November is National Adoption Month and the Union County Surrogate’s Office is proud to celebrate “forever families” and seeks to raise awareness about the adoption process.
“The Union County Surrogate’s Office is proud to assist our residents in the process of improving the lives and welfare of children through adoption,” said Union County Surrogate, James S. LaCorte. “Through adoption, a difference can be made one child at a time. Having a permanent family provides children with the critical legal and emotional support that all young people need.”
On Friday, November 17, 2017, the Union County Surrogate’s Office will host their 10th annual Adoption Day celebration spotlighting new Union County “forever families.” The event is co-sponsored by Superior Court of New Jersey, Union Vicinage, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, CASA of Union County, and the Office of the Law Guardian. The private, non-profit agency monitors children who for a variety of reasons have been removed from their homes.
National Adoption Day is a national effort to raise awareness to the needs of children and youth waiting to find permanent, loving families. This annual, one-day event has made the dreams of thousands of children throughout New Jersey come true by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions and create and celebrate “forever families.”
Unlike guardianship, adoption is intended to provide a child with a permanent family. Adoptions can occur either between related family members, or unrelated individuals. There are many Union County and New Jersey children waiting to be part of a family.
Whether your adoption process is through a public agency, a private agency or a private attorney, the Union County Surrogate’s Office is available to help navigate the system to ensure that all parental rights are legally transferred to the new parents – giving parents the same rights and responsibilities as those whose children were born to them, and provides the children all the emotional, social, legal, and familial benefits of biological children.
When starting the adoption process, there are a number of options. Prospective families can adopt a child from the U.S. foster care system; pursue a private domestic adoption through a charity or nonprofit organization; adopt a child from another country; adopt a stepchild or other relative; and in the case of same sex couples, the non-biological parent could seek a second-parent adoption to secure parental rights.
Every adoption is unique. The cost and requirements of each adoption process varies depending on the circumstances of the adoption. Often prospective families hesitate to explore adoption based on myths or misunderstanding of the process and requirements. There are many resources available to those considering adopting a child or youth. For general information about adoption visit NationalAdoptionDay.org/adoption-resources. For more specific information on adopting in New Jersey contact the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). An application can be filled out through Foster and Adoptive Family Services on the DCP&P website, or they can call 1-800-222-0047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may contact the Union County Surrogate’s Office at 908-527-4280 for court requirements.
To learn more about Union County’s Adoption Day celebration contact Jane Phillips, Court Services Supervisor at 908-787-1650. Ext. 21297.