In Michigan, a couple who is looking for a baby for adoption, put up a billboard advertising their attempt to adopt. Rather than waiting to locate a baby through an agency, they decided to become proactive to find a prospective birth mother on their own.
Although the couple was also networking by asking family, friends and relatives to help, they decided to expand their efforts and target a much larger audience by buying a billboard ad and putting it up on Interstate 75 in Grand Blanc, Michigan. The billboard message was simple. It read “LOVING COUPLE LOOKING TO ADOPT” and listed the couple’s names and phone number. The couple stated that since posting the billboard they have received numerous calls.
Under Ohio law, such advertising is considered illegal. Although many of us lawyers consider the Ohio law that prohibits advertising to be a violation of first amendment rights, to my knowledge this has yet to be challenged.
Ohio law does recognize networking efforts to locate a child. Some couples even decide to advertise out of state. Aggressive networking does work in locating prospective birth mothers interested in placing their baby for adoption.
When choosing an attorney to assist with an adoption matter, prospective clients should do so carefully. Not every attorney is experienced in the adoption area. Just because an attorney has done a step-parent adoption does not mean he is familiar with the intricacies of a private/independent adoption.