2023 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 9 - Children--Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts
Section 9:3-41 - Surrender of child

Universal Citation: NJ Rev Stat § 9:3-41 (2023)

9:3-41. Surrender of child

5. a. Surrender of a child to an approved agency for the purpose of adoption, other than a surrender taken in accordance with P.L.1955, c.232 (C.9:2-13 et seq.), shall be by a signed instrument acknowledged by the person executing the instrument before an officer authorized to take acknowledgments or proofs in the State in which the instrument is executed. Prior to the execution of the surrender, the approved agency shall, directly or through its agent, inform the person executing the surrender that the instrument is a surrender of parental rights by the signatory and means the permanent end of the relationship and all contact between the parent and child. The approved agency shall advise the parent that the surrender shall constitute relinquishment of the person's parental rights in or guardianship or custody of the child named therein and consent by the person to adoption of the child. The approved agency shall offer counseling to the parent, prior to the execution of the surrender. The surrender shall be valid and binding without regard to the age of the person executing the surrender and shall be irrevocable except at the discretion of the approved agency taking such surrender or upon order or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction setting aside such surrender upon proof of fraud, duress or misrepresentation by the approved agency. The surrender taken pursuant to this section shall be valid whether 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).

b. Any approved agency may accept custody of a child by a duly executed instrument of surrender from a parent or guardian of the child or from another approved agency or any agency for the care and protection of children approved by any other state, by the United States or by any foreign country, which has duly obtained the authority to place the child for adoption.

c. A surrender executed in another state or foreign country by a domiciliary of that state or country and valid where executed shall be deemed a valid surrender in this State if taken more than 72 hours after the birth of the child.

d. At the request of a parent of the child, an approved agency authorized to receive surrenders, may receive that parent's surrender of his child for purposes of having the child adopted by a person specified by the surrendering parent. The agency shall follow all regulations regarding the securing of a surrender and shall cooperate with the prospective parents in the processing of the proposed adoption. An adoption based on a surrender under this subsection shall be deemed one in which the child was received from an approved agency for purposes of section 11 of P.L.1977, c.367 (C.9:3-47).

e. A surrender of a child shall not be valid if taken prior to the birth of the child who is the subject of the surrender. A surrender by the birth parent of a child shall not be valid if taken within 72 hours of the birth of the child. The denial of paternity by an alleged father, at any time including prior to the birth of the child, shall be deemed a surrender for purposes of allowing the child to be adopted.

L.1977,c.367,s.5; amended 1993,c.345,s.3.

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