New Jersey Adoption Laws

Laws regulating the adoption process often vary quite a bit from one state to the next, with just a handful of states signing onto the Uniform Adoption Act. Adoption laws regulate who may adopt a child, who may be adopted, and how the procedure unfolds. According to New Jersey adoption laws, anyone may be adopted (but must be 10 years younger than the petitioner) and a six-month home residency is required prior to finalization of the adoption.

Prior to placement, prospective parents will be provided with as much information about the child's development and characteristics as is available. This information typically includes medical history, personality, complete medical histories of the child's birth parents (if available), drugs and medications taken by the birth mother during pregnancy; and any other relevant health issues.

In order to become a foster parent (short-term "adoption"), you must be 18 or older, in reasonable health, and you must prove that you can provide the child with a safe home environment. In many ways, the laws surrounding foster care are identical to those regarding adoption.

The specifics of New Jersey's adoption laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Adoption section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section 9:3, et seq. (minor); 2A:22-1 et seq. (adult); No
Who May Be Adopted Any person. If adult adoption, must be 10 years younger than petitioner
Age that Child's Consent Needed 10 years and older (to be given consideration)
Who May Adopt Any person of at least 18 yrs. If petitioner is married, spouse must consent or application may be made jointly. Court may waive any of these requirements for good cause.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? 6 months
State Agency/Court Human Services/Superior, Chancery Division, Family Dept.
Statute of Limitations to Challenge Not specified

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New Jersey adoption attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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