Adopting a child is a life-changing experience. Perhaps you are welcoming your first child into your family. Maybe you already have a few biological children, and you would like to expand your horizons and your family. Whatever the case may be, it is important to understand that adoption can be a fairly complex legal process. By educating yourself about this process beforehand, you can approach adoption with the confidence that your rights will be protected.
Of course, hiring a qualified, experienced family law attorney in New Jersey is an important first step. Not only can our legal professionals explain this legal process in a clear, concise manner, but we can also guide you toward a positive outcome and represent you in all legal matters. With our help, you can welcome a new child into your family without any unnecessary delays or issues.
Top Legal Concerns When Adopting in New Jersey
Minor Parents and Consent
One of the most important issues related to adoption involves the consent of minors. Underage pregnant mothers commonly agree to give their children up for adoption, and they can legally consent to do so. However, the parent or guardian of that pregnant mother must also consent to an adoption. It is also worth mentioning that consent is not required if the minor parent has executed a valid surrender. This terminates the parental rights and makes the child available for adoption.
When Biological Parents Disagree About Adoption
Another important concern has to do with potential disagreements between the biological parents. In some cases, one parent may agree to an adoption while another parent does not. It is important to get consent from both parents if the whereabouts of these parents are known. For example, the biological mother of a child may agree to adoption, but the father may not. New Jersey law states that the birth father should always be notified prior to adoption unless they have voluntarily or involuntarily surrendered their parental rights. If a parent who has not had their rights terminated does not consent, then the adoption cannot move forward.
Dealing With Abandoned Children
Parents often abandon their children if they are unsure of what to do or how to approach the adoption process. Although this is technically illegal, it is considered legally defensible if the parent leaves the child in a hospital or a police station. This is known as anonymous surrender. The most important thing you need to know about anonymous surrender is that the infant must be 30 days old or less. Although the authorities are not required to attempt to track down the biological parents, they must wait 21 days before permanently terminating parental rights.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
Most people assume that family law deals only with divorce, but this is not the case. Family law attorneys can also assist with adoption, and it is important to work with a qualified legal professional if you are approaching the adoption process for the first time. If you have been searching the New Jersey area for an experienced family law attorney, look no further than Giro Law, LLP, Attorneys at Law. We can help you adopt a young one without unnecessary delays or issues, so book your consultation today.