly come into conflict on these and other issues, it is unethical for an attorney to represent both the birth and adoptive parents in an adoption.  






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It is not ethical for an attorney to represent both the birth parents and adoptive parents in an adoption case due to the inherent conflicts between the parties that cannot be resolved.


Use our interactive maps to find out which states prohibit dual representation and which states need new laws.  Join the AdoptChange Task Force in your state to support pending legislation,
enforce existing laws, and create new ones where necessary.

Dual Rep Laws Image (9.29.23)
Dual Representation Laws
Alabama Alabama
Alaska Alaska
Arizona Arizona
Arkansas Arkansas
California California
Colorado Colorado
Connecticut Connecticut
Delaware Delaware
Florida Florida
Georgia Georgia
Hawaii Hawaii
Idaho Idaho
Illinois Illinois
Indiana Indiana
Iowa Iowa
Kansas Kansas
Kentucky Kentucky
Louisiana Louisiana
Maine Maine
Maryland Maryland
Massachusetts Massachusetts
Michigan Michigan
Minnesota Minnesota
Mississippi Mississippi
Missouri Missouri
Montana Montana
Nebraska Nebraska
Nevada Nevada
New Hampshire New Hampshire
New Jersey New Jersey
New Mexico New Mexico
New York New York
North Carolina North Carolina
North Dakota North Dakota
Ohio Ohio
Oklahoma Oklahoma
Oregon Oregon
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
Rhode Island Rhode Island
South Carolina South Carolina
South Dakota South Dakota
Tennessee Tennessee
Texas Texas
Utah Utah
Vermont Vermont
Virginia Virginia
Washington Washington
West Virginia West Virginia
Wisconsin Wisconsin
Wyoming Wyoming
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