There are seven basic steps involved in the process of adoption. Understanding and following them can help you negotiate the often difficult and complex rules and procedures that revolve around adopting a child.

  • Step 1: Conduct your own research. Ask yourself questions such as do I want a newborn or an older child? Also, do you want to adopt a child from the United States or internationally? It should be noted that in international adoptions, the children are typically at least one year old. Additionally, are you willing to adopt a child of a different race?
  • Step 2: Decide who you want to work with by choosing to either work with an agency or attorney in regard to who will assist you in the adoption process.
  • Step 3: Make your final selection of an adoption agency or an attorney to assist you. If choosing an adoption agency, make sure that they are reputable and that it is state-licensed.
  • Step 4: Complete the application and a mandatory home study. The application is reviewed by the adoption agency and is used to determine if they are willing to accept you as a client. If they do accept you, a home study is then conducted to evaluate the physical and emotional environment of the potential home in which the child would live. There are also several interviews with a social worker that are conducted.
  • Step 5: Prepare yourself to wait. Because of the many legal procedures and laws regarding adoption, there is always a waiting time period. The exact amount of time can vary based on the parents’ age, necessary paperwork that needs to be filed, and the possibility of waiting on a birth mother to choose you as adoptive parents if going through a private agency or attorney.
  • Step 6: Complete all of the legal procedures needed for final adoption. At this point, it would be wise to hire an experienced attorney to finalize the adoption if you haven’t already done so.
  • Step 7: Prepare your home for the child. This can include necessary age-appropriate items such as furniture, clothing, toys, and other essential items.

What Are Some Ways That I Can Speed Up the Adoption Process?

The timeline associated with all adoptions can greatly vary depending on the individual circumstances of each case. One option to speed up adoption is electing to go through a private agency which is generally faster than a public agency. If you are willing to be flexible as to the age of the child or be willing to adopt a child who suffers from health problems, you may be able to be matched in a faster amount of time. One very important recommendation is that you have all of your legal documents related to background checks, home study, letters of reference, and other vital information already prepared.

What is an Adoption Subsidy?

The New Jersey Subsidized Adoption Program was established to help families with costs related to raising a child with special needs. The subsidies provided by the program may include a one-time payment for the legal fees related to the adoption, Medicaid to cover medical conditions not covered by insurance, and the possibility of a regular monthly payment that assists in purchasing clothing or other essentials for daily living.

How Can an Adoption Law Attorney Help Me With The 7 Steps?

The process of adoption can be very complicated to try to navigate without the help of an experienced adoption law attorney. Each step can present its own set of difficult challenges that can be extremely frustrating. Let our knowledgeable attorneys help you understand how to proceed through each step of the adoption process. Contact us at (908) 879-9499 and schedule an appointment for a case evaluation. We look forward to serving you.