Adoption Attorneys Bergen County, NJ
Available Options for Parents Wishing To Adopt a Child
Adopting can be a great way to grow your family and help a child in need of a home. Some parents choose to adopt when they cannot have children of their own, while others choose to adopt simply because they have the emotional and financial capacity to support another child, and want to share their good fortune with a child who has no permanent home of their own.
Of course, if you are considering adopting a new child, it is important that you work with an experienced family law attorney in order to avoid many of the common pitfalls associated with the adoption process, and ultimately secure the addition to your family that you are seeking in a safe, legal, and protected manner.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family attorneys have an intimate understanding of the adoption process in New Jersey and have already helped many parents successfully adopt a child in towns across Bergen County, including Ridgewood, Hackensack, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. While you focus on preparing your home for the joyous experience of adding a new family member, our firm will help you with the many legal ins and outs of securing your adoptive rights in a knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate manner.
Call our office to discuss your family’s unique needs and concerns when it comes to adopting a child in a free and confidential consultation with our attorney team today.
Adoption Lawyers Help Parents Understand their Options
One of the first steps in the adoption process is researching and deciding which adoption option is right for you, as there are several potential options available to any parent who wishes to adopt a child.
- Public Adoption Agencies – Typically funded by local, state, or federal sources. The children generally have living parents and there may be a foster care period involved.
- Private Adoption Agencies – Funded by private donations and money from adopting families. Generally, these adoptions do not involve any foster care and children are available for permanent adoption.
- International Adoptions – The process for adopting a child internationally can vary dramatically depending on the country from which you are making the adoption. However, all prospective parents must be prepared to submit a notarized “adoption dossier”, which is passed through the US Department of State to be considered.
- Direct (Independent) Adoptions – A legal agreement directly between the birth-mother and the adoptive parents.
- Step-Parent and Grandparent Adoptions – In some situations, biological parents forfeit their parental rights or have them removed by a court, and often a step-parent or grandparent will step in and want to legally adopt the child.
Of course, each of these methods has different implications for your family’s financial and legal rights, and we recommend discussing your specific situation and needs with our adoption attorneys to gain the best possible understanding of your options and potential next steps.
Working with the NJ Department of Children and Families
In New Jersey, many families choose to work with the NJ Department of Children and Families to adopt a child. There is a process known as a “Home Study” which must be completed to be considered as a Foster or permanent parent. This process is rigorous to ensure that 1. The family will be a great fit for an adopted child and 2. The family fully understands the responsibilities of being an adoptive parent.
The process begins with a 27-hour training period which is mostly informational. Families learn about the experiences of children who are available for adoption and they are taught about the many issues which may arise in adopted children such as feelings of loss, separation anxiety, and identity issues.
A representative from the Child Protection and Permanency agency will then make a home visit to the prospective parents. This is primarily to see if the family home is up to safety standards and is a measure of protection for the adopted children.
Families must then submit personal, employment, schooling, childcare, and medical references. Full criminal and background checks are also required. At this juncture, the application to become an adoptive or foster parent is passed on for approval by the NJ Office of Licensing.
Our adoption attorneys understand how stressful and taxing this application period can be on families. Not only are the demands daunting, but the anticipation of adding a child to your loving home and the uncertainty that it may or may not become a reality can be extremely difficult. Lean on our experience to help you get through the adoption process and provide a great life for a child in need.
Steps for Adopting a Child in New Jersey
Now that we have discussed some of the particulars of New Jersey adoptions, what is the big picture? Once you are set on your type of adoption, speak to our family lawyers about successfully clearing the following hurdles. Note that these may change depending on your unique circumstances.
- Submitting an application to become adoptive parents
- Going through the CP&P and gaining state approval as listed above
- Matching with a child
- Gaining consent from all involved parties. This may include the biological parent(s), the foster home, or other agencies
- Completing the adoption process in court
- Supervision period
Contact our Hackensack Adoption Attorneys to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are considering adopting a child in New Jersey, it is important that you do not let the daunting stacks of paperwork associated with the adoption process prevent you from opening your heart to a child in need. However, remember that this paperwork and the adoption process is in place in order to protect your family, the adopted child, and in some situations the adopted child’s parents both legally and financially, and this is where having our experienced Bergen County adoption attorneys on your side can be of enormous benefit.
With over 75 years of combined legal experience representing clients in all manner of family law issues, including adoption, our firm has built a reputation for success and effective and attentive legal service among families across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Ridgewood, Hackensack, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee.
To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your unique needs and concerns when it comes to adopting a child in a safe, legal, and informed manner, and how specifically we can help you to do so, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.