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 Post subject: CT VS NJ. Need advice.
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:38 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Stamford, CT
Your Adoption Connection: Getting ready to start domestic adoption
Hi everyone!
Thank you for warm welcome :purple .
Please let me say few words about my situation.
Me and my husband decided to do domestic adoption and now we are researching info and getting prepared to start in approx fall 2013. We are non-citizens. It is legal to adopt domestically as non-citizens but is challenging as a lot of agencies require at least one adoptive parent to be US citizen. People advise to work with adoptive attorneys as they can have more personal approach. So, adopting while being non-citizen is a challenge itself and we are trying to avoid other complications. But.....we live in CT. And CT is "agency only" state. It means that we can work only with CT approved agencies.

Now the questions start. :smile
I'm quite new to this, so I might be mistaken. Please correct me here. CT is one of the smallest states in US, has good average live conditions. Comparing interstate adoption to CT adoption, what would you say? Are there any chances? How long it is to wait?

Another thing is that we have an option to move to NY or NJ. I know that NY doesn't allow interstate adoption at all (am I right?). What about NJ? Comparing CT adoption laws to NJ, what would you choose?

My first intention is to choose interstate adoption VS one state adoption. But I'm not sure that I'm right. Please advise.

Thank you very much for your answers and your opinions. I'm new to this and don't even have smb experienced to discuss it with.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 1437
Location: Connecticut
Your Adoption Connection: Director, Forever Families Weekend
Adoptive parent
Let me try to clarify things for you.

First - even though neither of you is a US citizen, as long as you are both here legally there is no reason for any agency to refuse you. It is NOT a requirement for domestic adoption. I have never heard an agency require that both parents be citizens for domestic adoption.

Second - although you will do your homestudy here in Connecticut, there is no reason to assume that your baby will be born in Connecticut. In fact, based on the statistics, it is MUCH more likely that your baby will be born in another state. That would also be the case if you were a New York or a New Jersey resident...although the odds would be slightly better than Connecticut that you would locate a baby in those states.

So whether you live in any of the three states is not particularly relevant in terms of where your baby will be born. All states in the US allow interstate adoption. I'm not sure where you got the incorrect information that it could not be done.

IF you are thinking about adoption through the foster care system then that would be a completely different story (although, technically every state in the country is supposed to allow interstate foster/adopt as well...). Most state social service agencies try to place children in their home state, particularly for foster/adopt because it allows for easier facilitation of services and visitations.

For domestic adoption (not through social services) there are some differences between NJ, NY, and Connecticut laws. As you know, Connecticut is an agency state, which means your homestudy must be done by a Connecticut licensed agency and, no matter where your baby is born, you must use an agency in that state that is licensed to place into Connecticut in order to process the paperwork and finalize the adoption. If you live in New York, there are only a small handful of licensed agencies which you may use. New York also allows private adoption through an attorney (which Connecticut does not allow). New Jersey allows both private (attorney) and agency adoptions. The laws also differ in terms of allowable expenses to birthparents, time periods for termination of parental rights and revocation periods, and other things too numerous to detail here.

If you really have a choice and it really doesn't matter to you where you live, then New Jersey might be the easiest of the three. However, the paperwork will be more troublesome with every move you make (for example, you need to list all the places you've lived for the past five years and, depending on which state you are in, you might need to have multiple states clear your fingerprints, rather than just one... none of the requirements is impossible but added together they can get very tedious).

Most important in terms of deciding whether or not to move...one thing the social workers will ask during your homestudy is what type of support you have locally (family, friends, network of people who can help you with a new baby, etc.). I don't know how long you've been here in the US or in Connecticut, but if you move now, unless you move somewhere that you already have an established group of friends, that will also be harder to show. Not impossible...not insurmountable...just more difficult.

Lots to consider...I realize...

-Debbie


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:39 pm 
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I'm New!

Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:38 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Stamford, CT
Your Adoption Connection: Getting ready to start domestic adoption
Debbie,

Thank you! So, there was my mistake: adopting through CT agency doesn't mean adopting only CT born child, this adoption can also be interstate. Got it! Good news for me :sunflower

Also useful info about friends and relatives in neighborhood. Thanks again.
We are in USA for a bit more then 1,5 years. Stamford CT was first and only place where we lived. We have good friends in CT and in NJ. Not all of them are citizens, bit, I suppose, that doesn't matter for references as long as they know us for a long time. I also volunteer for about a year in shelter for homeless people, I'm babysitting while mothers are attending classes, that will help them to find jobs, new homes etc. I hope references from the shelter will also help.

Ok, then I'll start searching CT agencies. Should I start with writing them a cover letter with general info about us as prospective adoptive parents? Should I mention our non-citizen status (visas)?

I bought my first book on adoption yesterday (by Lois Melina) :green I'm reading it all day today!


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Honorary Member

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 1437
Location: Connecticut
Your Adoption Connection: Director, Forever Families Weekend
Adoptive parent
Quote:
Ok, then I'll start searching CT agencies. Should I start with writing them a cover letter with general info about us as prospective adoptive parents? Should I mention our non-citizen status (visas)?


Oh my gosh, no! Just give them a call or send a quick email - there are only a handful in this area. Introduce yourself and ask them to send you an information packet (or go online - they all have websites and probably everything you need to know to begin is on there). Some of them have local (free) group information sessions where you can go to learn more about the agency and how they operate (and what they charge).

Here are four. They are all reliable, competent, and knowledgeable. They have slightly different programs - they offer more or less support through the process - and different pricing schedules. My recommendation is that you talk to all four, then decide not only about price and program but also who you feel the most comfortable with. Adoption is a lengthy process with many emotional ups and downs. You want a social worker that you like and who you feel will be the most supportive and "on your side" throughout.

http://www.ctadoptions.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79&Itemid=98 - Steve Baranowski (who I used to work with) handles Fairfield County

http://www.familyandchildrensagency.org/services/children-and-families/adoption/ - you can ask for MaryKate

https://www.whfc.org/what-we-do/adoption.html- not sure who handles Fairfield County for them right now

http://ccfairfield.org/index.php/family_directions - speak to Amy Zajac


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:03 pm 
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I'm New!

Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:38 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Stamford, CT
Your Adoption Connection: Getting ready to start domestic adoption
You are my angel!
I talked to few people about adoption, they all wished me luck but told that it would be very very hard because of our visa status. You are actually first person who makes me feel NOT worried about that.
I'm sooooo happy!

I will start researching these agencies right away.

:banana


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