Archives for February 2018

Who Can Put a Child Up for Adoption?

Adoption is a complex intersection of numerous different New Jersey laws that are important to understand whether you are intending to adopt or putting a child up for adoption. In general, the laws allow for any person who has the legal right to do so to place a child for adoption.
This usually includes the legal guardian, a guardian ad litem appointed by court to represent the child’s best interests, or the birth parents. Furthermore, legal entities like the State Department of Social Services or child placement agencies that are regulated by the government also have the opportunity to put a child up for adoption.

If you or a loved one is thinking about putting a child up for adoption, setting aside a time to meet with a qualified NJ attorney is a wise decision that could help you make the right decision.

Since not everyone can put a child up for adoption because they do not have the legal rights, a consultation with a lawyer can help you see what’s involved in protecting your best interests.

How Do Most Adoptions Come About?

The majority of states across the country including New Jersey allow non-agency, also referred to as private placements, of children for adoption. You may also hear this as referenced as independent adoption. One common type of private adoption in most states is the direct placement of one child by the birth parent with an adoptive family.

There are regulations in place in New Jersey and other states that allow for this type of private adoption to protect the best interests of the parties involved and the child.

These laws typically include restricting how prospective adoptive parents can advertise for a birth mother, extending the period of time that a birth parent might have to change their mind about the adoption after it is complete, and limiting the amount of money that prospective adoptive parents can give a birth mother for medical expenses and pre-natal care.

Another type of adoption is known as agency adoption. This falls in two different categories: adoptions from private companies and adoptions for public agencies.

Adoption Intermediaries

An adoption intermediary may sometimes be involved in arranging private placement adoptions.

What you need to know about the inter-state compact on the placement of children

All 50 states in the U.S. in addition to the U.S. Virgin Islands in the District of Columbia are part of what is known as the ICPC or the Inter-State Compact on the Placement of Children.

This is a contract between U.S. states to provide support services and protection for children that are adopted by parent’s living in a different state. An authorized representative must be the one to initiate an ICPC adoption and this representative must be in the state in which the child is currently living. The adoption packet is then sent to the receiving state.

The social services agency in that state will then visit the home, meet all of the relevant individuals involved in the adoption and carry out a home study. The report that is generated after the home study allows the agency in the receiving state to make decisions to deny or approve the adoption.

Contacting an experienced adoption attorney is strongly recommended if you are thinking about putting a child up for adoption or if you are prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt a child in the coming years.


Having an experienced attorney who will help you with all aspects of your case and answer your questions as you go along is extremely important during this exciting time in your life.

Contact Our Offices in Haddonfield, Woodbury or Philadelphia.

To set up an appointment with Attorney Don Cofsky, 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.


New Jersey Adoption Court Procedures

What You Need to Know About New Jersey Adoption Court Procedures

The legal concerns and questions do not end when you adopt a child. Having an experienced New Jersey adoption attorney at your side for the duration of this process can help to minimize your confusion and prepare you for what to expect. Adoptive parents need to file a court petition, which is referred to as a complaint for adoption.

How the Legal Process Follows an Adoption

Once you decide to adopt, there are many legal procedures and specific pieces of paperwork that must be reviewed and filed in a timely fashion. If you fail to do this, you could experience delays and other challenges in your case. Instead, you should work directly with an experienced adoption lawyer in NJ to help you through these phases of your case.


You must initiate the procedure in the county where you live or where the adoption agency that has custody of the child is. When you can move forward with the filing of such a complaint is based on numerous different factors, including whether or not there are issues to resolve like terminating parental rights, or if the child was placed in your home by an agency or independently.


The adoption complaint cannot go before the court until the minor has lived in the new adoptive home for a minimum of 6 months in an independent adoption. The complaint could be filed sooner to resolve issues such as if one of the birth parents wishes to terminate their parental rights.


The court will name a date for the hearing, which usually occurs between10 and 30 days after the receipt of such a complaint. If the complaint is filed early, the court will choose the date for the preliminary hearing. If there two hearings being held, the majority of New Jersey counties will require that the adoptive parents show up at the preliminary hearing, although they may not need to attend the final hearing.


Potential adoptive parents must file a complaint in court within 45 days of the adoptive parents’ receipt of the child. Preliminary hearings go before the court a and occur three months before after the complaint is filed. At this point in time, the birth parents will have their rights terminated. The parents must attend this hearing and testify.


The court will also allow a future date and time for supervisory visits, which you may hear referred to as post-placement visits to be carried out by the approved agency. The judgement of adoption is entered at the conclusion of the final hearing and this is when the adoptive parents officially become the legal parents of the child. This can also change the name of the child on the original birth certificate to one the name given to the child by his or her adoptive parents.

Contact Our Offices in Haddonfield, Woodbury or Philadelphia.

To set up an appointment with Attorney Don Cofsky, 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.