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Common Adoption Types in New Jersey
There are three common types of adoption in New Jersey. Private adoption, grandparent or family member adoption, and step-parent adoption.
Private adoptions usually take place through an agency, the birthparents and the prospective parents. Adoptions can be open, semi-open, or closed. This describes the contact the adoptive family has with the birthparent(s) and whether the transfer of the child goes to the agency first before being placed or is placed directly from the birthparents to the adoptive parents with agency supervision.
Families or individuals looking to make a forever home for a child have to proceed through various steps and an evaluation called a home study in order to become adoptive parents. New Jersey requires all adoptions have a home study. A home study is an evaluation of the adoptive applicant’s potential to be a suitable parent for a child. The home study includes various interviews with the family, a home visit, and joint interviews with the perspective parents. Medical and financial statements are required, and employment is verified along with references. The applicant(s) must obtain State and Federal fingerprint clearances and background checks. An adoptive parent must be at least 18 years of age and at least 10 years older than the child to be adopted.
Once the home study is complete and a child is matched with the family, an application (complaint) for adoption must be filed with the New Jersey Surrogate’s Court either where the adopting parents live or the location of the agency.
Adoption law is a complex and technical and an experienced adoption attorney is essential for a smooth process. Please contact the Hofmann Law Firm if you are interested in making a forever home for a loving child.
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