2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 9 - CHILDREN--JUVENILE AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS COURTS
Section 9:3-39.1 - Offering, assisting in the placement of child for adoption, conditions.


NJ Rev Stat § 9:3-39.1 (2013) What's This?

9:3-39.1 Offering, assisting in the placement of child for adoption, conditions.

18. a. A person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or agency shall not place, offer to place, or materially assist in the placement of any child for adoption in New Jersey unless:

(1)the person is the parent or guardian of the child, or

(2)the firm, partnership, corporation, association, or agency is an approved agency to act as agent, finder, or to otherwise materially assist in the placement of any child for adoption in this State, or

(3)the placement for adoption is with a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, birth father, or stepparent of the child, or

(4)the placement is through an intermediary and (a) the person with whom the child is to be placed has been approved for placement for adoption by an approved agency home study which consists of the agency's formal written assessment of the capacity and readiness of the prospective adoptive parents to adopt a child, conducted in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Director of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency;

(b)The birth parent, except one who cannot be identified or located prior to the placement of the child for adoption, shall be offered counseling as to the birth parent's options other than placement of the child for adoption. Such counseling shall be made available by or through an approved licensed agency in New Jersey or in the birth parent's state or country of residence. The fact that counseling has been made available, and the name, address, and telephone number of the agency through which the counseling is available, shall be confirmed in a written document signed by the birth parent and acknowledged in this State pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1991, c.308 (R.S.46:14-2.1) or acknowledged in another state or country pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1991, c.308 (R.S.46:14-6.1) a copy of which shall be provided to the birth parent and the agency conducting the adoption complaint investigation pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1977, c.367 (C.9:3-48) and shall be filed with the court prior to termination of parental rights; and

(c)Written notice shall be given to the birth parent, except one who cannot be identified or located prior to the placement of the child for adoption, and the adoptive parent that the decision not to place the child for adoption or the return of the child to the birth parent cannot be conditioned upon reimbursement of expenses by the birth parent to the adoptive parent, and that payments by the adoptive parent are non-refundable. Provision of such notice shall be confirmed in a written document signed by the birth parent and adoptive parent in separate documents which shall be acknowledged in this State pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1991, c.308 (R.S.46:14-2.1) or acknowledged in another state or country pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1991, c.308 (R.S.46:14-6.1), a copy of which shall be provided to the birth parent, and the agency conducting the adoption complaint investigation pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1977, c.367 (C.9:3-48), and shall be filed with the court prior to termination of parental rights.

b.The Superior Court in an action by the Commissioner of Children and Families may enjoin any party found by the court to have violated this section from any further violation of this section.

c.A person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or agency violating subsection a. of this section shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.

d.A person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, intermediary, or agency other than an approved agency which pays, seeks to pay, receives, or seeks to receive money or other valuable consideration in connection with the placement of a child for adoption shall be guilty of a crime of the second degree.

e.It shall not be a violation of subsection d. of this section: (1) to pay, provide, or reimburse to a parent of the child, or for a parent of the child to receive payment, provision, or reimbursement for medical, hospital, counseling, or other similar expenses incurred in connection with the birth or any illness of the child, or the reasonable living expenses of the mother of the child during her pregnancy including payments for reasonable food, clothing, medical expenses, shelter, and religious, psychological, vocational, or similar counseling services during the period of the pregnancy and for a period not to exceed four weeks after the termination of the pregnancy by birth or otherwise. These payments may be made directly to the birth mother or on the mother's behalf to the supplier of the goods or services, or

(2)where the child is from a foreign country, reasonable and customary fees and expenses of a foreign agency or attorney for the care or representation of the child during any period of foster or institutional care in the child's country of origin, or

(3)reasonable attorney fees and costs for legal services.

L.1993, c.345, s.18; amended 2006, c.47, s.34; 2012, c.16, s.15.


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