Adoption gives parents the option to provide their child with a better life. Giving up a child is one of the most difficult decisions you can make, and one that has significant, irreparable consequences. It’s also a very serious legal action that you might need help with. If you are considering giving your child up for adoption, your first step should be speaking with an experienced New Jersey child welfare and child custody attorney. Here is some basic information on the adoption process in New Jersey that can help prepare you for that conversation.
A parent voluntarily surrendering his or her child has a right to be involved in the adoption process. You can either work with an agency or have an attorney help you find an adoptive family and do a private placement. You have a right to be involved in picking an adoptive family and can meet with them before you decide, but adoption agencies can vary in to what extent they involve the biological parent. You can also request to stay involved in your child’s life or receive updates on him or her, but the adoptive family has a right to decline that arrangement.
Once you commit to an adoptive family, the legal action can be completed in court. Before this happens, however, the adoptive family will be thoroughly screened, which usually involves—at a minimum—background checks, home studies, and a review of the family’s resources to ensure they have what it takes—both financially and emotionally—to properly care for your child. Also prior to the completion of the adoption, you need to provide your legal consent and undergo counseling to ensure you are making the right choice and to deal with the emotional process of giving up your child.
After a child is adopted, the parent’s parental rights are terminated, and the legal relationship between child and parent is ended. This is not to say the parent will never have contact with the child again, but the State of New Jersey does not protect a parent’s right to contact the child once the adoption is complete. It is up to the adoptive parents whether the birth parents may have contact with the child, and they can change their mind at any point. It’s best to speak with an attorney before you make any decisions or begin the process so you can formulate an adoption plan that you are comfortable with and can stay involved in the process.
Do you have questions about adoption? The attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC can help you navigate the adoption process from start to finish, so you know your rights are defended. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation so you can work with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.