To adopt a child in the state of New Jersey, a prospective parent must be at least 18 years old and a minimum of 10 years older than any child placed in the home. The person must be in good mental and physical health and self-supporting, according to AdoptUSKids.
Prospective parents may be married or unmarried, and New Jersey does not preclude anyone from adopting a child based on his race, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation, according to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. However, the agency requires a home study process, which begins with 27 hours of training for the prospective parent and his entire family. After the training is complete, a case worker visits the home to determine if it meets standard safety requirements. The case worker also interviews the family and answers questions about adoption.
Next, the agency reviews references and conducts a criminal background check of anyone over the age of 18 who lives in the home, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families explains. Personal, employment, medical, school and child-care references are required.
After the home study is complete, the case worker sends the completed study packet to the New Jersey Office of Licensing, which has been licensing adoptive and foster families since 2005. A representative visits the home and performs a second safety inspection, the Department of Children and Families explains. If the home passes inspection, the state issues the prospective parent a license, and he is placed on a waiting list until a suitable child is available.