For whatever reason you are choosing to adopt, it is a great way to have children you can call your own. It can complete your family and offer much more. As you embark on the process of adopting a child, you should familiarize yourself with the various aspects of adoption law. In this article, we will address some common questions about adoptions.
How do I adopt my stepchild in NJ?
There are different types of adoption methods in New Jersey. Depending on who you are choosing to take in or your own family background, an experienced adoption attorney will help you choose the option best suited for you. Some of them include:
- Private adoptions: the adoptive parents will coordinate with the birth parents to adopt the child after he or she is born. This may be done domestically, but international adoptions are possible as well.
- Stepparent adoptions: the person acting in a parental role will gain legal or parental rights to a child through this option. It is often used when children are conceived through assisted reproduction methods.
- Grandparent or relative adoptions: grandparents or other individuals in a parental role can use this option. The birth parents must first waive their parental rights before grandparents can take on the child.
- Foster parent adoptions: foster families can take on a child permanently through this option.
- Same-sex couple adoptions: As New Jersey law is rather friendly towards LGBT marriage, same-sex couples are able to care for kids under New Jersey adoption law.
How much does it cost to adopt a child in NJ?
New Jersey provides an adoption tax credit to reimburse parents for related expenses associated with adoption. In 2021, the maximum tax credit is $14,440. The necessary fees, including paperwork costs and attorney fees, add up to a range between $15,000 to $30,000. Good New Jersey adoption lawyers will be able to advise you on materials to minimize your costs.
How long does the adoption process take in New Jersey?
The New Jersey law requires the person seeking adoption to be at least 18 years old and at least 10 years older than the child the parent to be is seeking to take in. The law has no other restrictions on the family structure necessary.
An approved agency with extensive experience will pay a visit to the prospective home. They will then determine whether the family environment is conducive and suitable for kids to move in. Background checks will also be done on the prospective parents.
The adoption proceedings to legally adopt a child in New Jersey include the following steps:
- An action for adoption must be filed with the court. The petition must include affidavits by the birth parents of the adoptive child, if possible, who will surrender their legal rights.
- Preliminary hearing
- Subsequent petition to modify or revoke the order
- Final hearing
- Judgment for adoption
Overall, the adoption process could take around a year. A good law firm or a good attorney will help to speed up the process.
At any stage of the proceedings, you can consult a family law firm to speak to adoption attorneys for advice. You are allowed to be represented by an adoption attorney during the proceedings as well.
How do I reverse an adoption in NJ?
Once the court has finalized the adoption, it is difficult to then reverse the adoption order. In cases where the biological parents have sought to reverse the adoption, the ultimate decision depended on the best interests of the child. There is a high standard to be met in order to reverse an adoption and attorneys should be consulted.
Alternatively, if the adoption is done through an agency, the adoption may be reversed if misrepresentation or fraud can be established, although that is a separate matter for parents to consult with attorneys.
Contact our law firm to speak to any of our experienced New Jersey attorneys today.
We at Villani Deluca provide a range of services at our law office. Every attorney is well-versed in family law. Contact our New Jersey adoption attorneys today and we will help you the best we can.