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The adoption of a child can be an exciting, life-altering time for many families. That said, the process is often stressful and complicated; navigating this complex process can be challenging on your own, but our dedicated family attorneys are ready to help.
If you are considering adopting a child or a stepchild, you could benefit from seeking legal advice before you initiate the process. Let our West Caldwell adoption lawyers advise you on eligibility and guide you through each stage of the process.
There are limitations on who has the right to pursue the adoption of a child in New Jersey. Most importantly, there is an age requirement. No person may adopt unless they are at least 18 years of age. What is more, that person must be at least 10 years older than the person they seek to adopt.
Single adults have the ability to adopt, but they must meet a different set of rules than married couples. Typically, married couples must each adopt a child jointly. There are, however, exceptions for married couples that live separately. A person who is married but separated from their spouse may adopt a child without the spouse also being involved.
Meeting the minimum standards set out by state law is fundamental to the adoption process. Without meeting the basic requirements, prospective parents could waste substantial time or financial resources in the adoption process. A West Caldwell adoption attorney could ensure that a prospective parent qualifies to adopt before initiating the process.
There are strict regulations on the expenses that adoptive parents can cover throughout this process. In an effort to prevent impropriety, the law strictly limits what expenses an adoptive parent can pay for during the course of the pregnancy.
One of the primary expenses adoptive parents in New Jersey can pay is for anything related to the health of the mother or the baby. This includes medical or hospital care, including counseling services.
The adoptive parents can also cover the cost of certain living expenses, within reason. This can include expenses related to food, clothing, and housing while the mother is pregnant.
There are administrative costs that the adoptive parents can also cover. This includes everything from legal fees to the unique costs that go into international adoption.
There is a time limit that applies to these payments. For example, any payments made to the birth mother cannot extend past four weeks following the birth of the child or the termination of the pregnancy. There are also strict requirements regarding the reporting of these expenditures. An attorney in West Caldwell could assist with these adoption reporting requirements.
Consent is an important aspect of adopting a child. If the birth parents of the child have their parental rights, they must give their written consent in order for an adoption to move forward. In the event the birth parents do not consent to the adoption, there will need to be a trial to determine if the adoption is in the child’s best interest.
For more information about consenting to the adoption of a child, speak with a West Caldwell attorney right away.
Adopting a child can be one of the best things that happen to you in your life, but that does not mean the process is easy. To give yourself the best chance of success, it is crucial you seek the help of our West Caldwell adoption lawyers early on in the process. Reach out to our experienced legal team to learn more about your rights and the adoption process.