Adoption can be life-changing but it is highly recommended to work with a knowledgable attorney throughout the process. At Dunne, Dunne & Cohen, LLC, serving clients in Kearny and the greater Hoboken, NJ, area, we have been in practice for a total of over 60 years combined, and help you understand if adoption is right for you. One of our attorneys, F.R. "Chip" Dunne, III, Leonard B. Cohen, or Frederick R. Dunne, Jr., can explain the process, walk you through possible outcomes, and make sure any obstacles are handled properly and according to the law. We will fight to protect your rights as a family, help you decide what type of adoption meets your needs, and discuss what you might encounter during the case.
Who Can Adopt?
Adoption is not reserved for a married husband and wife with high paying jobs, or individuals of a certain age. Adoptive parents can be single, may not own their own home, might have biological children at home or be a first-time parent, and have any sexual orientation. There is no predetermined set of qualifications, but that does not mean you will not have to provide certain information or meet certain requirements.
Adoption can be life-changing but it is highly recommended to work with a knowledgable family law attorney throughout the process.
Types of Adoption
There are a few different types of adoption, and knowing the differences can help you determine which type best meets your family’s needs:
- Open adoption: Both the adoptive and biological parents are privy to certain information about one another in an open adoption. The parties may be in contact with one another and decide to exchange personal information. An open adoption can be beneficial to the child as the years pass, especially if the child asks questions about their heritage or culture. An open adoption can also give a child the ability to maintain contact with members of their biological family, which can be helpful as children age and express a desire to know more about their background. In many open adoptions, there is an intent to let the child know they have been adopted, and being open eliminates the necessity to perform a search for birth parents.
- Closed adoption: The birth parent and adoptive parents do not interact during a closed adoption. This process is beneficial in instances where the child may be in danger if contact is maintained, or where an adoptive parent makes this choice out of the desire to parent without the possibility of interference from the biological parent.
- Stepparent adoption: When a stepparent adopts a child, there must either be consent from the biological parent or a termination of parental rights. This requires adjudication by the court and until a finding is made terminating rights, the birth parents may still claim parentage.
- Kinship adoption: This occurs when a family member adopts a child from within the family. This might be the result of a death in the family or a guardianship. This type of adoption is typically simpler than other forms of adoption, but does still require approval.
Regardless of your situation, our team can meet your needs and provide guidance.
The Adoption Process
Depending on the type of adoption, there are steps that must be followed. This may include:
- Terminating parental rights
- Obtaining consent to adopt, if necessary
- File the proper paperwork
- Attend a hearing to have the adoption finalized
Each case is different, and you may have to participate in a home study or take other action to finalize your adoption or your case may not be that detailed. When you visit with our attorneys, we give you an individualized roadmap so there are no surprises along the way.
Our family law attorneys have helped a large number of families grow through the process of adoptions. To set up your initial consultation, call our Hoboken office today at (201) 998-2727. We can also be reached online.