Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Adoption
Golden Cradle wants to give you the help you need, when you need it! Our agency has been working with women facing unplanned pregnancies for 37 years. Our experienced and caring staff will give you personal support to meet your individual needs. Our goal is to help you consider all your options and then help you choose among them. Should you choose adoption as the right choice for you, our staff will work with you throughout the process to make your choice a reality.We will also be there after the adoption to support you in move toward your life’s goals.
It is your choice who is selected to adopt your child. The Adoption Specialist at Golden Cradle will help you develop a list of attributes you are seeking in an adoptive family. With your list as a guide, the adoption specialist will provide you with profiles of families. After considering these profiles you will have the opportunity to meet the family of your choice before making the final selection for your child.
In New Jersey prospective families are required to complete background checks, participate in a home study and receive education about adoption and parenting. The staff at Golden Cradle provides all these services as well as ongoing support to parents to ensure a successful match.
The process is long and detailed and includes information about their home, jobs, finances, health, extended family, marriage and relationships, background, criminal and child abuse clearances,and references. Also included is education about adoption related topics and parenting issues, evaluation of their plans for parenting and discipline, exploration of their feelings about talking with children about adoption, and openness with birth parents. Our staff takes every precaution to insure that the parents that are approved for adoption are well qualified to provide your baby with a loving, positive and secure environment.
Golden Cradle was one of the first agencies to encourage semi-open adoptions. We believe it is your choice to determine what type of relationship you have with your child and the adoptive family. We will support your decision and try to find the family that best meets your needs and the needs of your baby.
Completely open adoption is an adoption where the birthparents and adoptive families have the option to contact each other during the pregnancy and after the baby is born. The birth parent sees the child and the child knows the birth mother. Closed adoption is an adoption in which the biological parents and the adoptive parents do not meet and have little to no information about each other. There is usually no contact with each other.
Semi-open adoptions are adoptions in which non-identifying letters and photos are exchanged routinely and sometimes visits are included. Many times media such as facebook is used to maintain contact.
Your particular circumstance will determine the services that are provided. These services can include financial assistance. Our services include extensive support and counseling by trained, experienced professionals. Support and counseling are provided throughout the hospital stay and after the adoption placement as well. Adoption Specialists are also able to make arrangements for more formal and long-term outpatient therapy when needed.
In addition we can provide support in the following areas: financial assistance with your current housing , assistance in locating appropriate medical care, and reimbursement for transportation costs related to your pregnancy. All appropriate legal expenses associated with the adoption process will be paid by Golden Cradle.
All adoption agencies provide supportive counseling throughout the adoption planning process. Support and counseling are provided throughout the hospital stay and after the adoption placement as well. Adoption counselors are also able to make arrangements for more formal and long-term outpatient therapy when needed as well. It is important that if you are considering adoption for your baby you talk with your adoption counselor about all of your needs so they can do their best to help you meet them.
It is also important for you to know that the father’s rights are equal to yours. Whenever possible the staff at Golden Cradle encourage the involvement of both parents. Sometimes, however, this is not possible. The law takes this into consideration. Our goal is to help you understand the laws and your rights.
You can place a child without the father’s consent. New Jersey has specific rules for the termination of the father’s rights and your adoption specialist will work to insure that the proper procedures are followed.
You do not need to name the father to place a child for adoption. However, the agency personnel must make every effort to show the court an attempt was made to determine his identity and locate him.
Golden Cradle will keep your information confidential. The identifying information in your file will not be shared with anyone outside the agency without your permission.
However, it is important that you understand that in NJ an adoptee has the right to view his/her original birth certificate when he reaches the age of 18 or with the permission of the adoptive parent before that time.
There are many parents who are well informed about children who are exposed to drugs and alcohol and would be very willing to parent your child. Golden Cradle staff can help you locate the treatment that can best support you and your baby.
Any mother can choose adoption. The Adoption Specialist at Golden Cradle can help you through this frightening and stressful time in your life. We can help you connect with the proper medical care and support a safe living environment. We can also help you consider your options including adoption. You do not have to face the birth of your child alone.
Your adoption specialist will help you make a delivery plan for your hospital stay. You will have the opportunity to decide who you will contact when you go into labor and who you will want to be at the hospital with you during labor and delivery as well as after the birth. Some mothers choose to include the adoptive parents during this time while others prefer to be alone or include family and friends for support. You have many choices to make and our adoption specialists are here to be of help.
We hope that you will want to see your child. You will always have an important role in your child’s life. However, the decision to see your child is yours to make.
The baby will not go into foster care if you have made an adoption plan before the child is born. Your child will leave the hospital with the adoptive family.
In New Jersey you are able to terminate your rights 72 hours after the child is born. This is usually done at a meeting with agency staff. You will not be required to go to court.
Your child will want to understand the circumstances of your choice. Your child will want to know that your actions were in his/her best interest. The most important information you can provide your child is the knowledge that you did the hard work to consider all your options and that in the end you decided that his/her well being was the most important consideration.
Yes, you can work with an agency in the United States that acts as a primary provider in the country from which you wish to adopt. However, your home study and post-placement visits, which are required, must be completed by a fully licensed non-profit agency in New Jersey.
The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions. Golden Cradle abides by the rules of the Hague convention and works with countries that are parties to the Hague Adoption Convention. Due to political and worldwide circumstance regulations regarding these countries are subject to change. It is advised that you check country status at https://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en/hague-convention/convention-countries.html
Each country has its own rules and regulations regarding residency. Check with US government websites for individual country requirements.
Golden Cradle accepts single parents into their domestic. For international adoption many countries allow singles but have additional rules regarding single males as an adoptive parent. Some countries will not allow single parent adoptions.
Golden Cradle does not have an age limit when accepting an application for adoption. However, birth parents may limit the age of the parents who will be adopting their child. When adopting internationally, some countries have an age limit for those who are allowed to adopt.
For a Hague adoption, to be an eligible adoptive parent, you must
- be a U.S. citizen,
- reside in the USA,
- if married, your spouse must also sign your Form I-800A and must also intend to adopt any child you adopt,
- if unmarried, you must be at least 24 years old at the time you file your Form I-800A, and you must be at least 25 years old at the time you file your Form I-800.
The timeline for adopting varies depending on the country of adoption. Also a family’s openness regarding the desired age, gender and health status of a child significantly impacts the time frame of the adoption process.
Costs vary from country to country and agency to agency. When adopting internationally you will need the services of a primary provider, and if that provider is not in your home state, the services of a supervised provider. In addition consideration must be given to third party fees such as passports, evaluations, travel, lodging and finalization.
There is a federal tax credit for adoption as well as grants, loans and employer packages that may be of help in financing your adoption.
Golden Cradle uses a variety of methods to locate and attract birth mothers. The internet provides a wide variety of opportunities to connect with birth mothers, and other forms of outreach including social media, print advertising,as well as referrals from previous clients of our agency. Golden Cradle has an active outreach and education training program where professionals are educated about the option of adoption so that they are prepared to speak with their patients or clients who are exploring their pregnancy or parenting options.
Adopting parents must complete the educational requirements, complete the homestudy and have an Adoptive Family Profile before being shown to potential birthparents. The exact timeline of when you will become a parent is not known. A birth parent looking for a family just like yours, may seek the services of Golden Cradle shortly after you join our program or it may take longer. Also a family’s openness regarding the desired gender and health status of a child significantly impacts the time frame of the adoption process. Most families will adopt domestically within 4 years after completing agency requirements.
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage License
- Divorce Petitions and Decrees
- Military Discharge Documents
- Verification of Income
- Autobiographical information, such as family history, childhood, education, employment history, personality, interests
- FBI fingerprinting
- State criminal record clearances
- Medical examination reports
- Financial statement, verification of income, and insurance information
In New Jersey the birth parent can relinquish their parental rights 72 hours after the child is born. The child’s adoption cannot be finalized, however, until placement has been made for six months and other requirements have been met.
For considering options when pregnant, women can talk with an adoption lawyer or adoption agency. In New Jersey adoptive parents will need a lawyer to finalize the adoption and an agency to conduct the home study.
Just like choosing a doctor for your pregnancy, choosing an adoption agency is something that you should do based on what agency has the right program to meet your needs. You should also be sure that the agency is fully licensed and has a proven track record. Decide what is important to you, and then ask the agency how they will meet those needs for you.
Golden Cradles fees are based on a sliding scale determined by your family’s income. Fees cover services rendered, and are thus due as you move forward through the different stages of your adoption process.
Financial assistance for adoption is an important consideration for adoptive parents. Golden Cradle has an adjusted fee schedule based on income and has various payment plans to better meet the needs of your household. Many families are doing fundraising through their churches or communities, learning about adoption reimbursement through employers and considering loans from home equity and retirement to help fund their adoptions. There are many sources for grants and loans for adopting parents who meet particular criteria.
Golden Cradle welcomes LGBT families, however families should be aware that adoption laws are decided independently by each state and international countries also have their own laws regarding whether or not LGBT families can adopt. Golden Cradle must abide by the adoption laws in the state where the family resides or the international country they are adopting from. Families in NJ can adopt domestically.
Yes! You don’t need to be married or in a relationship to adopt through Golden Cradle.
There are certain crimes that will prevent you from being permitted to adopt. You may want to check with us to review a list of those crimes. Other crimes are not necessarily barriers to adopting a child.We encourage you to discuss your entire history and current situation with our social work staff as you move forward with the adoption process.
During the preparation for adoption, as you complete your homestudy, your social worker counsels you and provides information and support. They may also provide information on adoptive parent support groups, a valuable resource. These may be general or specific to a certain type family, for example the Committee for Single Adoptive Parents. Education sessions are required and adopting families will meet other adopting families during these sessions.
After placement, Golden Cradle staff offers post-adoption services to you. These include support groups, individual and family counseling, workshops on specific topics of parenting, or ongoing contact with your social worker. Golden Cradle staff also facilitates communication between the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s) upon request. Supervised reunions can also be arranged.
Golden Cradle staff will also provide adoptee and birth parent searches for clients of Golden Cradle whose adoption was processed through the agency.
Any woman of childbearing age could find herself in the position of an unplanned pregnancy. Golden Cradle’s experienced social workers provide intensive unbiased counseling to expectant parents around parenting options. Birth parents have a great deal of love for their children and come to Golden Cradle for support in making a thoughtful plan for their child.
Yes, as long as your are a resident of New Jersey. Golden Cradle has provided home studies for many of families adopting independently and we have the expertise to work with you and your adoption attorney. We provide domestic home studies for agency or independent (attorney) adoptions. Golden Cradle provides home study and support services as you work closely with the attorney to navigate the legal process of adoption.
Please contact Golden Cradle to attend an information meeting which are held the first Wednesday of every month. At the information meeting you will learn more about our agency, the adoption process and have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We greatly look forward to welcoming you to Golden Cradle.