Preparing Your Home Before an Adoption

How to Prepare a Home for an Adopted Child

Research has found that up to 20% of all domestic adoptions fail. If an adoption doesn’t work out, it can have a profound impact both on you and on the child who was supposed to come into your life. Let’s look at some ways that you can maximize the chances of a successful adoption.

Have Your Home Inspected and Cleaned

If your new son or daughter has allergies, it is important to have your home checked for mold or other substances that could exacerbate those issues. An inspection could also reveal dirty ducts or HVAC equipment that needs to be cleaned so that it doesn’t spew dust or pollen into the air. If you have carpets or rugs, make sure that they are professionally cleaned to get rid of dirt, pollen or other particles that may be trapped in the fibers.

Will Your Child and Your Pet Happily Coexist?

While you may consider your cat or dog to be a part of your family, the needs of the child trump the needs of your pet. If your child is allergic to animals, it may be necessary to have the pet placed into another home. The same is true if the animal is timid, shy or aggressive around children.

While it may feel as if you are turning your back on a loyal companion, the last thing that you want is to put either the animal or your child in danger. Our NJ adoption attorney might be able to provide more insight into what to do if your child and pet don’t get along. In some cases, additional obedience training for your pet might lead to positive interactions.

Where Will Your Child Sleep?

It is critical that your child have a place of his or her own to sleep at night. In some cases, your child will be able to simply occupy the empty bedroom down the hall from yours. However, you may have to consider moving your home office to the basement or garage to make room for the child.

If you don’t have any spare rooms, you may be able to remodel your home to accommodate the new addition to your family. The attic or basement could be converted to a bedroom that meets your child’s needs. In the event that you are adopting an older child or a teen, you will want to create a space that affords him or her as much privacy as possible.

How Will You Guard Against Potential Security Risks?

You generally won’t be considered at fault if someone breaks into your home in the middle of the night. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t take steps to protect your child from as many dangers as possible. You may want to consider installing an alarm system or adopting a large animal that can help keep your youngster safe in the event of a home intrusion.

It can also be worthwhile to buy new locks for your garage door or any other doors that lead directly into the home. For maximum security, look for products that require recognition of a fingerprint or entering a series of numbers before the door will open.

Get Rid of Outdoor Hazards

In addition to getting rid of hazards that may exist inside the home, you will need to also remove potential hazards that exist outside of it. For example, trees that are dead or dying could potentially topple over onto your house. Insects, rodents and other pests could hide in tall grasses, which can make them difficult for a child to see while playing in the yard. Finally, be sure to eliminate nails, scrap metal or anything else that could poke or puncture your child.

If you are looking for the legal representation of a conscientious NJ adoption attorney, feel free to contact Cofsky & Zeidman in Haddonfield, NJ, at (856) 429-5005. You can also contact our office in Woodbury, NJ, by dialing (856) 845-2555, and it is possible to reach our firm online, too.

Blending an Older Adopted Child With Extended Family Members

Helping an Adopted Child Feel Comfortable With the Extended Family

Roughly 135,000 children are adopted in the U.S. each year, and many of these kids are older than a year when they’re introduced to their new families. If you’re planning on adopting an older child, it’s important to take a few steps when integrating them with extended family members. An older adopted child could feel overwhelmed at first—especially if you have many relatives—but there are ways to ease the process.

Explain Who’s Who in Your Extended Family

The first step in integrating an adopted child is to explain to your youngster who’s who within your extended family. As with anything else you need to discuss with your child, the conversation must be on an age-appropriate level.

The easiest way of explaining who’s who within your extended family is to use visual aids, recent photos, or even videos of the key loved ones. With the help of visual aids, present the name of the relative as well as how the family member is related to you and the child.

You don’t want to overdo it initially in this regard. In other words, you will want to stick with more immediate extended family members. These can include a child’s aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

Don’t Overwhelm the Little One

While an initial inclination may be to have some sort of party to celebrate the arrival of the new addition to your family, if the child is over a couple years of age, consider a preliminary step. That initial step is to slowly introduce the new addition to your home to one, two, or three extended family members at a time.

Taking this gradual approach serves a couple of key objectives. First, your child will not be overwhelmed. Second, your youngster will have a better chance to get to know each individual family member through a gradual process.

Introduce Your Child to Others in a Familiar Setting

Another tactic to employ when working to integrate your adopted child into your family is to introduce the boy or girl to your relatives in a familiar setting. The most obvious location is your own home.

A young child will be easily distracted by being in an unfamiliar setting. Indeed, some youngsters end up distressed when brought to an unfamiliar location. This stress could compound if they have to meet new or unknown people in the process.

Explain Family Traditions to Your Young One

A useful tactic to integrate an adopted child over a couple of years of age into your extended family is to explain family traditions. For example, you should explain to your child what your family enjoys doing during the holiday season. This will not only familiarize your child with the practices, customs, and traditions of your extended family, but it also develops a sense of excitement on the part of the child for partaking in family events.

Follow Your Child’s Lead When Interacting With Extended Family Members

Finally, when it comes to integrating your newly adopted child with your extended family, follow your child’s lead. You don’t want to force your child to interact with an extended family member or deal with too much at one time.

If your child is tired, grumpy, or otherwise uninterested or apprehensive about interacting with family members, don’t force the issue. Forcing a younger child to interact with an extended family member when he or she is not up to it may backfire. This could lead to a persistent lack of interest or even distaste for family gatherings.

If you’re in need of a PA adoption lawyer, Donald Cofsky of Cofsky & Zeidman stands ready to assist. Mr. Cofsky has extensive experience representing people in all aspects of adoption cases. You can schedule an initial consultation by calling our Philadelphia office at (215) 563-2150. There is no charge for an initial consultation with the PA adoption lawyer from our firm.

Coronavirus Is Impacting the Timeline for International Adoptions

The Impact of Coronavirus on International Adoptions

In recent weeks, the spread of a novel virus from Wuhan province in China has sent shock waves throughout the global infrastructure. Not only has the fallout threatened to slow the shipment of goods and travelers’ movements to and from China, but international adoptions have also slowed as China reports a death toll that is now more than 1,000.

What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus refers to a group of viruses that come from animals. The first known patients who displayed symptoms of the current coronavirus shopped or worked at a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Since the initial cases emerged, health care professionals have observed that the virus can be transmitted from person to person as many more human cases now exist. At least 28 countries currently report cases of the virus while China reports tens of thousands of domestic cases. Scientists still have questions regarding how contagious the virus is; therefore, several countries now have travel bans in place to contain the infection rate.

Couples and individuals who are waiting to adopt a child from China are increasingly reporting delays in the process due to the emergence of the virus. If you are currently in the process of adopting a child from China, your PA adoption attorney can advise you of how the threat of coronavirus may impact your adoption timeline.

Why Are Adoptions Impacted By Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is affecting international adoptions from China in several ways. First, the United States has imposed a travel ban that limits the movement of people who wish to travel to and from China. This means adoptive parents are logistically unable to travel to meet their new adoptive children and bring them home. Additionally, limited communication from the Chinese government regarding the disease outbreak makes it very difficult for adoption agencies to communicate potential next steps to adoptive parents. Therefore, adoption attorneys and agencies are unable to advise adoptive parents regarding exactly how long they will need to wait before the process is once again able to move forward.

What Should Adoptive Parents Do for Now?

The simple answer is to be prepared for a situation that may change quickly. We advise parents to exercise patience as the timeline may lengthen substantially. It may help to think of the adoptive process as if it is similar to raising a biological child. Parents are not always in control of every circumstance that involves their biological child. They simply have to do everything that is within their means and leverage the help of professionals who are well-versed in the situation. For that reason, we advise adoptive parents to always seek out the legal knowledge and opinion of an attorney.

How Long Does the International Adoption Process Normally Take?

Every adoption varies from case to case. Nevertheless, prospective adoptive parents typically receive advice to expect the process to take 18 to 24 months. Parents at every stage in the process of adopting a child from China may be required to wait longer as the governments of the U.S., China, and the international health community respond to the virus outbreak.

Has This Ever Happened Before?

In 2003, there was an outbreak of the SARS virus in China. Similarly, the spread of SARS led to travel restrictions and a sudden onslaught of questions for adoptive parents, governments, and the international health community. At that time, the Chinese government suspended international adoptions. Nevertheless, the government resumed processing adoptions within a matter of months, and waiting parents eventually were able to travel to pick up their newly adopted children. The SARS outbreak came with lessons that may prove valuable during this current virus outbreak. Therefore, parents have reason to remain optimistic.

Who Can You Talk To?

If you have questions about how coronavirus may affect your adoption process, the adoption agency may have information about the estimated timeline as well as measures Chinese orphanages engage in to protect children from the virus. We also strongly advise you to consult your adoption attorney for additional insight. Information from overseas may be sparse at times. However, your attorney will serve as an excellent sounding board and immediate point of contact to help you address your concerns as you navigate the lengthy international adoption process.

If you have concerns about the impact of coronavirus on the international adoption process, speak with a PA adoption attorney at Cofsky & Zeidman. Call our Philadelphia office at (215) 563-2150 today.

Reasons People Adopt Children

5 More Reasons People Decide to Adopt

Adoption is a common legal solution that brings people from many different walks of life together for a multitude of reasons. In 2017 in New Jersey, roughly 1,089 adoptions were finalized within the state, and all had different circumstances. The following are a few of the more common circumstances that lead people to adopt, and you can contact a New Jersey adoption lawyer if any of these situations sounds like yours.

1. Adoption Helps Children

The simplest reason that compels many prospective parents to adopt is knowing they will help a child in the end. Children who may otherwise remain in foster homes, orphanages, or inherently unhealthy situations receive a host of opportunities when loving parents adopt them. Adoptive parents are generally in a better position to give their children the individual attention, affection, and financial support a child may not otherwise receive while in care of the state. Furthermore, children who are adopted are more likely to form a healthy bond with their adoptive parents and feel a sense of belonging in their new families.

2. Adoption Eliminates the Potential for Medical Complications

Infertility is not the only medical reason that may compel a couple to adopt. In some cases, either partner may have a medical condition that can make it dangerous for them to reproduce biologically. By adopting, these couples avoid the potential of pregnancy and delivery complications, genetic disorders, worsening heart conditions, and any other reason a doctor may recommend a couple to avoid procreating.

3. Some Parents Have a Gender Preference

Parents who would prefer to raise a child of a specific gender may safely do so when they opt to adopt. These parents may choose to adopt a child of virtually any age and avoid the pressure and potential conflict that is inherent in having gender expectations of a child prior to learning the unborn child’s sex.

4. Some Parents Would Prefer to Raise Older Children

Raising a newborn is difficult and requires a major lifestyle adjustment. Therefore, some prospective parents would prefer to adopt an older child. Adding a child into your family will always require major change. However, some parents are better able to care for a child who is more independent and old enough to attend school while the parent works. Older children also tend to remain in the adoption system longer than babies; therefore, adopting an older child directly addresses a need by providing a loving home to a boy or girl who may be more likely to be overlooked.

5. A Child in the Family May Require Help

In some cases, a family member may be unable to care for the child. Often, other family members wish to keep the child within the family. Therefore, an adult relative may legally adopt and care for the child. Doing so may allow the boy or girl to continue to have a relationship with his or her biological parent and feel like a valued member of the family even though the biological parent may not be able to care for the child.

No two adoption cases are identical. By allowing an attorney to walk you through the entire process, you can potentially avoid unnecessarily prolonging the process and wasting extra financial expenses. Your attorney will also help you ensure the terms of your adoption are spelled out as clearly as possible for your protection. There are different paths you can take to arrive at your ultimate goal of adopting a child. Obtaining the help of an experienced attorney will give you the peace of mind in knowing your adoption process is fully compliant with all applicable laws. If you believe adoption may be a life change you would like to pursue, contact an experienced New Jersey adoption lawyer at Cofsky & Zeidman by calling our Haddonfield office at (856) 249-5005 today. You can reach our Woodbury office at (856) 845-2555.

Tips for Choosing a Child to Adopt

A Guide to Choosing a Child to Adopt

Roughly 135,000 children are adopted in the United States in a given year. Children can be adopted either from families currently living in the United States or from agencies in foreign countries. Ideally, you will spend time carefully considering the type of child you would like to adopt and why before you start the process in earnest.

Will You Adopt Domestically or Internationally?

Generally speaking, it can be easier to adopt a child who currently resides in the United States as opposed to those who live internationally. This is because foreign nations may have stricter adoption guidelines compared to those imposed by American agencies. For instance, foreign countries may require that you be married, that you make a certain amount of money or that you aren’t a partner in a same-sex relationship.

When you request to adopt a child in the United States, you typically only have to show that doing so would be in the child’s best interest. In some cases, it may also be necessary to obtain permission from the child’s birth parents before the adoption can be finalized. However, this may not be the case if the parent has already had his or her rights terminated.

How Old Will Your Preferred Child Be?

You may have the opportunity to adopt a child who is only a few weeks or months old. However, there will also likely be an opportunity to adopt an older child or teenager. Your choice will typically depend on whether you want to raise a child from the beginning or simply act as a mentor to someone who needs direction in his or her life.

Of course, it is important to understand that raising a child isn’t easy regardless of how old he or she may be. Children of all ages will need both emotional and financial support for many years after they come into your home, and older children may need more time to become comfortable with the idea that you are going to be there for them for the rest of their lives.

Will You Adopt a Child With Special Needs?

A child who has an emotional or developmental disability can still grow up to be a productive member of society. It is also possible for a child who has special needs to learn, understand and follow household rules that you create. However, you will generally need to show a greater level of patience with those who have mental or physical disabilities.

It is possible that an adoption agency will want you to attend classes or take other steps in preparation to raise a child with special needs. Taking these steps may provide you with greater confidence that you are ready to face the special challenges that you may encounter. A New Jersey adoption attorney may be able to provide any additional details about the process of taking in a special-needs son or daughter.

Is Race or Gender a Concern?

You may be allowed to choose the race or gender of the child you would like to adopt. Therefore, it may be something that you will want to consider as part of doing your due diligence. While there is nothing wrong with preferring a child of one gender over the other, it is important to note that it can be rewarding to raise any child regardless of what he or she looks like. It is also worth considering that friends, family members and other resources may be available to help you handle any challenging situations that you may encounter while raising your adopted son or daughter.

If you are looking to add a new member to your family, Donald Cofsky, the New Jersey adoption attorney from Cofsky & Zeidman, may be able to help. Call our Haddonfield office by dialing (856) 429-5005 or our Woodbury office by dialing (856) 845-2555.

Cooperative Adoption in New Jersey

How a Cooperative Adoption Works in New Jersey

Flexible arrangements are often necessary in the wake of an adoption because the birth family does not completely want to cut off contact with the child. Through a cooperative adoption, there is some leeway to adopt a child and still maintain some sort of relationship with the birth parents. While New Jersey is not one of the 23 states that have statutes allowing written and enforceable contact agreements between parents, cooperative adoption is still an option.

Challenges of Cooperative Adoptions

There are some challenges presented by cooperative adoptions. The new adoptive parents will often want a fresh start with their child and may not wish to have a great deal of contact with the birth parents. At the same time, they won’t necessarily want their adoptive child to know yet that they are adopted. Parents may wish to hold on to the information surrounding the adoption until the child is older. Furthermore, they might feel as if continuing to have the birth family in the child’s life would be ceding some element of control of the parenting.

However, the birth family may not want to completely give up the child to someone else. In some cases, maintaining contact with the child can be a condition for putting the child up for adoption or allowing a family to assume responsibility for their child.

No Enforceable Agreements in New Jersey

Many cases allow for enforceable agreements that govern the relationship between the adoptive family and the birth family. These involve commitments that must be kept. However, New Jersey is not a state that has statutes that address enforceable cooperative adoption agreements. Therefore, any type of agreement that you reach with the birth family would essentially be a handshake-type agreement that you couldn’t get in trouble for violating.

Benefits of Cooperative Adoption

However, just because the law does not specifically provide for a cooperative adoption does not mean that you will completely want to rule it out for your adoption. It can help ease the transition for the child if he or she is older at the time of adoption and knows the birth family. The stability provided by some sort of a cooperative adoption can help facilitate the process and make it easier for the child. In addition, allowing contact with the birth mother may reduce some of the feelings of abandonment that an older adopted child might feel. These are all factors that you need to consider when deciding what role to give the birth family.

With that in mind, you should consider all the potential pros and cons when deciding whether to allow the child to have any contact with the birth family. If you do allow contact, you should think about how much there should be. There are reasons why legal counsel may be in favor of or against these types of adoptions.

Making a Contract

Even though New Jersey law does not deal with cooperative adoption agreements, there is nothing to prevent two private parties from agreeing to some sort of arrangement so long as it meets contract law requirements. If you enter into this type of arrangement as adoptive parents, you will have the ability to amend the agreement as you see fit if you decide that it is not working out as you intend. This agreement can be written or unwritten because the law would treat them both the same. New Jersey adoption attorneys can advise you on how to implement cooperative adoption in the state.

If the birth parents want to maintain contact with the adoptive child, you will need to figure out the parameters of that contact. As the legal parents of the child, you have the ability to make whatever determination is in the best interests of your family. If you do not feel that it is best for the child, you do not have to permit contact between him or her and the birth parents.

Legal Assistance

Turn to Cofsky & Zeidman when you need New Jersey adoption attorneys who can help you with all of your adoption-related legal needs. Call us today in Haddonfield at (856) 429-5005 to set up your initial consultation. You can reach our office in Woodbury at (856) 845-2555.

The Costs Associated With Adoption

How Much Does Adoption Cost?

About 135,000 children are adopted in the U.S. each year. If you are considering adoption, chances are you are also researching how much the process will cost; the financial expenses associated with adoption vary according to the options you choose, such as a domestic versus an international adoption or a private or a public one. Your New Jersey adoption lawyer can help you better understand the process and choose the options that are best suited for your family.

Private vs. Public Adoption

Private adoptions usually involve a family that adopts a newborn from parents who voluntarily put the child up for adoption. When a family adopts a child from a foster home, the process is referred to as a public adoption. Private adoptions typically require the parents to pay a fee for a home study. The home study fee may range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. In many cases, the state or local government will cover the costs of a home study for parents who adopt a waiting child from a foster home. Individuals may also avoid fees by fostering a child, though the foster process may involve an elevated level of risk.

Agency vs. Independent Adoption

Parents who opt for an agency adoption may choose one of two routes: agency adoption or independent adoption. During an agency adoption, an agency works with the parents throughout the entire process. The agency even undertakes the task of finding the right expectant mother for couples who enlist their services. Parents who choose the independent route must advertise and network to find the right expectant mother on their own. On average, people who choose independent adoption can expect to save a few thousand dollars on financial expenses. However, both pathways to adoption typically cost more than $30,000.

Domestic vs. International Adoption

International adoptions tend to cost slightly more than domestic ones. There are also other key differences. For example, parents who wish to adopt an infant should choose to adopt domestically because with international adoptions, six to 12 months will typically pass before the child is placed with the adoptive parents. International adoptions also have a greater potential to involve unknowns relating to the child’s birth and the biological mother. Adoptive parents may also be required to budget for costly international travel when adopting a child from another country.

Additional Expenses Associated With Adoption

There are several types of fees that are typically associated with adoption, especially when parents opt to proceed with the process privately. Expectant parents may be required to pay program and application fees that could range from a few thousand dollars to more than $10,000 if they work with an agency. The cost of adoption also may include fees for hiring an attorney.

It is highly advisable that people work with a New Jersey adoption lawyer as the process typically involves complex family law issues in addition to requiring a substantial financial investment. Factoring in adoption attorney costs is critical as consulting with a professional will help you protect your legal rights and financial investment. Parents who wish to adopt a newborn are often required to cover the birth mother’s expenses as well. Whether working with an adoption agency or proceeding with an independent adoption, the parents must also cover the cost of advertising and networking to find the right birth mother and child.

Get the Legal Protection You Need

The adoption process may be as short as one month or as lengthy as one year or even longer. It only makes sense that you would want to protect yourself throughout such a critical process by hiring an adoption attorney. Your New Jersey adoption lawyer can advise you at every step, especially with determining the best road to adoption for your particular circumstances, including choosing an agency if you decide to go that route. If you are unsure about the adoption process, your first call should be to a trustworthy adoption lawyer. Contact Cofsky & Zeidman at our main Haddonfield office by calling (856) 429-5005, and let us assist you as you begin the journey to make your family whole. You can also reach us at our office in Woodbury at (856) 845-2555.

4 Reasons an Adoption Can Fail

Most Common Reasons Adoptions Fail

There are many reasons why adoptions fail, and when it does happen, it can be heartbreaking for all parties involved. While many adoptions are completely successful, a 2010 study found about 6 to 11% of all adoptions are disrupted before they can be finalized. When an adoption fails, it’s always worth consulting your NJ adoption lawyer so you can be sure that you know what options you have to help deal with the situation going forward.

A Failed Match

Perhaps the most common reason for why adoptions fail in New Jersey is when a failed match occurs. A failed match is when the expectant parent decides that they want to be the one to raise the child after all, after already having chosen an adoptive family. This will usually happen either just before or just after the child has been born. What many often don’t realize, even if the birth parent and the adoptive parent have already finalized the adoption by this point, if the birth parent changes their mind about the adoption, then by law, the adoptive parents no longer have any legal claim over the child.

A Disrupted Adoption

Disrupted adoptions tend to occur most commonly with older children who have been adopted from foster care. Adoptive parents can discover that they are not yet properly prepared or adequately trained to take care of children with challenging mental, physical or emotional issues. As a result of this, prospective adoptive parents may decide that they no longer wish to continue with the adoption process.

An adoption can be disrupted after a child has been placed and living in a home, but before the adoption has been finalized in the eyes of the law. When adoption fails, the child will be placed either with new parents or placed back into foster care.

Dissolved Adoptions

In the case of a dissolved adoption, the adoption will have already been legally finalized before it breaks down. Dissolved adoptions are very rare, and will, for the most part, only ever occur in an extreme case where the child’s special needs are unable to be fully taken care of by the adoptive parents. This could be due to many reasons, such as a lack of resources, a lack of information, or an inability to meet the high costs that the special needs of the child require.

Once the process of a dissolved adoption begins, the child and the adoptive parents’ relationship will be severed, and the child will either be placed back into foster care or new adoptive parents will be found.

A NJ adoption lawyer can help you withdraw from an adoption if you meet the child and they have a condition or problems that weren’t disclosed or you do not feel you can handle.

Contested Adoption

A contested adoption can be one of the more challenging reasons why adoptions fall apart. This will occur when one of the child’s biological parents decides they wish to place the child up for adoption, but the other biological parent is against it. In many cases, the father of the child may be completely unaware of the fact that the mother is pregnant, or in other cases, perhaps the person who believes himself to be the father discovers that he is not actually the father. In other situations, the father may feel that he was pressured into placing the child up for adoption or has since simply changed his mind.

In the case that the biological father refuses to rescind his parental rights and wishes to parent the child himself, then all parties involved must go to court. The case will then be put before a judge who will decide based on the law and the father’s situation what’s best for the child and whether or not to stop the adoption. In this instance, a NJ adoption attorney can help provide any required information and assist with any necessary paperwork that will be instrumental during the court hearings.

To confer with a NJ adoption lawyer, contact Cofsky & Zeidman LLC at (856) 429-5005 to schedule a consultation in Haddonfield. We can help you learn more about your options if you are facing challenges with an adoption.

Different Types of Adoptions You Should Understand

Types of Adoption in New Jersey

Many people are unaware of just how many types of adoption there are to consider from private and agency adoptions to open and closed adoptions. About 59% of non-stepparent adoptions involve children from the foster system, but the remainder comes in many other forms. Ahead, we’ll go through many of the different adoption types that are available to you in New Jersey.

Private Adoptions

Private adoptions are one of the most common forms of adoption, especially for parents adopting infants. When undertaking a private adoption, the birth parents place their child up for adoption and interview prospective families until they find someone they like. The birth parents can either search for families through word-of-mouth, search through profiles, or seek assistance from an adoption agency.

As stated at the outset, private adoptions are the most common of all adoptions for those looking to adopt an infant. It can often be difficult to place infants with a new family when it comes to public adoptions or adoptions from foster care, and while these absolutely can happen from time to time, they are much rarer than adopting privately.

Agency Adoptions

There are essentially two main forms of agency adoptions:

Public agencies: Public agencies exist with the purpose of finding new homes for children in the custody of the state. Children could be in the custody of the state due to neglect or misconduct from their birth family or due to abandonment. In some cases, parents will voluntarily relinquish their parental rights to a state agency.

Many children in the care of public agencies spend a fair amount of time there before being legally free to be adopted as many of the children will have emotional or medical issues due to their troubling backgrounds.

Domestic agencies: With domestic agency adoption, the parental rights of the mother are relinquished or transferred over to the agency after the child is born. After a deep and comprehensive home study process, the adoption agency then places the child with their new adoptive family.

The screening of the family, the counseling of the birth parents, and the facilitation and acceptance of the relinquishment of the child are all the responsibility of the agency, along with supervising the placement of the child until finalization and providing the birth mother with permissible financial assistance. If you need help adopting a child, reach out to our NJ adoption attorney.

Relative Adoptions

Relative adoptions are always going to be the most preferred kind of adoption by the legal system. By adopting a relative, family members can ensure that the child or children will be staying within their biological family. This helps the children better know not just where they come from but also their medical history and their family’s morals, values, and traditions.

Open vs. Closed Adoptions

Prospective adoptive parents will have to consider beforehand whether they’ll want an open or a closed adoption.

Open adoptions: Open adoptions occur when the adoptive parents and the original birth parents keep in regular contact with one another. When the birth mother and the adoptive family have matched, they can exchange information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, photos, and anything else they need to keep in touch.

Before the baby has been born, the adoptive parents and the birth mother may have some correspondence via email or over the phone, and the adoptive family will most likely visit the birth mother in person. Through communication, the adoptive family and the birth mother can discuss and come to an agreement over what shape the relationship between the baby and the birth mother will take and how much communication there will be between them.

Closed adoptions: Closed adoptions are essentially the complete opposite of open adoptions. There will be little to no exchange of any information, and the protection of privacy and medical information will be kept in confidence by the adoption agency. Once the child has been born, there will be no communication, visits, or even exchanges of letters or pictures.

If you are considering adopting a child, our NJ adoption attorney can help you understand your options, guide you through the legal process and home study, and help the adoption go as smoothly as possible. Contact Cofsky & Zeidman in Haddonfield at (856) 429-5005 or in Woodbury at (856) 845-2555 to learn more about your adoption options.

How to Know You’re Ready to Adopt

Signs You’re Ready to Adopt

The adoption process isn’t easy, but it’s also a rewarding one where you add a new member to your family. Each year, about 140,000 children are adopted in the U.S. If you want to adopt a child but aren’t sure if you’re ready, you’ll need to take stock and figure out a few things about yourself before you start the process of formally adopting a child.

You’ve Moved on From Infertility

You should consider adoption if you know you’ve accepted your infertility and moved on from it. It can be challenging to welcome a new child into the home if you’re still trying to get pregnant and you’re going through expensive IVF treatments. Although it’s normal to experience grief after finding out you’re infertile, you should have closure to ensure that you’re in a good place and you’re fully embracing your decision to adopt. You can consider meeting with a marriage counselor to ensure that you have closure and are in a positive frame of mind to adopt.

You’re Financially Secure

There are many different resources that you’ll need to provide everything that a child requires to grow and thrive. You should have consistent employment for several years to ensure that you can provide financially. You’ll also need to be able to afford legal fees, additional medical costs, and adoption agency fees. It’s also important to live in a home where there’s enough room for the child to grow with enough space where they can play. An added benefit is if you live in proximity to family members and friends who can offer assistance with child care when it’s needed.

You Understand the Challenges Ahead

Although adopting a child can be incredibly rewarding and life-changing, it still comes with its challenges. Before you begin the adoption process, it’s essential to know that you’re ready for the uncertainty you may encounter. Consider speaking with someone who has already adopted for insight on their experience and how they navigated the difficulties. You and your spouse should be mentally stable and financially capable of dealing with stress that can come about. These stressors can include the birth parents changing their minds before or after the birth. Many states have a waiting period after the child is born, and the adoption can fall through during this time. Also, if both birth parents don’t initially sign off on the adoption, such as if the birth father cannot be located before the birth, then the birth father may later contest the adoption even after the initial waiting period has expired. Having a solid support system of family members and friends can make the ups and downs easier to handle.

You’re Patient

Not only do challenges come with adopting, but the process of finding the right child to adopt can also be time-consuming and lengthy. Adopting a child costs an average of $10,000 to $30,000 and can take one to two years to complete. International adoption costs $20,000 to $50,000 and takes one to six years. You’ll also need to consider hiring a New Jersey adoption attorney who can assist you with the process and inform you of your rights. If any complications or issues occur, you can be represented by a lawyer who has experience and can find solutions.

You Can Fully Love the Child

It’s important to know if you can fully love an adoptive child who is not your biological child once they’re in your care. You should be excited about caring for the child even if you didn’t give birth to him or her. You should be ready to accept the child as your own and be prepared to meet their emotional and physical needs each day as their parent and caregiver.

Contact Cofsky & Zeidman in Haddonfield at (856) 429-5005 or in Woodbury at (856) 845-2555 to learn more about the adoption process. Obtaining assistance from our New Jersey adoption attorney can help you with understanding your rights in advance.