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Adopting in New Jersey

Adoption in New Jersey

The Garden State had adoption laws that are pretty comparable to most states. In New Jersey, any individual over 18 may adopt, married or single. Benefits for Birth Moms allow for expenses to be paid by Adoptive Families when related to pregnancy and birth (medical, transportation, legal, counseling, living expenses). Ever wonder why it's called the Garden State? A man called, Adam Browning is credited with saying the state is "an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and New Yorkers from the other."

Home Study Providers in New Jersey

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Adoption Attorneys in New Jersey

16 Adoption Agencies in NJ

8 AAAA Attorneys in NJ

Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys

  • Attorney
    William S. Singer
    2230 Route 206, P.O. Box 134
    Belle Mead, NJ 08502
    (908) 359-7873
    (908) 359-0128
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Domestic Adoption, LGBT Family Formation, Private Networking, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Christine C. Cockerill
    122 Delaware Street
    Woodbury, NJ 08096
    (856) 845-0011
    (856) 845-5934
    rsierzega@pufflaw.com
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Mediation, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Deborah E. Spivack
    P.O. Box 56182; Philadelphia, PA 19130 PO Box 3433,
    Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
    (856) 857-1155
    (856) 857-1159
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Domestic Adoption, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Special Needs Children, LGBT Family Formation, Private Networking, Embryo Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Donald C. Cofsky
    209 Haddon Avenue
    Haddonfield, NJ 08033
    (856) 429-5005
    (856) 429-6328
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Mediation, LGBT Family Formation, Private Networking, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Tara E. Gutterman
    5 Village Drive
    Voorhees, NJ 08002
    215-317-1553
    Services Offered Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, LGBT Family Formation
  • Attorney
    Jean M. Cavaliere
    89 Headquarters Plaza North, #1458
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    (973) 366-2499
    (973) 695-1032
    Services Offered Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, LGBT Family Formation, Private Networking
  • Attorney
    Elizabeth Anna Hopkins
    766 Shrewsbury Avenue
    Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
    Services Offered Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Intercountry Adoption, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, LGBT Family Formation, Private Networking
  • Attorney
    Debra E. Guston
    55 Harristown Road, Ste 106
    Glen Rock, NJ 07452
    (201) 447-6660
    (201) 447-3831
    Services Offered Assisted Reproduction, Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Mediation, Special Needs Children, LGBT Family Formation, Private Networking, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, Sperm Donation, Surrogacy
  • Attorney
    Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP
    Centre Square West
    1500 Market Street | Suite 3400
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
    2156653133
    elizabeth.vaysman@obermayer.com
    Services Offered Liz Vaysman is a family law attorney specializing in adoption and assisted reproductive technology (ART) law serving the Greater Philadelphia and Southeast Pennsylvania region.
  • Agency
    A Baby Step Adoption
    340 Morgantown Road
    Suite 2
    Reading, PA 19611
    (610) 376-9742
    info@ababystepadoption.com
    Services Offered A Baby Step Adoption Agency is led by an AAAA Director with over 30 years of legal and adoption experience. Our agency specializes in full service, newborn baby adoption throughout the United States.
  • Attorney
    Law Office of Jean M. Cavaliere, LLC
    89 Headquarters Plaza North #1458
    Morristown, NJ 07869
    (973) 366-2499
    jean@jeanmcavalierelaw.com
    Services Offered Adoption law firm specializing in domestic agency and private adoptions, interstate adoptions, stepparent, second parent, relative and adult adoptions, and re-adoptions. Jean M. Cavaliere, Esq. is a member of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys.
  • Attorney
    Adoptions First LLP
    1100 Glendon Ave
    Floor 15
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    (800) 658-8284
    info@adoptionsfirst.com
    Services Offered Adoptions First has provided the most caring and professional adoption services for over 30 years. Since 1988 we have dedicated our services & experience to adoptive parents and birth parents. Adoption is not only our work. It is our passion, our personal stories, and our life’s calling.
  • Attorney
    Guston & Guston, LLP
    55 Harristown Road
    Suite 106
    Glen Rock, NJ 07452
    (201) 447-6660
    deb@gustonlaw.com
    Services Offered Deb Guston is an adoption attorney with 30+ years serving diverse clientele seeking to build and secure their families through adoption. She is a Fellow and Past President of the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys.
  • Agency
    Adopt America
    111 N.E. 1st Street, Suite 902
    Miami, FL 33132
    (305) 984-2154
    info@adoptamerica411.com
    Services Offered Adopt America is a licensed child placement agency in the State of Florida. We provide home study services mainly to residents of S. Florida and some other locations throughout Florida. We offer placement services when we are working with a designated birthmother/birth parents but no waiting list.
  • Agency
    Caring Adoptions
    11601 Katy Freeway
    Suite 222
    Houston, TX 77079
    (281) 920-4300
    info@caringadoptions.org
    Services Offered Caring Adoptions is a full service adoption agency that has been finding families for children since 1991. Although located in Houston, Caring Adoptions works with Birthmothers throughout Texas, and Adoptive Parents throughout Texas and the United States.
  • Social Worker
    Judy S. Schwartz, LMSW
    280 East Fallkill Rd
    MyNyAdoptions
    Hyde Park, NY 12538
    (845) 307-0396
    Judy@mynyadoptions.com
    Services Offered My career as a Social Worker began in 1980 and I opened my private practice specializing in Adoption in 1999. I assist in developing your individualized plan for adoption, and also provide infertility counseling and adoption preparation for traditional and embryo adoptions.

Traveling For Your Adoption in New Jersey

Length of ICPC
in New Jersey

1-30 days

Email: njicpc@dcf.nj.gov

New Jersey participates in the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) – a statutory agreement between all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. The agreement governs the placement of children from one state into another state. It sets forth the requirements that must be met before a child can be placed out of state. The Compact ensures prospective placements are safe and suitable before approval, and it ensures that the individual or entity placing the child remains legally and financially responsible for the child following placement.

Adoption Law FAQ in New Jersey

Advertising Law Info

Adoption Law Info

  • Who Can Adopt?
    An individual 18 years or older who is at least 10 years older than the child, a married couple, a married individual without his or her spouse if living separately, or the child’s brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, birth father, or stepparent.
  • Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption?
    Yes, if in-state agency used or if baby is less than three months old. In the latter, papers must be filed in the county where the baby was born.
  • Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary?
    Yes, but adopting parents can’t pay an intermediary unless the intermediary is an approved agency.
  • What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period?
    Medical (including transportation), legal, counseling (religious, psychological, vocational), living (food, clothing, shelter). During pregnancy and 4 weeks postpartum.
  • When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic?
    Agency adoption: birth parents are permitted to irrevocably terminate their parental rights to a licensed, not for profit New Jersey adoption agency some time following 72 hours after the child’s birth as long as they have had a minimum of 3 face to face options counseling sessions with a Birth Parent Counselor. There is no appearance before a judge; Private adoption: when judge terminates birth parents' rights, usually 2-5 weeks after birth if voluntary judicial surrender or 2-4 months after birth if no judicial surrender hearing. Return to birth mother dependent on when she revoked consent; return is not automatic to birth father.
  • Qualifications for Adoptive Parents for adoption
    Citation: Admin. Code § 10:121A-5.6
    The agency shall ensure that the adoptive applicants:
    Are at least age 18 and at least 10 years older than the child being adopted
    Have the capacity to meet the child’s physical and emotional needs
    The agency also shall ask applicants to disclose any history of child abuse or neglect or any criminal record, excluding minor traffic violations.

Home Study Info

  • Elements of a Home Study for Adoption
    Citation: Admin. Code § 10:121A-5.6
    The home study process shall include the following:
    • At least three in-person joint and individual interviews with married applicants
    • At least one in-person joint and one individual interview with each member of the applicant’s household
    • At least one visit to the residence of the applicants
    • A review of the applicants’ current job references
    • A review of three personal references from persons unrelated to the applicants
    The agency shall obtain information on the applicants, including, but not limited to:
    • The applicants’ interests, hobbies, child caring skills, strengths, and weaknesses, and how they see themselves and each other
    • Philosophies on child rearing, discipline, parental roles, and experience with children
    • Emotional stability and maturity
    • The state of their marital relationship
    • The attitudes of other members of the family
    • Each parent’s family life history
    • Each parent’s agreement that corporal punishment, including hitting and shaking, as well as abusive language and ridicule, are unacceptable means of discipline
    • Written medical reports on each applicant and all other persons living in the home
    • Verifications of present or previous marriage(s) and divorce(s) of each adoptive applicant, including deaths of former spouses when there was no divorce
    • Location and description of physical environment of the residence and neighborhood
    • A statement of income and financial resources, and a description of the applicant’s capacity to manage finances
    The agency shall obtain fingerprint-based criminal history background checks and child abuse records checks on each adoptive applicant and all persons age 18 and older residing in the adoptive applicant’s home.
  • Grounds for Withholding Approval for Adoption
    Citation: Admin. Code § 10:121A-5.6
    When the criminal records check reveals a record of criminal convictions, the agency shall examine the nature and seriousness of the crime and the date it occurred. Special attention shall be given to crimes of violence, crimes that involve the use or threat of a weapon, rape/sexual assault, crimes that result in the loss of life and crimes against children.
    The agency shall determine whether the convicted individual completed a rehabilitation program, including a prison sentence, stays in a halfway house, treatment received in a drug treatment facility, treatment received in a psychiatric hospital, or counseling received in the community. If such evidence exists, the agency shall assess whether the convicted individual has been rehabilitated and shall consider such rehabilitation in deciding whether to approve the adoption application.
    When the child abuse record background check reveals that the adoptive applicant or an adult residing in the home has a record of a substantiated incident of child abuse and/or neglect, the agency shall examine the nature and seriousness of the abuse and/or neglect incidents and determine if the perpetrator has completed a rehabilitation program or counseling program. If such evidence exists, the agency shall assess whether the perpetrator can provide an appropriate home for the child.
  • When Home Studies Must Be Completed for Adoption
    Citation: Admin. Code § 10:121A-5.6
    The agency shall not place a child in the adoptive applicant’s home for the purpose of adoption without a completed home study.
    For applicants who have been studied, approved, and placed on a waiting list for longer than 18 months from the time their home study was approved, the agency shall ensure that the home study is current within 18 months of the child’s being placed into the home. The updated home study shall include:
    • One or more interviews with all members of the applicants’ household
    • Medical reports within the past year for all members of the applicants’ household
    • A visit to the residence of the applicants
    • Updated financial information
  • Postplacement Study Requirements for Adoption
    Citation: Admin. Code § 10:121A-5.8
    The agency shall visit the home within 14 calendar days of the adoptive placement and document that:
    • The child’s background information was reviewed with the adoptive parents.
    • The adoptive parent(s) and child were given reassurance that their feelings, worries, and joys are natural and understandable.
    • School-age children have an educational plan.
    • Working parents have made child care arrangements.
    For children younger than age 5, the agency shall:
    • Conduct bimonthly home visits for at least 6 months
    • Document that all members of the household were interviewed
    • Document that the following issues were discussed:
    o How the presence of the child changed family relationships
    o What role each family member has assumed regarding child care and discipline
    o How parents cope with the demands of a crying infant and/or a child who ‘tests’ the placement and how the family reacts to these episodes, including any feelings of insecurity about doing the ‘right’ thing
    For children age 5 or older, the agency shall:
    • Conduct monthly home visits during the minimum supervisory 6-month period, and then bimonthly home or office visits until the adoption is finalized
    • Document that the child was interviewed privately about his or her feelings about the adoption at each supervisory visit
    • Document that the following issues were discussed:
    o How the presence of the child changed family relationships
    o What role each family member has assumed regarding child care and discipline
    o How the child ‘tests’ the placement and how the family reacts to these episodes, including any feelings of insecurity about doing the ‘right’ thing
    o How the family perceives the child’s sense of identity and the need to fill in gaps in the child’s history
    o How the child has adjusted to the school environment

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