Livingston Adoption Lawyer
Growing your family through adoption comes with both excitement and anxiety. Prospective parents often wonder whether birth parents could complicate matters or if they can afford these proceedings. A dedicated family attorney from our firm could answer these questions and guide you throughout the process so you can feel at ease during this momentous time. From petitioning for legal parental rights as stepparent to welcoming foster children into your home, a Livingston adoption lawyer could support you.
Different Types of Adoption in New Jersey
There are many ways people can grow their families through adoption. The state permits various types of child placement designed to address the unique situations that may arise when birth parents release or lose their rights or when a someone wants to welcome a child into their family.
Adoption by a Stepparent
If one party’s parental rights are terminated or relinquished, the spouse of the other legal parent may adopt the child by speaking with a local attorney and filing a petition in family court.
Private Agency Adoption
New Jersey’s licensed adoption agencies can help individuals or couples register as potential adoptive parents and provide services to birth parents seeking to place children with a loving family.
Foster to Adopt
When DCPP removes children from their homes, social workers may immediately recognize a birth parent’s inability to provide for their child. As a result, these children may be placed in foster home of prospective adoptive parents. It is important to note that these individuals may include blood relatives.
Adopting children from overseas often requires the assistance of immigration and family legal professionals. Most overseas adoptions involve licensed international agencies. A lawyer from our firm could help families navigate and finalize the process of bringing a child over from another country.
Adopting a Child from a Surrogate
While state law allows for surrogacy, special laws apply to these arrangements. Generally, intended parents must legally adopt a child from gestational surrogates.
Legal Prerequisites to Adoption
New Jersey law permits fit and able adults to adopt minor children who are at least ten years younger than their prospective parents. Adopting family members, including stepchildren, grandchildren, nieces, and cousins, may require less procedural oversight than anonymous agency adoptions. For prospective parents pursuing adoption through a private organization or DCPP, the state requires families to go through a series of checks. These include:
- Home safety and welfare studies
- Interviews with prospective parents, friends, and family members
- Reference checks
- Licensing inspection including background checks
- Parent-child matching process
- Initial placement with agency supervision
- Addressing any pre-adoption issues and finalizing the case with the help of legal professionals
An experienced lawyer could support Livingston families through these home checks and interviews during the adoption process. For instance, legal professionals could help prospective parents prepare for a safety inspection, address any red flags in a background check, and help them with caseworker interviews.
Cost of Adopting Children in Livingston
Private placement agencies often provide specialized support, legal, and medical services to birth and adoptive parents, resulting in substantial fees and expenses. When adopting through a private agency, costs may range from $20,000 to $50,000 to finalize, and surrogacy costs may exceed $50,000.
Stepparent options may cost less than $1,000, and relatives could adopt minor family members without substantial fees. Adopting children through DCPP, however, often costs nothing. Local child welfare authorities may cover all direct home study and inspection fees, and attorneys in the area usually charge reasonable flat fees to help foster families achieve certification and finalize an adoption.
Connect with a Compassionate Livingston Adoption Attorney
Every child has birth parents, but sometimes these parents must make hard decisions. A young birth mother may selflessly decide to place her infant with a loving family member, or the New Jersey Department of Children and Families may intervene to protect abused children’s health and welfare.
A dedicated Livingston adoption lawyer could help you officially welcome a child into your home. Our domestic relations team understands the difficulties associated with this process and wants to help ease the stress so you can enjoy this wonderful transition in your family. Connect with our dedicated team today by calling our office.