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Big Step For New Jersey Gestational Surrogacy Bill

surrogacy in nj

It’s all but certain that third time’s a charm for hopeful parents-to-be in New Jersey who wish to their baby via surrogacy and need to establish a legal gestational carrier agreement.

On April 12, 2018, the New Jersey Legislature passed a long-awaited bill to make written surrogacy agreements legal in the state, reversing a three-decade ban on gestational carrier agreements that followed in the wake of the controversial Baby M surrogacy case. In recent years, two other bills to legalize surrogacy contracts were both vetoed under former Governor Christie. It’s expected that Governor Phil Murphy will approve the current gestational carrier legislation.

As more and more couples are turning to surrogacy as an option to grow their families, especially given the rise of same-sex couples interested in surrogacy as a path to parenthood, proponents of the bill say the time has come to legalize these agreements.

Here’s a closer look at the gestational carrier bill and what parents and surrogates can expect with from the new law.  Read more

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Can Foster Parents Adopt Their Foster Children?

foster parent

Foster care, for most kids, is a temporary setting as they wait to be reunited with their birth families. Some foster children, for a myriad of reasons, are never able to be returned to their birth homes. When this happens, foster parents may decide to seek to adopt the children in their care.

What are the steps in New Jersey for foster child adoption? Here’s an overview of what you need to know. Read more

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Staying Married After Baby: Advice To New Parents

new babyOnce the miracle of birth has given way to the harsh reality of sleep deprivation and projectile vomit, marital bliss almost always takes a nosedive. Studies show that the decline in relationship satisfaction at time goes by is twice as steep for couples with kids as it is for child-free couples. So while you’re baby-proofing your house, be sure to baby-proof your marriage! Here are some tips to help you stay strong as a couple so you can raise well-adjusted children. Read more

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New Adoption Rules Go into Effect in January

new jersey adoption rulesStarting in January, adults born in New Jersey and adopted as children will be able to obtain an uncertified, long-form copy of their original birth certificate from the New Jersey Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry (the State Registrar). Their adoptive parents; legal guardians or other legal representatives; adult direct descendants, siblings and spouses; and state and federal agencies with official reasons, can also gain access to certificates. What does this mean for you if you are adopted, or an adoptive parent? Read more

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Grandparents Caring For Grandchildren: Kinship Legal Guardianship In New Jersey

kinship legal guardianshipIn 2002, New Jersey began the Kinship Legal Guardianship (KLG) program for children and caregivers who were involved with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), formally known as DYFS. There became a common trend where children who were removed from their biological parents by DCPP were being cared for by grandparents and other relatives, rather than strangers. Because of this common occurrence, the practice of Kinship Legal Guardianship was introduced as a better and more workable alternative to permanent adoption or long-term foster care.

Are you a grandparent considering becoming a kinship legal guardian to your grandchild? Here’s what you need to know. Read more

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Chris Rock Divorce: Psychological Parent Theory in New Jersey

Chris Rock

Does Chris Rock owe child support for a child from South Africa he and his now ex-wife welcomed into their family while they were married, but never adopted? Read more

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In Private Adoption Cases, Disadvantaged Parents Have Right to an Attorney

right to an adoption attorneyIn New Jersey, when the State attempted to terminate a parent’s rights and give that child to an adoptive family, if the parent was poor, they were entitled to a public defender in that action, just as a poor criminal defendant is entitled to pro bono representation in criminal cases. The court system provides free legal representation to poor parents to defend against termination of their parental rights sought by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, formally known as DYFS. Read more

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Court To Adoptive Parents: No Undoing Adoption Even In Troubling Circumstances

Questions about children and adoption?In a novel decision by the Cape May county Chancery Division, the court has ruled that adoptive parents are not able to “undo” the adoption of their child, who had begun acting violently to the family and to schoolmates, because they waited seven years to bring the application to the court. Read more

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