If you live in New Jersey and you are interested in starting or building a family through the adoption process, you have a number of options available to you. Here are some of the alternatives to consider:
- An agency adoption or a private adoption — There is no requirement that you use an adoption agency to find a child, to complete a home study or to handle any other aspects of an adoption. An agency will often simplify the process of matching you with biological parents or with an adoptee, but there are many other ways of finding a child, including advertising in magazines or publications that birth mothers might read. You can start a page on Facebook or simply engage in extensive networking, telling everyone you know. Once you’ve located a child, you’ll probably want to retain an adoption attorney to ensure that all legal matters are properly handled.
- Domestic vs. international adoption — With a domestic adoption, your child will come from somewhere within the United States. The adoption laws vary from state to state, but there most states have a reciprocity rule. You may be required to reside in another state for some period of time in order to finalize the adoption proceeding there. Many New Jersey adoption agencies either offer international adoption services or work with other agencies that do. You can expect to travel to the country of the child’s birth, but you may also find the process more structured.
- Open vs. closed adoption — The key question here is “how much or how little access do you want the birth parents to have to the child after the adoption is final.” With an open adoption, the birth parent will typically have knowledge of who you are and where you live. With a closed adoption, all records are sealed and cannot be seen, absent a court order.
Contact Our Office
To set up an appointment, call us in Haddonfield at 856-429-5005 or in Woodbury at 856-845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia at 215-563-2150 or by e-mail. For clients with personal injury or workers’ compensation claims, we offer a free initial consultation, and will represent you on a contingency basis, only charging attorney fees if we recover compensation for you.
Our offices are open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Weekend and evening appointments may be arranged upon request. We will also come to your home or the hospital, if necessary.