Getting Through the Adoption Process in Warren, and Sussex Counties
Helping you open your home to a child in New Jersey
Through adoption, you can open up your home to a child in need of love and care. However, adoption is a big decision, and one that is taken very seriously by the courts. Whether you are adopting a member of your extended family, a stepchild or a foster child in New Jersey, or you are working with an agency or arranging a private adoption, there are strict legal procedures you need to follow to make it happen. Our lawyers at Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Hinkes, Wojcik, Gacquin, Vandenberg & Hontz, L.L.C. can guide you through the process and help you prepare for the issues you might face.
Understanding the adoption process
Adoption is the process of creating a parent-child relationship with a child who is not biologically yours. This necessarily involves terminating the parental rights of the child’s actual biological parent or parents. In most agency and private adoptions, the parents are willing to consent to this. In many relative or stepchild adoptions, however, it can be a contentious issue.
Adoption requires you to file a complaint in a New Jersey Superior Court and appear at one or more hearings before a judge. Your attorneys can help you provide the necessary information for your complaint and gather the various documents you must submit before the court can enter a final order of adoption. These include background checks; proof that the biological parents have been notified, have consented or have already had their rights terminated; and the report of an accredited adoption agency regarding the fitness of your home. Our team at Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Hinkes, Wojcik, Gacquin, Vandenberg & Hontz, L.L.C. can ensure that you accomplish all these steps to help your adoption go smoothly.
Contested adoptions require legal assistance
Most adoptions are uncontested and terminating parental rights is not an issue. However, there are situations where you may wish to adopt a child over the objections of one or both natural parents. This is especially prevalent in stepparent adoptions and when people want to adopt the children of a family member they believe to be unfit. To succeed in a contested adoption, you must show that grounds exist for terminating the biological parents’ rights:
- Serious and continuous abuse or neglect
- Abandonment of the child
- Chronic mental illness
- Chronic alcohol or drug abuse
- Failure to support the child
Our attorneys understand that it is necessary to take this difficult step under some circumstances and have helped family members and stepparents throughout Warren and Sussex Counties pursue contested adoptions in court when the circumstances warranted such an action.
Contact a Sussex County family law & divorce firm that knows the adoption process
Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Hinkes, Wojcik, Gacquin, Vandenberg & Hontz, L.L.C. can keep you on top of the adoption process, minimize your stress and uncertainty, and help you avoid mistakes that can delay and complicate the process. If you are considering adoption in Warren, Morris, Passaic or Sussex County, call our Newton office today at 862-273-3465 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our family law and divorce attorneys.