Category - Adoption

Who Is Able to Adopt a Child?

New Jersey Adoption LawyerAdoption is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give. There are many children both in and out of our country who are not afforded the same opportunity as others, simply because they no longer are under the care of a parent(s) or guardian(s).

Choosing to adopt a child and help him/her get out of whatever situation they may be in is a big commitment and requires great care. The adoption process itself is involved and can end up taking quite some time. But before you even get started on the adoption process, you must first make sure that you are able to adopt a child.

Adoption of a Child in New Jersey

In New Jersey, any person who is at least 18 years old may adopt. If you are married, your spouse must consent or you must jointly apply to adopt. When it comes to the child, he/she can be any person. If it is an adult adoption, then they must be 10 years younger or more than the person looking to adopt. If the child is 10 years old or older, their consent in the adoption is going to be considered.

Now, this does not mean any adult can adopt a child. While laws may vary from state to state, it is common that an adult must be considered a “fit parent” in order to adopt a child. This means meeting certain requirements as required by the state, perhaps even including requirements handed down by the adoption agency you are adopting through.

Unique Difficulties Faced by Certain Couples Looking to Adopt in NJ

As stated earlier, adopting a child is not easy even though it seems most anyone can do it. Depending on the type of couple, some adoption experiences may end up more difficult than others.

For starters, it may be more difficult for a single parent to have their adoption successfully completed. This is because most agencies often look to put healthy infants and younger children in two-parent families. In addition, birth parents often want their children to also be placed in a two-parent home.

In a similar sense, lesbians and gay men may also find it harder to adopt than their heterosexual counterparts, despite an increasing number of states allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt jointly. The good news is that New Jersey permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt and also permits same-sex couples to jointly petition to adopt. In addition, the state of New Jersey permits a same-sex partner to petition to adopt their partner’s child or child of the relationship.

Again, when it comes down to it, the decision is made based upon what is in the best interests of the child. If you are looking to adopt a child you need to build a strong case for what makes you a fit parent, regardless of demographics.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Camden County Family Lawyer to Discuss Your Adoption

It is in your best interest to consult an adoption lawyer who is familiar with the state’s ideals of a fit parent. In New Jersey, the Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman can help put you in the best possible position to make your adoption dreams a reality.

Call 856-309-9007 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Important Steps to Complete Before a Stepchild Adoption

Family Law Burlington Image - Law Offices of Daniel K. NewmanAdopting a stepchild is typically less difficult than regular adoption; however, obtaining the help of a family law attorney is still crucial to ensure that all of the proper actions are taken. Here are a few things to consider before following through with adopting a stepchild.

Weighing the Situation

Through adoption, the adoptive parent becomes a legal parent of the child or children, meaning that this person assumes all responsibilities and rights of this position. If an adoptive parent divorces their adoptive child’s biological parent, they still remain responsible for the child.

Obtaining Consent

One of the first steps to take involves obtaining consent from both of the child’s biological parents because the law requires termination of rights of one or both biological parents. Sometimes, a birth parent’s rights may have already been terminated due to neglect, serious criminal conduct or some other form of parental misbehavior. If this is the case, no further consent is necessary.


Assemble documents to proceed. These documents include a birth certificate, marriage certificate, and death certificate of a deceased biological parent. There are many documents which the court requires before they will schedule a hearing date. They also require F.B.I. and NJ State Police background checks and fingerprints for all adults living the home.

An attorney can be of assistance to help manage the process.

Thanks to Stephen Hochhaus for the image used in this post.