What You Need to Know About New Jersey Adoption Court Procedures
The legal concerns and questions do not end when you adopt a child. Having an experienced New Jersey adoption attorney at your side for the duration of this process can help to minimize your confusion and prepare you for what to expect. Adoptive parents need to file a court petition, which is referred to as a complaint for adoption.
How the Legal Process Follows an Adoption
Once you decide to adopt, there are many legal procedures and specific pieces of paperwork that must be reviewed and filed in a timely fashion. If you fail to do this, you could experience delays and other challenges in your case. Instead, you should work directly with an experienced adoption lawyer in NJ to help you through these phases of your case.
You must initiate the procedure in the county where you live or where the adoption agency that has custody of the child is. When you can move forward with the filing of such a complaint is based on numerous different factors, including whether or not there are issues to resolve like terminating parental rights, or if the child was placed in your home by an agency or independently.
The adoption complaint cannot go before the court until the minor has lived in the new adoptive home for a minimum of 6 months in an independent adoption. The complaint could be filed sooner to resolve issues such as if one of the birth parents wishes to terminate their parental rights.
The court will name a date for the hearing, which usually occurs between10 and 30 days after the receipt of such a complaint. If the complaint is filed early, the court will choose the date for the preliminary hearing. If there two hearings being held, the majority of New Jersey counties will require that the adoptive parents show up at the preliminary hearing, although they may not need to attend the final hearing.
Potential adoptive parents must file a complaint in court within 45 days of the adoptive parents’ receipt of the child. Preliminary hearings go before the court a and occur three months before after the complaint is filed. At this point in time, the birth parents will have their rights terminated. The parents must attend this hearing and testify.
The court will also allow a future date and time for supervisory visits, which you may hear referred to as post-placement visits to be carried out by the approved agency. The judgement of adoption is entered at the conclusion of the final hearing and this is when the adoptive parents officially become the legal parents of the child. This can also change the name of the child on the original birth certificate to one the name given to the child by his or her adoptive parents.
Contact Our Offices in Haddonfield, Woodbury or Philadelphia.
To set up an appointment with Attorney Don Cofsky, 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.