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800) 260-0172
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225 Broadway, Ste 3000
New York, NY 10007

776A Manhattan Ave, Ste 104
Brooklyn, NY 11222

1000 Clifton Avenue, 2nd Fl.
Clifton, NJ 07013

4 N 6th Street
Stroudsburg, PA 18360

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Couples adopt children with an increasing frequency today. Adoption involves accepting another person as the person’s or couple’s child as well as all of the parental responsibilities. The adopted child is issued and a new birth certificate and his or her last name is changed. In New York State, adults over the age of 18, whether married or unmarried, can adopt. In addition to married people living together, adoption is open to a married person who is legally separated from his or her spouse or has been living separately from that spouse for 3 years or more. Gay men and lesbians are allowed to adopt in New York State (but not in Florida). Both same sex partners can adopt children as parents. Finally, an unmarried partner of the child’s birth parent can adopt, too.

Adoptions occur under several circumstances. Some parents voluntarily give up parental rights (by way of a Surrender Agreement) when they are not able to take care of that child. Other children and forcefully taken away from parents due to neglect or abuse. Other adoptions involve stepparents adopting the spouse’s child from the previous marriage. A Surrender Agreement signed outside a court gives the birth parent 45 days after signing to change his or her mind about giving the child up for adoption. A Surrender Agreement executed in a court is final when signed.

Many government agencies provide a list of adoptable children. New York City residents can obtain adoption information from Administration for Children’s Services. New York State residents living outside of New York City can contact the New York State Adoption Service (Office of Children & Family Services). Adopting through the Government can have its positives (such as subsidies, grants, legal costs, and medical coverage), but these children often come with emotional and other behavioral problems and are often grouped with brothers and sisters. They are usually older, too.

Private adoption agencies are often a source of unwanted, voluntarily give up babies. Some babes are placed for adoption through private agencies based on a court order finding neglect or abuse. Some people adopt through the word of mouth or place advertisements online or in newspapers. In such private placement adoptions, adopting parents must get ask for court certification before the child can be taken home.

If the rights have not been taken away by a court, both parents who were either married or one parent had close contact with the child, must agree to any adoption. Under certain circumstances where the father is unknown, or known but who had not much contact with the child, the father need not issue a permission, although at least in the latter case, he may be requested to be informed about the adoption. Finally, children over the age 14 must agree to being adopted, and in cases where parents’ parental rights have been taken away, only the agency or person with legal custody of the children need to agree to the adoption. All adoptions must be approved by a Family or a Surrogate’s Court Judge.

Criminal felony history may prevent one from adopting. A background of child abuse or neglect is very likely to stop one from being able to adopt.

Open Adoption Agreements are permitted in New York. Such agreements involve an agreement between the birth parents and the adoptive parents where the adoptive parent grants the birth parents a level of visitation and contact with the child.

International adoptions are generally more expensive and complicated.  Read about inter-country adoption here.

If you are in the process of, or want to adopt a child, you should consult with our firm. Please contact us for a confidential consultation.

CALL NOW to schedule a consultation in our office!



The Marzec Law Firm, PC is conveniently located in downtown Manhattan, Williamsburg-Brooklyn, Clifton-New Jersey, and Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.  The Firm currently serves clients in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Florida, and Illinois.  Click here for directions to the New York City office.   

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