Finding a Lawyer: Part 1

We are in the process of finding a lawyer to handle our donor agreement and second parent adoption. I had never had to deal with lawyers before, so I didn’t understand lawyer jokes. Now I do… I can’t even get a fee breakdown without paying a $200 consultation fee! How am I supposed to “shop around” for a lawyer with the best quote if I can’t even get a quote before choosing the lawyer? It’s messed up…

We did get one estimate from a lawyer based out of Toronto. She seems extremely knowledgeable on fertility/reproductive law, and she also seems like a nice, approachable person. However, her fees seem exorbitant:

Known sperm donor agreement: $1400 +HST or $350 an hour
Donor’s lawyer (required): $550 +HST and up (depending on lawyer)
Second parent adoption: ~$3000 +HST
Declaration of parentage (instead of adoption): $3500 +HST and disbursements, but does not require donor to use a lawyer

So that’s about $6000…  We could buy sperm from an anonymous donor and have multiple in-clinic IUIs for that cost, in which scenario we could put my wife’s name on the birth certificate with no hassle. But we are really set on using a known donor. The really frustrating part is that these costs are only required because of out-dated legislation.

I have just started reaching out to local groups like the LGBTQ parenting network and the 519 Church street community, but I would also love to hear some advice from from other bloggers who have dealt with this system.

For anyone who wants more info on these processes, these are pretty good reference sheets (relevant in Ontario).

3 thoughts on “Finding a Lawyer: Part 1

  1. Ugh, I was having that conversation with my wife recently about how exorbitant it is to go with a known donor. But I would much rather the known than the unknown, and it’ll be exorbitant either way.
    The fee for our lawyer to draw up a known donor contract was $800 here in the states, which included the initial consultation and her time in general. While I don’t know the exchange rate between US$ and Canada$, including regional differences in general, that’s still a big difference. It might be a good idea to keep asking around about fees, then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your own lawyer quote to give me a comparison! Liberate the legal information!! After posting this yesterday I stumbled upon some information about DIY-ing your second parent adoption… I am going to research the hell out of this option because of my new-found mistrust of lawyers. Will report back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s frustrating! Here in NY, it’s basically a solid fee of 2500, and there isn’t even a home assessment or psyche eval or anything, if you are married. That’s terrible friend! I hope that it all sorts itself out, and that you find a lawyer that will do the right thing!

    Liked by 1 person

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