Qualifications, Expenses, Fostering, Domestic and International Adoptions
Adoption Attorneys Discuss the Steps with Clients in Passaic County and Northern NJ Clients in Wayne, Clifton, Paterson, with offices in Woodland Park.
The adoption process for any adoptive parent or pregnant mother planning for adoption can be overwhelming. Given the myriad of laws and standards, you must qualify to be considered eligible to adopt. Adoptions processes and qualifications vary state by state, further adding to the possibility for concussion and delay in a successful process. Read on to learn more about the process of child adoptions in New Jersey.
Qualifications for Adoptions in New Jersey
First and foremost, a person considering becoming an adoptive parent must meet age requirements in New Jersey. The hopeful adoptive parent or couple must be at least 18 years old and at least 10 years older than the child they are looking to adopt. In addition to the legal possibility that a single person may adopt, there are legal grounds for a married person adopting solely if they are living apart from their spouse. There are also many cases in which family members of a child adopt the child, such as their sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or stepparent.
One of the most intensive aspects of adopting an adoptive parent is the home study process. It is determined whether the applicant can provide a safe and sound environment for the child during this time. The home study includes three in-person interviews with the applicant or couple (joint and separate), interviews with family members in the applicants’ household, and an extensive background check of each applicant.
Pregnancy and birth can be expensive, and adoptive parents can cover some of the pregnancy expenses through the New Jersey adoption process. In New Jersey, parents are legally allowed to pay the cost of the following:
- Medical expenses for mother and baby
- Hospital expenses for mother and baby
- Counseling expenses for mother during pregnancy
- Living expenses for mother to an extent determined as reasonable by the courts – these living expenses include the above and housing, food, and clothing.
- Attorneys fees are required for local or international adoptions and adoption agency expenses in international adoption, so the adoptive child is legally represented in their home country.
- All additional legal fees
The legal time limit for the adoptive parent’s legal coverage of expenses for mama is one month following the birth. As part of the accounting process of the adoption, the adoptive parent must keep a detailed record of all expenses paid throughout the adoption process. For this reason, it is essential to have the support of a skilled and experienced adoption attorney to ensure that your navigation of the adoption process is in alignment with New Jersey law and the road to your growing family doesn’t meet with any bumps or setbacks.
As could be expected, the process for international adoption is more complex and legally bound than that of domestic adoptions. The state recognizes adoptions of international children when two key qualifications are met: 1) the adoptive parent is a resident of New Jersey, and 2) the child has a legal immigrant visa issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
With the establishment of these two elements, the child will be issued a New Jersey birth certificate when the State Register receives the following:
- Proof of the adoptive parent’s New Jersey residency, as stated above
- Proof of the adoptive child’s status as having a legal immigrant visa, as stated above
- Proof of the child’s birthplace, birthday, and birth time
- Official copy of the judgment from the country of the child’s origin
- Certified translation of the adoption documentation
If the adoptive child is not issued a birth certificate when they arrive in New Jersey, they may request that a birth certificate be issued by providing the above elements and requesting this with the State Register. The court and the child’s adoptive parents may also request this during the child’s infancy, childhood, or adulthood.
Fostering a Child in New Jersey
The process of fostering a child in New Jersey is distinct. In addition to meeting the state age requirement of 18 years of age and 10 years older than the child to be placed in the home, prospective foster parents must meet the requirement of being healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are also required to complete a home study and 27 hours of PRIDE training.
To ensure that you navigate the adoption process effectively, you must seek the support of a qualified attorney.
Contact our Little Falls NJ Adoption Lawyer for a free consultation
If you have applied for adoption within the state of New Jersey or internationally and need help navigating that process, we are on your side.
At The Montanari Law Group, we successfully represent clients across Passaic County and Northern NJ Clients in Wayne, Clifton, Paterson, and Woodland Park.