Deciding to adopt a child is the first step in the legal process of joining a family together. There are many factors to consider in the decision and a variety of legal and administrative hurdles to overcome. The majority of adoptions that take place each year in the United States are uncomplicated and families can begin their lives together quickly. In some cases, complications arise and the process can be an arduous one. Stress and emotions run high and long waiting periods can be agonizing, but a skilled and experienced adoption lawyer in Somerset can ensure the most positive outcome for all involved.
Once the decision to adopt a child or to place a child up for adoption is made, both sets of parents need to decide which type of adoption they want to pursue. There are several distinct options here, each with their own benefits and level of confidentiality.
Agency Adoption: An agency adoption is wherein a state licensed agency receives a child that will be put up for adoption. Birth parents can contact a private agency to initiate the process of giving their child up for adoption. That agency will then match the child with a prospective family to begin the adoption process. Children placed in public agencies such as a social services department will place those children put up for adoption by a court order.
Open Independent Adoption: An independent adoption is state regulated but the birth parents and the adoptive parents meet and set up the conditions and timeline for the adoption themselves. The state will monitor all negotiations and stipulations to ensure that the rights of the child and the birth and adoptive families are protected.
Closed Independent Adoption: In this type of adoption, the birth parents and the adoptive parents do not communicate directly. An adoption lawyer acts as a liaison between the two families, filing all paperwork and finalizing the adoption.
International Adoption: An international adoption takes place when adoptive parents choose a child that resides in a foreign country. The legal requirements for international adoptions must be satisfied in each country involved in the adoption, including the laws of the state in which the adoptive parents reside in the U.S. and in the country of origin for the child to be adopted. International adoptions require adoptive parents to secure an immigrant visa for their child before entering the country. The child will be given full citizenship upon their arrival on American soil.
No matter what type of adoption is chosen, it is vital to have an experienced and knowledgeable adoption lawyer at your side throughout the adoption process. Twists and turns commonly occur along the way, and a skilled adoption attorney can ensure that your legal rights are protected.
All roads in the adoption process lead to court in New Jersey, regardless if they are agency adoptions, open independent adoptions, closed independent adoptions, or international adoptions. In order for the court to approve an adoption in the Garden State, several things must be in place.
A home study of the adoptive parents must be completed. This is whereby the adoptive parents are screened in their home to determine whether or not they have the right environment to meet the adoptive child’s needs. A petition must also be filed with the court that clearly identifies the prospective adoptee, the identities of the adoptive parents, the legal reason the birth parents are terminating their parental rights and a report filed by a social worker that confirms the best interests of the child to be adopted are being served. A hearing can then be scheduled. All parties, including the birth parents, agencies or legal counsel involved in the adoption must be notified of the date. At this hearing, a judge will approve the legal adoption and the new family is free to begin their lives together.
As societal norms change in our culture, so too do the situations in families. Same-sex marriage, single parents, unmarried couples, relative/kinship adoptions and adult adoptions are all emerging trends in our modern world. Laws are evolving as quickly as situations are changing, so individual states have been setting new precedents in who can adopt, the stipulations for adoption to take place and in the types of adoptions taking place. Parents in non-traditional relationships must be sure to meet the legal requirements of their state to ensure a smooth and minimally stressed adoption process.
The experienced and knowledgeable Somerset adoption lawyers at the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC can answer your questions about adoption and advise you of laws specific to your situation. Choosing to adopt is a personal decision, but getting the adoption legally finalized is best left to the professionals at our law firm.
If you or someone you know is considering adoption, the experienced and skillful Somerset adoption lawyers at the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC can help. Contact our dedicated team of compassionate and experienced adoption lawyers at 732-873-6464 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Somerset, New Jersey and allowing us to serve clients throughout Somerset, Middlesex and Union.
We represent clients throughout New Jersey including Somerset County, Middlesex County, Union County and including but not limited to the towns of Somerset, Franklin, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Plainfield, Edison, Metuchen, Woodbridge, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, Cranford, Summit, Union, Clark, Elizabeth, Berkeley Heights, and Scotch Plains.