The first step in commencing the adoption process is exploring your options and learning the eligibility requirements for adoptive parents. If pursuing adoption with the assistance of an agency, it is important to research the agency’s criteria for accepting applicants. Some agencies will only consider couples married for a certain number of years, between the ages of 25 and 40, and with stable employment. However, there are other agencies that accept applicants who are older than age 40. Some agencies require that the couple have no other children. Some require that at least one parent not work outside the home for at least 6 months after the adoption. If you are considering an international adoption, every country has requirements that prospective adoptive parents must meet. These requirements vary by country and typically pertain to age, income, number of existing children in the home, some indicator of marital stability and, in the case of single applicants, gender, although, some countries have unusual eligibility requirements. For example, China has a weight restriction for prospective adoptive parents.

Adoptions can also be arranged without an agency known as a private placement adoption. Initial contacts can be made directly between a birth mother and the prospective adoptive parents. If you pursue this approach, it is important to retain an experienced adoption attorney to explain the adoption laws to you and guide you through the legal process and procedures. To initiate a private placement adoption, you must first locate a birth mother seeking an adoptive family for her child. The State of New Jersey permits advertising in the classified section of local newspapers as a method for bringing birth parents and adoptive parents together. Another way to locate a birth mother is to send an introductory letter, together with your adoption profile, which may include photos, and resume describing your family life, home, jobs, hobbies, and interests to crisis pregnancy centers or obstetricians’ offices. An experienced adoption attorney will be able to assist you in preparing your adoption profile.

After a child is placed with you either with the assistance of an agency or through private placement, you must fulfill the legal requirements for adoption. Please contact one of our experienced adoption attorneys at Iandoli & Edens, LLC at 908-879-9499 to discuss these legal requirements and to review your adoption options or visit us on the web at