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Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights and Stepparent Adoption.

Hackensack, NJ |

My childs father has not been in her life for some years now and has recently asked me to terminate his parental rights and alleviate himself of financial responsibility. I am getting married next month and my husband-to-be is willing to adopt my child and take on all responsibility.

I have contacted a couple attorneys today, but I am concerned about the cost required for retainer. Is an attorney absolutely necessary for this or is it possible to do myself since all parties are in agreement? If I can do this myself, what does the process entail, and whats my first move to get things moving?

Thank you.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. An adoption has a lot of steps and takes time. I don't know how someone can do it without an attorney.

    973-984-0800. Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.

  2. You may want to check to see if any attorneys on Avvo have published a Legal Guide as to this issue. The chance of obtaining a comprehensive answer to a posted question that calls for extensive legal advice is slim.

    IMPORTANT: Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during an attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private attorney-client consultation. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, an attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual. For persons located in New Jersey: To the extent that Mr. Murray's profile can be considered an advertisement in New Jersey, which is denied, be advised that NO ASPECT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY. Furthermore, the selection methodology for the SuperLawyers' "Rising Stars" awards is set forth at length at this website:

  3. There are some self help forms available at the NJ Courts online website and probably more at your local law library, but handling an adoption, even one by consent, is not an easy matter. If I have need of a surgeon, I don't try and go to a self-help source. Sometimes, a lawyers' most complicated case is handliing a case that had been started pro se and trying to handle some problem or oversight (not to say that attorneys never make mistakes). I would at least seek a consultation with an attorney to understand what is required.

    DISCLAIMER: This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not legal advice unless you have entered into a fee agreement with the Law Office of Anthony J. Van Zwaren, P.C. and have paid the required fees. The information contained in this email may be privileged. Dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail or the information contained within it by anyone other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete this message and any attachments from your system and notify us.

  4. Stepparent adoption procedures vary greatly county-by-county and can be very difficult to navigate without an attorney. You can certainly begin the process on your own (i.e. obtain fingerprints and background check), but I highly recommend that you consult with an experienced Family Law attorney who can guide you through the process. The article located at the link provided below will also provide some additional helpful information. Best of luck to you and your family!

    The information provided is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This information is designed for general information only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and emails. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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