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.
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.