Overview of the Domestic Adoption ProcessBy Moskowitz Law Group, LLC |
The domestic adoption process enables you to welcome a child into your family through adoption within the United States. This process is regulated by state laws and policies, encompassing initial placement, background checks, consent, and finalization. The family law attorneys at Moskowitz Law Group can provide an overview of the domestic adoption process as well as tailored support for your situation.
Starting the Domestic Adoption Application Process
The first step is the pre-application process, during which prospective adoptive families establish their preferences, goals, and potential child considerations. Aspiring parents should also review adoption costs in detail. Most domestic adoption programs provide a pre-application form to ensure basic requirements are met. Subsequently, an online application form is completed and returned to the office. The application undergoes review and the prospective adoptive family is informed of the decision.
Next Steps in the Application
If their initial application is approved, the prospective adoptive family undergoes a home study. This home study is conducted by a social worker affiliated with a state-licensed agency or working independently. In New Jersey, home studies are conducted by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, which is part of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. The social worker assesses the family’s medical, financial, and emotional preparedness to raise a child. This process, involving multiple visits from the social worker and typically takes about three to six months. Throughout these visits, the social worker familiarizes themselves with the family’s background, history, and perspective on parenting to ascertain the home’s suitability for a child. The prospective adoptive family should be prepared with a doctor’s note indicating good health as well as financial records, such as W-2s, bank statements, and tax returns to prove their ability to meet the financial needs of raising a child.
The subsequent step involves mandatory training addressing various aspects of domestic adoption, including legal, financial, emotional, and social issues. The prospective adoptive family undergoes an FBI background clearance, submits required documents, and creates a photo profile presented to birth parents.
A meeting between the prospective adoptive family and birth parents may occur before the child is born to facilitate the family selection process. If all goes well, the child is placed with the adoptive family and closely supervised for approximately six months, with agency visits ensuring the adoption’s successful progression.
Finalizing the Adoption
The final step of the adoption process involves collaboration between the court, an attorney, the agency, and the adoptive family, taking about four to six months. Upon completion, a new birth certificate is issued, bearing the adoptive parents’ and child’s names. With this, a new family member is officially welcomed in the eyes of the law.
Call a Family Law Attorney to Learn More About Domestic Adoption
Domestic adoption processes can vary by state, so prospective adoptive parents should familiarize themselves with state-specific laws and regulations. Seeking guidance from an experienced family lawyer can contribute to a successful adoption experience. Call Moskowitz Law Group to learn more about growing your family through adoption.