Archives for March 2019

The Biggest Hurdles to Adopting a Child

Problems to Consider When Choosing to Adopt

There are close to 135,000 adoptions each year in the U.S. Many of these cases go through a lengthy process that involves numerous steps. By understanding all of the potential hurdles, a parent can make sure that every stage of a legal adoption goes according to plan.

Adoption Basics

An adoption occurs when a biological parent passes his or her legal rights and obligations to a new adoptive guardian or guardians. Of course, there’s a lot that goes into obtaining parental rights. There are many different ways to go about adopting a child in New Jersey. Some of the most common options include the following:

  • Adopting through an agency
  • Adopting as a step parent
  • Adopting directly through the birth parents
  • Adopting as a relative

Potential Legal and Financial Issues

No matter which type of adoption a family goes through, the legal challenges can be numerous and difficult. For instance, it’s possible that one of the birth parents may not be aware of the adoption. This can bring about an array of legal hassles if the biological parent has yet to relinquish their rights to the child in question.

There are also a variety of legal problems that can occur with an inter-country adoption. These typically relate to specific adoption laws of the child’s home country. In order to better avoid these issues, you might want to call a New Jersey adoption lawyer that can identify potential problems before they occur. There are also a variety of visa requirements that may be necessary when trying to adopt from certain countries.

The potential financial problems depend on the type of adoption you’re thinking about going through. For instance, private adoptions and foreign adoptions usually come with more expenses than adopting through foster care. The same is true if you’re undergoing an open adoption wherein you’re going to be having some contact with the birth parents. It’s possible for the initial financial expenses of the adoption to include the medical bills related to the birth if the adoption is set to occur immediately after the child is born.

Health Problems and Emotional Issues

Obtaining pertinent information about a child’s health issues and health history is another common issue with many adoptions. Not having this information at the time of the adoption may cause problems later on if the child gets sick. Medical problems can make it difficult for the adoptive family to properly care for the child if they don’t have the funds to do so and didn’t anticipate the issues. Inherited diseases and possible drug use during pregnancy can bring about long-lasting health issues and developmental problems in a child. These are just a few reasons why medical history is so important.

Among the most common challenges of any adoption is dealing with the emotional issues that can occur with the child, adoptive family or birth parents. There are times when adoptive parents rush into the adoption without fully understanding all of the parenting challenges that occur after adopting a child. It’s also possible that the adopted child won’t be able to properly adjust to their new family. Furthermore, open adoptions can cause issues if the birth parents continue to maintain a high amount of contact with the child. The birth parents may even come to regret their choice to place the child up for adoption.

How Our New Jersey Adoption Lawyers Can Help You

Here at Cofsky & Zeidman, our attorneys have extensive experience in handling adoption cases in Southwest New Jersey. This experience has given us the knowledge necessary to comprehend and address any challenges that might occur throughout the adoption process. Since we handle many different types of adoption proceedings, our lawyers can provide you with assistance in anything from international adoptions to foster adoptions. If you ever have any questions about the adoption process, our firm offers confidential consultations that should prove useful.

If you’re interested in adopting a child and would like some legal assistance, call our Haddonfield,New Jersey adoption lawyer today at (856) 429-5005.

Are You Considering a Transracial Adoption?

Deciding if a Transracial Adoption Is Right for You

If you’ve decided that adoption is right for you, perhaps you are now narrowing down the specifics of the child you would like to welcome into your family. In addition to deciding on age, gender, and whether the adoption will be domestic or international, you’ll want to think of the issue of race. Prospective adoptive parents are increasingly considering adopting a child of a race different from their own; in fact, in the last 20 years, transracial adoption has increased by 50 percent and is now much more common than it once was.

Think Carefully About These Issues When Considering a Transracial Adoption

You’ve likely already examined many of the facets of adoption, including how you’re going to make an adopted child feel like she or he belongs. However, transracial adoptions bring up additional concerns you should explore. You know you want to give a child you adopt a stable, nurturing environment, but you should also ask yourself the following questions:

  • How inclined are you to ensure your child has contact with members of their own ethnicity and culture? If you live in a community where your child will not see her skin color or appearance mirrored, are you willing to change schools or even move to a place that’s more diverse?
  • How willing are you to confront people who may make inappropriate remarks, over and above those many adopted children already hear about not looking like the rest of their family?
  • Are you willing to stand up to racist people, including friends, family, and co-workers, who may display anything from subtly negative attitudes to out-and-out aggression?
  • Do you have friends of the same ethnicity as the child you’re thinking of adopting? If the answer is no, are you willing to at least start attending cultural events, familiarize yourself with a new language, or eat and cook the foods of your adopted child’s culture?

Are Transracial Adoptions Handled Differently?

The fact that the adoption will be transracial doesn’t affect most parts of the adoption process. You will still need to choose a type of adoption, select a PA adoption attorney to assist you, consider how you will pay for adoption expenses, and go through a home study.

However, if it’s a domestic adoption, there is one respect in which it may be affected by the fact that it is transracial. A federal law called the Indian Child Welfare Act specifies that certain requirements be met if a child who is eligible for membership in a federally recognized Indian tribe is going to be adopted by a non-Native family. The child’s tribe must give consent. The law was enacted in 1978 when many Indian children were being removed from Indian homes and placed in foster care or with parents who weren’t Indian. You would have to be sure you are complying with any conditions specified by the ICWA in order to adopt a child of Native American heritage. Your PA adoption attorney can advise you in more depth about adoption and the ICWA.

It’s fairly common for international adoptions to be transracial. You will, of course, have to comply with the requirements of the country in question, and those do vary quite a bit from one nation to another.

What to Look for in an Adoption Agency

In addition to checking to see if an adoption agency is duly licensed and approved by the state, parents should inquire to see what experience the agency may have with transracial adoptions. If they’ve handled this type of adoption before, they will often be able to guide parents to counselors or resources oriented toward raising multiracial families, including support groups or references to grown transracial adoptees.

Giving a child a home is enormously rewarding, and a transracial adoption is one way to create or add to a family. If you’re interested in an appointment with attorney Donald C. Cofsky to explore your adoption options, call our law office in Philadelphia at (215) 563-2150.