Archives for July 2018

Here’s What You Need to Know About Adoption Lawyers

How a New Jersey Adoption Attorney Can Help You

Adopting a child in New Jersey is an involved process that involves training and going through a home study. If you’ve been considering adoption for your family, chances are you have a lot of questions. If this is your first experience with adopting a child in New Jersey, consulting with an adoption lawyer is a good way to see that you get the assistance you need throughout the process.

The Adoption Process

Prospective parents have several options when it comes to adoption. Some parents choose to utilize an adoption agency while others prefer to work directly with the birth mother to facilitate the process. In the state of New Jersey, finding an adoption attorney is quite important.

If you aren’t familiar with the adoption process, our New Jersey adoption lawyer can guide you through the journey. Our lawyer will be able to assist you as you complete your adoption paperwork in order to prepare for your new family member. Your attorney will also be able to answer critical questions that may arise about each stage of adopting a child. This can offer you peace of mind.

If your family has previously been involved with an adoption, an attorney is still a great asset to have on your side. Your attorney will be able to offer you personalized assistance and support as you complete paperwork and approach your child’s adoption day.

Preparing for Adoption

One of the most important aspects of preparing for an adoption is completing your home study. This lets your adoption coordinator or social worker develop an understanding of how your family functions and what your home environment is like. This portion of the adoption process will help determine if your family will be a solid choice for adopting a child. Your attorney can offer you guidance throughout this process. Although the steps for completing a study are clear, keep in mind that sometimes it’s nice to have someone leading you along the way.

Make sure that you and any family members who live with you prepare emotionally for the adoption process. Adopting a child is a journey that can take months or even years, so read books, talk openly with one another, and join a support group if possible to get the emotional companionship you need during this time.

How Your Attorney Can Help

Your family lawyer in New Jersey wants to help you succeed. That’s why your attorney will work with you every step of the way. From the moment you decide to adopt until you’re holding your child in your arms, understand that your lawyer will be rooting for your success.

Attorneys offer a variety of legal services related to adoption. If you’re adopting a child directly from a birth mother, you may wonder about the legal process and the paperwork. It’s important that you understand both your rights and obligations as well as the biological parents’ rights and obligations. Your lawyer can help explain all of this to you as you proceed. Even if you choose to adopt using an agency, your attorney can help ensure you find an office that is legitimate and reliable. Your lawyer will also be able to review contracts and documents and explain any legal jargon you might not be familiar with so that you understand everything.

If you’ve been searching for a way to make adoption a reality, it’s time to meet with the right lawyer. Don’t wait to get the assistance you need on this journey. Adding a beloved child to your family can be an incredible experience, and our office would love to be a part of that. If you’re in Haddonfield or Woodbury, call Cofsky & Zeidman at (856) 429-5005 to speak with our New Jersey adoption lawyer. We’d love to talk with you about your options for bringing your new baby home.

New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act Signed into Law

New Jersey Joins Other States In Regulating Gestational Carrier Arrangements for Family Formation

On May 30, 2018 Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey signed into law the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act. This new law will protect all parties involved in a gestational carrier arrangement, including the gestational carrier, the intended parents, and most importantly, any child resulting from such an arrangement. These agreements will now be enforceable and all parties will know each one’s obligations. The Act mirrors the N.J. Adoption Statute in that it permits payment of expenses related to the arrangement including reasonable living expenses as allowed under the Adoption Statute. It does not provide for separate compensation.


There are a number of mandatory requirements in order to avail oneself of the protections of the Act. The major ones include the requirement that a gestational carrier must be at least 21 years old, have had at least one child, and that the parties must receive counseling as to the effect of being involved in such an arrangement. All parties must be represented by separate attorneys.


If all requirements have been fulfilled, the intended parents can apply to the court for a pre-birth order naming them as the legal parents of any child resulting from the arrangement. It is extremely important since once the order is issued the intended parents will be responsible for that child regardless of any change in their relationship and regardless of any issues which may arise involving the child. This certainly is in everyone’s best interest. The other aspect of the Act cures an issue that was the basis of the case which I argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court almost six years ago. In that case a pre-birth order under the current case law had been requested for a husband and wife where the sperm of the husband was used to create an embryo with an egg from an anonymous donor. The embryo was transferred to a gestational carrier with the understanding of all parties that the wife would go on the birth certificate as the child’s mother. A split decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court resulted in the requirement that both of the intended parents must be genetically related to the child in order to have any type of pre-birth order issued. That meant that the intended mother would be required to file for a stepparent adoption.


It was as a result of this unfair treatment of infertile women that the legislature addressed this issue. The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act was passed twice by the legislature since then, but vetoed twice by Governor Christie. It has now passed a third time and has been signed into law by Governor Murphy. The Act will now apply to children without a requirement that both intended parents be genetically related to the child. This is a great advancement for family formation in New Jersey, and simply regulates that which has already been occurring in this state. Several of my colleagues who are members of both the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys and the New Jersey Academy of Adoption Attorneys worked with the legislature in drafting the bill to correct this issue.


Contact Our Office

To set up an appointment with an NJ adoption lawyer or a PA adoption lawyer, contact the law office of Cofsky & Zeidman today. You can call our office in Haddonfield at 856-429-5005 or in Woodbury at 856-845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia at 215-563-2150.