Who Can Adopt and How in New Jersey?
New Jersey Adoption Lawyer
When you are interested in adopting a child in New Jersey, it’s important to be aware of the responsibilities and the rights afforded to you, as well as what to expect in an adoption home study. The stages of an adoption are many, and they can also be complex if you don’t have an attorney working for you. When you get legal insight early on in the process, however, you’ll feel more confident with each step.
A proper understanding of the process in advance after speaking directly with your New Jersey adoption attorney can give you better peace of mind about the complexities of the process. An adoptive parent must be 10 years older than the child scheduled to be adopted and be age 18 or older.
A married individual can petition the local court to adopt a child with written consent of his or her spouse, if living separate apart from his or her spouse or jointly with the spouse named in the same case. If the prospective parents do not live in New Jersey at the time, they can still adopt within the state if the child is born in NJ or if they worked with a New Jersey licensed adoption agency.
What are the Rights and Responsibilities of an Adoptive Parent in NJ?
Certain requirements established under New Jersey law enable certain rights and duties afforded to adopted parents. New Jersey laws were written to demonstrate that intended adopted parents are fit and suitable for a child.
After the adoption process is started, an adoption home study will be scheduled. This is the formal assessment from an approved agency to determine the readiness and the capacity of any prospective adoptive parents, including the agency’s recommendations and written report. The primary basis for the home study is to figure out whether or not the prospective adoptive parents are capable of providing a nurturing, healthy and safe environment for a minor.
In addition to visiting the intended parents’ home directly, the home study might also include interviews with prospective parents and others living in that same home, review of references from the prospective parents – including personal references and employers, verification and employment and income, and health assessments of the parents.
Before a placement can occur in the state of New Jersey, a thorough home study assessment needs to be completed. This needs to be done for all private adoptions done on an interstate basis as well. Families that are looking to adopt a child who is currently in state custody will have to go through a more comprehensive education and home study process.
Any adoptive family that will ultimately finalize their adoption through the courts within New Jersey will also have to undergo criminal background checks with your individual state of residence and the FBI. Child abuse registry checks are also completed through your current state of residence and any location in which you or the other adopted parent have lived in within the last five years. It is strongly recommended to work with an experienced New Jersey adoption attorney whether you intend to adopt domestically in private placement or through a private agency adoption. The right attorney can provide you with further insight about how the home study works and what you can do to prepare.
Given that this a nerve wracking and exciting time for the adoptive parents, the insight of a lawyer who is dedicated to working for your best interests, can be extremely valuable. To get your questions answered promptly, schedule a consultation with an experienced New Jersey adoption lawyer today.
Contact Our Office
To set up an appointment, 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.