Archives for February 2019

Do You Need a Family Adoption Lawyer?

Why Hiring a New Jersey Adoption Attorney Is a Good Idea

One of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life is expanding your family. If you’re considering expanding yours through adoption, there are a variety of intricate details that must not be overlooked. It’s estimated between 10-16% of adoptions of children under age 3 are disrupted. Considering the process can sometimes take years, this can be devastating.

Although you can go through the process without the guidance of an experienced lawyer, going at it alone can slow down the process and increase the risk of mistakes along the way. An experienced New Jersey adoption attorney can help pave the path to happiness.

What is the Role of a Family Adoption Lawyer?

When a child isn’t biologically yours, you have to go through a process to achieve legal guardianship. Whether you already have a child in mind or are ready to explore options, your attorney can help you every step of the way. Just a few things with which they can offer reliable assistance include:

  • Filing paperwork
  • Finding a reliable adoption agency to work with
  • Representing you in court if that becomes necessary

Your child adoption attorney is there to listen to your primary personal family goals and get the ball rolling to help you achieve them.

How Do I Know If I Need a Child Adoption Lawyer?

Chances are you don’t have an extensive background on adoption. While it would seem to be a pretty straightforward process, there are various issues that can arise. Just a few unethical practices adoption agencies are known to engage in include:

  • Representing themselves as credentialed when they, in fact, are not
  • Claiming they can place children from countries that are either permanently or temporarily banned
  • Charging fees that are higher than normal
  • Taking action to conceal negative reviews to mislead potential customers

Although it’s unfortunate, there are bad apples in every barrel. When you work with an experienced adoption attorney, you can reduce your risk of running into unnecessary problems and more quickly achieve your goal of expanding your family.

Types of Adoptions We Can Handle

We understand our clients each have a very unique set of circumstances that require our close attention to detail. We are knowledgeable in state and country-specific adoption law, and we’re confident in our ability to provide you with reliable representation. Just a few types of adoptions we can help with include:

  • Private adoptions working directly with birth parent(s) without an intermediary
  • Agency adoption
  • Stepparent adoption

Assisted Reproductive Technology

Technology is constantly innovating, and there are a variety of exciting new ways you can expand your family despite trouble conceiving. Our team can help you examine your options and ensure the highest caliber of legal support throughout the process. Just some of the options out there include:

  • Embryo donation
  • Sperm donation
  • Surrogacy
  • Egg donation

Affordable Adoption Lawyer at Your Service

Life is too short to put off the prospects of having a family to call your own. We all need a strong support base and people we can count on for love, joy and lasting memories.

Whether you are having trouble getting pregnant, have a stepchild whom you’d like to legally call your own, or are a same-sex couple ready to introduce a new member to the family, our team is here to offer our services at a price you can afford. When you work with us, we work to:

  • Help you understand pricing to ensure you get the help you need without breaking the bank.
  • Explore every option to arrive at an ideal solution for your unique circumstances.
  • Provide peace of mind through the entire process to keep stress low and increase your chances of a successful adoption the first time around.

We’re never too far away to provide the help you need. Call (856) 429-5005 in Haddonfield today to schedule your initial consultation.

Why You Need to Set Clear and Early Boundaries in an Open Adoption

How to Maintain Family Boundaries in an Open Adoption

Every year in the United States, about 135,000 children are adopted. Of those adoptions, around 67 percent are at least partially open. When you go through the process of an adoption agreement with the birth mother or birth parents, it’s important to set up the parameters of how open the adoption will be, how frequent the interactions will be, and what types of interactions you’ll allow the biological parents and family to have with your child.

Determine the Types of Allowed Interactions

Your adoption agreement should determine the types of allowed interactions. For example, you might prefer that the adoptive parents write letters or call your child over the phone. You may want to disallow text messages and unannounced visits at your home. Your adoption agreement can detail the types of allowed interactions. This type of boundary setting ensures that everyone understands the expectations for communication.

Think About the Frequency and Timing of Interactions

You may also want to consider the frequency and timing of the interactions between the biological parents of your child and your family. If you adopt a newborn, then the biological parents might want updates about the child’s development. As the child gets older, the biological parents might want a semiannual or yearly update about the child’s health, interests, and overall well-being. The biological parents might also want to send a birthday card, or your child might want to send a Mother’s Day card to his or her biological mother. You may need to account for all of these issues in the adoption agreement.

Establish Rules and Guidelines for Behavior

You may also want to control the subject matter of written communications and discussions with your child’s biological parents. Setting this type of behavior guideline allows you to broach sensitive subjects on your timeline. Your family will be less likely to have to deal with controversial subjects if you can agree in advance to not discuss them. For example, your child’s biological mother may not want the child to know that the pregnancy was the result of an assault. You may not want the biological mother to ask your child about whether you’re raising the child to have a particular type of belief system. Your adoption agreement could include topics such as not condemning the other’s religious beliefs.

Put the Focus on the Child’s Well-Being

Another consideration for setting boundaries with the biological parents of your child is putting the focus on the child’s well-being. Your child should be put first even if it makes you uncomfortable. Whether or not you agree with the biological parents’ lifestyle, past behavior, or current behavior shouldn’t matter. The focus of every interaction should be the development of a relationship that benefits your child now and well into the future.

Determine Interactions as the Child Grows

When your child becomes a tween or a teenager, he or she is likely to have more of his or her own opinions about interacting with his or her biological parents. Teens test boundaries within the home, and they may push against some of your established rules. You may need to re-evaluate some boundaries on an as-needed basis. Once your child reaches the age of 18, you’ll no longer be able to set or maintain rules for the types, frequency, and depth of interaction between him or her and the biological parents.

Working with a PA adoption lawyer allows you to have these boundaries clearly established in your adoption agreement with your child’s biological parents. As a Pennsylvania adoption lawyer, Donald C. Cofsky looks forward to representing you throughout the adoption process. Contact us at the Law Office of Cofsky & Zeidman by phone at (215) 563-2150 in order to schedule a consultation with our PA adoption lawyer in Philadelphia.