Montclair Attorney Manages the Legal Aspects of Adoption
New Jerseylawyer focused on building families
Adopting a child brings happiness to families, but a biological parent’s change of heart or an immigration setback can turn a joyous occasion into a stressful ordeal. At Pamela M. Cerruti, Counsellor at Law in Montclair, I have 29 years of experience handling the complex legal procedures and frustrating red tape of the adoption process for clients throughout New Jersey. If you’re looking to add a child to your family, I’m ready to guide you through the process so you can focus on your new family member. In my Montclair practice, I help clients with the following areas of adoption:
- Paternity registry
- International re-adoptions
- Closed adoptions
- Private adoptions
- Domestic adoptions
- interstate adoptions
- Stepparent adoptions
As your family law attorney, I provide reliable counsel throughout the adoption process.
Careful approach to the termination of parental rights
Stories abound about birth parents challenging an adoption after it is finalized. These well-publicized news accounts reflect a real fear for adoptive parents. The suffering associated with a badly handled adoption affects everybody involved — the adoptive parents, the birth parents and the children who are caught in the middle. I ensure that both the birth and adoptive parents’ rights are respected so that the end result is a final adoption that cannot be challenged. I substantiate that the birth parents consent to the adoption freely and voluntarily to avoid claims of fraud, duress and coercion that can be grounds for restoring a birth parent’s rights.
Overcoming a biological father’s resistance to an adoption
The biological father has the same parental rights as the biological mother, especially if he is named in the state’s putative father registry and has provided support for the child. Fathers who are active in their children’s lives are generally opposed to adoption, whereas uninterested fathers are usually content to surrender parental rights voluntarily to be free from support obligations. When a father resists the idea of adoption, a court might terminate the father’s parental rights if the father is an unfit parent and severing the parent-child relationship is in the best interests of the child. I take all necessary steps to identify fathers and obtain their consent, or, when necessary and proper, litigate the matter of the father’s fitness.
Experience with various types of domestic adoption
An open adoption agreement permits the biological family to maintain a relationship with the child. The terms of the agreement are established by written contract and can include any level of involvement ranging from regular visits to yearly snapshots exchanged by mail. A closed adoption protects the identity of the biological parents and the child but may include disclosure of essential information such as the child’s heritage and medical history. Whichever type of adoption you choose, I meticulously draft a contract that reflects the terms of your adoption.
Capable assistance with international re-adoptions
I remain by your side through every step to avoid potential problems and smooth the process. My goal is to help you bring your child home as soon as legally possible.
ART Artificial Reproductive Techniques
All parties involved in a technically assisted pregnancy will benefit from thorough legal advice. Representation is provided for perspective sperm and embryo and ovum donors. We will help evaluate the donation agreement to make sure there is disclosure of the donor’s identity, medical history and to resolve the financial issues that may come up. We will make sure you have full understanding of the legal implications of your arrangement.
Surrogacy – having a baby is an incredible decision. The process can be complicated. We represent single individuals, same sex couples, heterosexual couples, or perspective surrogates. Gestation carrier agreements or surrogate agreements must include certain relevant information, such as where delivery will happen, are there two different states as it pertains to the surrogate and the intended adoptive parents, reimbursement for medical and/or work related expenses and who will make the medical decisions during pregnancy. We will help you understand your agreement and your obligations to the agreement.