Before You Adopt, How to Choose the Right New Jersey Adoption

Adoption is a big decision. If you have decided to adopt a child, you have spent a lot of time thinking about how your new family member will fit into your life. You’ve thought about your child’s room. You’ve thought about education and childcare.  You’ve even imagined taking your child to the park or to play dates. However, the adoption process itself may still be vague and confusing.

There are many options for adoption in New Jersey. The type of adoption you choose will depend on your family’s goals.

Goal: To protect your relationship with the child of your partner or spouse.

Stepparent and Second Parent Adoptions: You pack your child’s lunch, you drive her to school, and you stay up with her when she has nightmares. However, you know that if something happened to your partner, you could lose your child.

A stepparent or second parent adoption allows you to legalize and secure your relationship with your partner’s child. The adoption process protects your child and ensures that you will be able to continue acting as a parent in the event of your partner’s illness or death.

Goal: To provide a home for a child in need.

Adoption of a child in foster care:   You’d like to provide a good home to a child who has had a rough start. There are thousands of children in New Jersey whose biological parents are unable to care for them because of life circumstances. Children of all ages are temporarily living in foster homes or group care while they wait for an adoptive family. Children can be adopted directly from foster care; however, it is also possible to provide foster care for a child with the goal of adoption.

Adoption of a special needs child: It is very challenging to find an adoptive family for a special needs child. In order to ensure the child’s well-being, families that are interested in adopting a special needs child may need to show that they can provide appropriate care for the child.

Goal: To find the perfect addition for your family.

Agency Adoptions: State-licensed adoption agencies provide a wide range of adoption-related services, including matching, pre-adoption counseling, child placement, and post-placement supervision. Agency adoptions are a good choice for families who have certain criteria for the child they wish to adopt.

Private Adoptions: Prospective adoptive parents who would like a newborn often consider private adoptions. A private adoptions is an adoption that is arranged between the birth parent and adoptive parent.  There is no agency involvement. It is important that an attorney supervise the adoption to ensure that parental rights are properly transferred.

Goal: To provide opportunity to a child from another country

International adoption: International adoption can allow you to become the legal guardian of a child who was born in another country. If you choose to adopt a child from another country, you will need to if the country from which you plan to adopt in under the jurisdiction of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. These countries have specific requirements for the adoption process.

Goal: To have your own baby with the help of a surrogate

Adoption through surrogacy: Surrogate parenting refers to a situation where a woman agrees to carry a child for another individual or couple through artificial insemination. The surrogate parent usually receives compensation for medical care and other costs.

Goal: To add a child to your same-sex family

Same-Sex Adoptions: In New Jersey, same-sex families may not be discriminated against during the adoption process. However, same-sex families may experience discrimination during out-of-state and international adoptions. Working with an attorney can help ensure that you and your spouse or partner are treated fairly throughout the adoption process.

Which option is best for you and your family?

Once you know your goals, Melinda M. Previtera, Attorney at Law can help you determine what kind of adoption will work best for you and your family.  She will explain the adoption process and help you through every step of making your dream of a child a reality. Call (201) 655-7204 to schedule a consultation.

There are many additional resources available to help you learn about adoption. Many adoptive parent support groups are willing to open their meetings to prospective adoptive parents. Another source of information is the National Foster Care & Adoption Directory.