Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.

East Brunswick Adoption Lawyer

Adopting a child can be one of the best and most important experiences in your life, however it also an extremely frustrating process. There are numerous factors involved in an adoption as well as a few different ways to undergo the adoption process. Adoptions can be done in a few different ways – through a stepparent adoption, foster care adoption, private agency adoption or private adoption (usually done through family).

There is extremely complicated paperwork you must fill out, and background steps you will need to complete before moving forward. By speaking with an East Brunswick adoption lawyer, you can get a better idea of the adoption laws in New Jersey and help you add another member to your family. Contact a qualified family attorney today, and know that you are in capable hands. 

East Brunswick Adoption Laws

The state of New Jersey allows any adult over 18 years of age with at least a ten-year age gap between the child and the adult, to adopt a child. In this way, an older sibling can adopt a younger sibling as long as they have the required age difference.  If a married couple is disagreeing on an adoption then the partner that does not want to adopt will need to provide the other spouse with written consent to adopt without them.

There is no discrimination between same-sex couples or heterosexual couples. Furthermore, single individuals are allowed to adopt on their own. A step-parent can be done if one of the parents loses or voluntarily surrenders their parental rights.

Termination of Parental Rights

Courts can step in and terminate parental rights if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child for that parent to no longer have any rights.

A parent can lose their rights if they have been convicted of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Additionally, if the past that parent was convicted of serious injury, manslaughter or murder to another child of their own the court can find that a reason to remove that person’s rights to their child.

Lastly, if the child was removed by child protective services and that parent did nothing to rectify the situation.  Once a parent has lost rights to their child, the stepparent can adopt the child.

Foster Care AdoptionsThis is also similar to how foster care adoptions work because while a child is placed with a foster family, the birth parent still has legal rights to their child. However, if their rights are eventually terminated or they give up their rights then the foster parents can complete the adoption.  Home Study or Cohabitation With the Adoptee

Regardless, of how the adoption occurred all adoptive parents must complete a home study. After this, the parents have to file for adoption at court. Adoptions through an agency require that the parents and child live together for a minimum of six months before they can file to legalize the adoption. Adoptions processed through a private adoption have 45 days from when the parents receive the child until the complaint must be filed. An experienced East Brunswick adoption attorney can help navigate through this entire process.

Laws for Parents Considering Placing Their Child for Adoption

If a person is considering placing a child for adoption, then they should find an East Brunswick adoption lawyer who can advise them on their rights and options. For example, if someone is concerned about their privacy,they should know that the Vital Statistics Act provides adopted children options to find out who their birth parents were.

Depending on the type of adoption chosen. The biological parent has a specific time frame in which they can change their mind. For example, if they decide to place their child in an independent adoption then they can fill out the surrender documents at any time once their child is born.

However, the biological parent will have time to change their mind until either they go to court to voluntarily give up their rights or have at the court terminate them on their behalf.  

Alternatively, if the biological parent decides to go through an adoption agency then there is a mandatory 72 hours wait period before they can sign away their rights as a parent. With this choice, they lose the right to change their mind once the papers are signed.

How an East Brunswick Adoption Lawyer Can Help

Adoption is a very complicated and stressful process. Whether you are trying to adopt a child or trying to place a child for adoption, the act of doing so can be very difficult.  By working with an East Brunswick adoption lawyer, you can have someone who can help you with this process.