In an average year, roughly 135,000 children are adopted within the United States. A small percentage of these adoptions involve minors who were born outside of the country. Working with our New Jersey adoption attorney may make it easier for a prospective parent to successfully go through the adoption process.
What Is the Best Interests of the Child Standard?
Simply put, the best interest of the child test looks to see if putting a child in a given home will foster his or her development into a productive adult. Our New Jersey adoption attorney can work with a prospective parent to try and increase the chances that this person is providing a safe and stable home.
This can be done by pointing to an applicant’s strong ties to the community or the fact that he or she lives in a community with good schools. Our New Jersey adoption lawyer can also point to the fact that an individual has no criminal record or that an applicant is raising children or has cared for children in the past.
What Do Courts Look at When Determining a Child’s Best Interest?
Courts will look at a variety of factors when determining if an adoption is in a child’s best interest. For instance, a court could look at whether an applicant has enough time to devote to the child, such as helping with homework or being around to provide supervision after school or on weekends. Our New Jersey adoption lawyer can further explain to a parent what a court is looking for when reviewing an adoption application.
If the child is old enough to do so, a judge may ask for his or her input when deciding where to place him or her. Often, a child must be at least 10 to 12 years old to be offered a voice in the adoption proceeding. Your NJ adoption lawyer may also ask the child questions to better ascertain if you can meet his or her needs as a parent.
What If a Child Has Special Needs?
Working with our NJ adoption attorney may be ideal if you are looking to adopt a child with special needs. This is because our NJ adoption attorney or PA adoption attorney may be able to work with the applicants, the child’s biological parents if they are still around and the courts to determine how to handle such a situation. As a general rule, adoptive parents to a special-needs child don’t need to have specific training or other particular skills to have their application considered.
Instead, the adoptive parents must agree to provide the type of care that is necessary to help that child develop as best as possible. Our NJ adoption lawyer or PA adoption lawyer could suggest that applicants move closer to the local hospital or install equipment in their home to handle potential medical issues that may arise.
Would an Adoptive Parent Have to Take a Child’s Siblings?
Our PA adoption lawyer or NJ adoption lawyer can advise an applicant as to how they should handle adopting a child with siblings. Typically, splitting up a family is not in a child’s best interest. However, exceptions may be made if the child is better off with an adoptive parent as opposed to remaining in the household he or she is currently in.
Your NJ adoption attorney or PA adoption attorney can look closer into the relationship between the siblings and their biological parents. In some cases, a biological parent has only lost custody or parental rights to that one specific child. That parent may be unwilling to give up rights to the other child voluntarily. Therefore, our New Jersey adoption attorney or PA adoption lawyer would likely have no control over whether those siblings could be adopted.
Can Children Be Moved Across State Lines?
Generally speaking, a child can be moved across state lines if it offers the opportunity of a stable and safe upbringing. Our New Jersey adoption lawyer can work with parents or other officials in those states to try and increase the odds that an applicant will obtain the rights to a child. Our PA adoption attorney can also work to help an applicant adopt a child from outside of the state.
Those who are looking for advice on their next adoption can contact Donald C. Cofsky at his office in Haddonfield, New Jersey, by calling (856) 429-5005. Our lawyer can also be reached by fax at (856) 429-6328.