Archives for January 2018

Types of Adoption in New Jersey

Different Types of Adoption in New Jersey

Choosing to adopt a child is an exciting proposition but is one that is also filled with anxiety and confusion if you do not have an experienced adoption attorney walking you through the different questions you will have about the process. Knowing that you have a lawyer on your side from the beginning of the process can give you a great deal of peace of mind as you move forward.

Your NJ adoption lawyer can counsel you both before you decide to adopt and as you’re going through the process so that you have someone to turn to as issues arise.

There are many different types of adoption and choosing the one that is most appropriate for you should be done after evaluating your individual circumstances. This is why many people choose to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced adoption attorney at the outset before taking any formal action. A lawyer can walk you through some of the common advantages and disadvantages of different types of adoption to figure out what’s right for you.

Independent adoptions

One common type of adoption is a direct arrangement between adoptive parents and birth parents. This may involve a third party such as a clergy member or a doctor. Not every state allows independent adoptions and the ones that do will regulate them strictly, so ensure that you talk over your state’s laws with an experienced adoption attorney before you explore this option. One type of independent adoption is known as open adoption. This type of adoption allows the biological parents to have some form of limited contact even after the adoption is complete.

Agency Adoption

Adoption agencies are private or public and they are licensed to place children with adoptive parents. Public adoption agencies usually work with children who are wards of the state who have been orphaned, abused, or abandoned. Private adoption agencies are run by social service organizations and charities and will typically put children who have been brought to the agency by expecting parents who wish to give their child up for adoption.

Identification Adoption

This type of adoption combines independent and agency adoptions. Typically, adoptive parents will find a mother who wants to put a child up for adoption and then an adoption agency will be engaged to control the remainder of the process. The advantage is that there is no waitlist for adoptive parents. This also give prospective parents more control over the choosing the child they adopt while still benefitting from the professional services and counselling offered by the agency.

International Adoption

Adopting internationally is complicated because you will need to meet the requirements for the laws of the state in which you live and the host country’s laws. You will have to obtain an immigrant visa for the child through USCIS.

Adopting as Stepparents

Stepparents can adopt their spouse or partners child as long as the other parent consents. If one of the parents, however, does not consent or cannot be found, then hiring an experienced adoption attorney is necessary because there is a lot of paperwork and time involved.

Relative Adoptions

Kinship or relative adoptions happen when a child’s relative petitions the court to adopt the child. This is typically uncles, aunts or grandparents, and usually occurs after the incapacitation of both birth parents.

Adult Adoptions

Adult adoptions don’t happen very often but many states do provide for them. There usually must be an age difference between the parent and the adopted adult and the parties must illustrate the reasons why the adoption is in the best interest of the adult. Consulting with an experienced adoption attorney can help you.

Contact Our Offices in Haddonfield, Woodbury or Philadelphia.

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.

What Questions You Should Anticipate Being Asked in The Event of an Adoption Home Study?

Adoption Home Study

The home study is one of the most important components of the adoption process. It is also one that generates a lot of anxiety on the part of the prospective parents, especially if they have never been through a home study before. The home study is simply intended to give the relevant representatives more information about the family intending to adopt.

However, you may be running numerous scenarios through your mind and anticipating the worst possible situation when the adoption care professional or the social worker arrives. You may wonder exactly what the questions are likely to be so that you can prepare in advance and have better peace of mind that you are fully prepared.

Common Question Categories

There are several different question categories that most adoption professionals and social workers will stick to in order to get a better picture of your family background and your home life. These categories may vary significantly based on the type of adoption you have selected. However, these most common categories include the following:


Family Background in Adoption

A large section of the questions in interviews will focus on your personal and family backgrounds for you and your spouse. This may also focus on questions about you individually and your experience growing up, if you are a single person. These questions may include:

• Best childhood memories.
• Worst childhood memories.
• Whether or not you have other children.
• Why you have chosen adoption?
• What are some of your fears surrounding the adoption process?
• How do you feel about discipline?
• Tell us more information about your family growing up.
• What are your hopes for the future?



Another crucial part of the interview process to adopt a child in the state of New Jersey has to do with your community environment and your home. Social workers may identify that a questionable community could lead to an adoption falling through. The questions that are asked typically include information about:

• The school system in your area.
• Whether or not your community is safe.
• Your existing relationship with your neighbors.
• Where your child will attend school after being adopted.
• Whether there are particular resources available to you and the child in the community.
• What outlets like teams, arts and sports are available in your community.



Your emotional as well as your physical health may be evaluated by the social worker or your adoption care professional. Furthermore, medical records may be requested from your doctor regarding the background of any psychiatric or physical illness. Usually, your health does not carry as much weight in the adoption process as the other questions do. However, the social worker is well within their rights to ask these questions including:

• How you are currently keeping health issues under control?
• How chronic health issues impact you day to day life?
• Whether or not you have an action plan available in case of an emergency.
• Whether you can anticipate a chronic health issue developing over the course of the future because of your family history.
• Whether or not your doctor recommends adoption with your current health issues.


Criminal Clearances

In the vast majority of states, you should already be anticipating a criminal record or child abuse record check completed by the adoption agency. You need to be forthcoming about any information tied to a past arrest or whether or not any past behavior and actions may indicate that you could be a safety risk to the child or others.

Planning in advance with the help of an experienced New Jersey adoption attorney can help you feel more confident about the home study and to ensure that you pass with flying colors by answering openly and honestly.


Contact Our Offices in Haddonfield, Woodbury or Philadelphia

To learn more about your rights during the home study component of the adoption process, call us in Haddonfield, NJ at (856) 429-5005 or in Woodbury, NJ at (856) 845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia, PA at (215) 563-2150 or by e-mail. Our offices are open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Weekend and evening appointments may be arranged upon request.