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New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual

 

Manual:

CP&P

Child Protection and Permanency

Effective Date: 10-12-2016

Volume:

IV

Out of Home Placement

Chapter:

C

Adoption

Revised Date: 10-04-2021

Subchapter:

1

General

Issuance:

800

Finalization of Adoption

 

Purpose:                                                                              

 

This issuance establishes policy and procedure related to the adoption process for resource parents, focusing on policies regarding the resource home assessment, preparing documentation for the Division's Consent to adoption, the Pre-Adoption Consent Interview, documentation for the court hearing, appeal rights, and post finalization efforts.

 

Authority:                                                                            

 

•     N.J.S.A. 9:3-46(b)

•     N.J.A.C. 10:120A-3.1(a)2

•     N.J.A.C. 10:121, Adoptions

•     N.J.A.C. 10:122C, Manual of Requirements for Resource Family Parents

 

Policy:

 

A)   Assessing the Home                                                        

Assessment of the resource home is an ongoing process. Formalized reviews of the appropriateness of a resource home adoption plan occur at the 90-day staffing with casework supervision, as well as at the 5th and 10th month enhanced reviews. See CP&P-IV-D-2-100, Definitions, "Enhanced Review Process."

1)    In his or her assessment and during the reviews, the Worker consults Office of Resource Family, Licensing, and Adoption Operations staff, the Local Office nursing staff, and, if applicable, other collateral resources. These staff consider the following factors/questions during the reviews and assessment:

                                             i)        Is the home licensed, and, if not, what are the barriers?  Can they be resolved?

                                            ii)        Has there been a recent safety assessment?

                                           iii)        Are Domestic Violence, Child Abuse Record Information (CARI), and Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) checks, including fingerprint-based criminal record checks, current as required?  If not, conduct new checks. See Submitting the Consent Package, below, for additional policy including time frames for CARI, CHRI, and fingerprint checks.

                                           iv)        Does the family understand the child's needs, both now and in the future, and is the family committed and capable of meeting these needs?

                                            v)        Does the family understand the importance of sharing the fact of the adoption with the child?

                                           vi)        Is the Division comfortable with the level of care the child has been receiving - medical, mental health, educational? Are there any issues around inappropriate discipline or corporal punishment? If there are concerns, have these been addressed with the resource family and resolved?

                                          vii)        If a two-parent family, is the relationship between the parents compatible and likely to endure?

                                        viii)        Are both resource parents fully committed to adoption, and have they demonstrated their commitment by treating the child as a full-fledged member of their family? Note: In a two-parent family, it is expected that both parents will adopt. Exceptions to this rule are only made in unusual circumstances and require approval through the Assistant Director in the Office of Adoption Operations.

                                           ix)        What is the child's relationship with other children and/or adults in the home? Are they in favor of the adoption plan?

                                            x)        Are there any issues related to the resource parent's physical health, mental/emotional health, or age that would indicate that they would be unlikely to adequately care for the child until he or she reaches the age of majority?

                                           xi)        Are there unresolved subsidy concerns?

                                          xii)        Is the family financially able to support their needs separate from the child's subsidy?

B)   Minimum Required Time in Placement Prior to Adoption             

A child must live in the adopting parents’ home for at least six months before an adoption is finalized.

C)   Preparing the Resource Parent for the Adoption Process            

After the child's case goal is determined to be resource parent adoption, the Adoption Worker begins the adoption process by:

1)    Explaining what is to be expected by the court during the litigation process to terminate parental rights (TPR);

2)    Helping the resource parent and child explore and resolve questions related to adoption;

3)    Beginning/updating identity work with the child, including the child's Life Book;

4)    Assuring sibling awareness, contact, and visits, and incorporating this into the adoption;

5)    Continuing to explore the resource parent's commitment to adoption and ability to care for the child on a permanent basis;

6)    Explaining what the resource parent must do and what CP&P must do to complete the adoption process;

7)    Determining the child's eligibility for subsidized adoption; and

8)    Discussing what will be required before the Local Office Manager can sign the CP&P Form 14-6, Consent of Guardian to Adoption, or CP&P Form 14-149, Consent of Custodian to Adoption.

9)    Continue to regularly visit the child and resource family until the adoption is finalized.

D)   Reunification and Visits with Parents and Siblings

Unless otherwise ordered by the court, reunification efforts, such as Worker visits and visits between the child and his or her birth or other legal parent(s), are ongoing. Unless there are safety concerns, visits between the child and siblings must occur, even if there are no visits between the child and the birth or other legal parents.

E)   Consent Documents and the Litigation Process     

1)    During the litigation process, the Worker prepares and compiles documents necessary for the Local Office Manager's review and approval of CP&P Form 14-6, Consent of Guardian to Adoption, or CP&P Form 14-149, Consent of Custodian to Adoption. Once the termination of parental rights litigation is initiated: 

2)    Assure that the child's long form birth certificate has been received and is accurate. See CP&P-III-C-6-100, Information Verification and Certified Documents, and the CP&P Form 26-8, Request for Birth/Death/Marriage/Civil Union/Domestic Partnership Certificates, and its instructions.

3)    Assure that the child has a Social Security number, and, if not, apply for a card immediately (see CP&P-III-C-2-300, Applying for a Social Security Card for a Child in CP&P Custody). Some courts may require that a copy of the Social Security card be attached to the Judgment of Adoption when the Adoption complaint is filed.

4)    Resolve any immigration issues, if the child is not a citizen. Consult the DAG assigned to the Local Office for guidance. Note: The child must be either a citizen or a legally documented resident.

5)    Update the CP&P Form 14-177, Family Medical History, as fully as possible. Contact biological family members for missing family medical history. Record medical information directly in the NJ SPIRIT application using the Medical/Mental Health Window. Complete the CP&P Form 14-177, Family Medical History, by accessing it through the NJS Desktop>Create>Case Work>Medical/Mental Health>dropdown selection. See the CP&P Form 14-177 and its instructions.

6)    Prepare the CP&P Form 14-126, Pre-adoptive Medical Report, as fully as possible. Obtain information from the CP&P Form 11-10, Health Passport and Placement Assessment, CP&P Form 14-177, Family Medical History, CP&P Form 26-53c, Individual and Family Assessment Outline - Adoption, and CP&P Form 26-52, Contact Sheet, as well as, hospital birth records and other medical reports in the child's electronic and paper case records. Submit the form to the child's pediatrician to complete Section IV, Examination, when he or she performs the pre-adoptive examination and signs that the child is suitable for adoption.

7)    Discuss with the resource parent(s) their right to have a psychological evaluation of the child:

                     i)        If there is any question about the child's intellectual potential, behavior, or emotional adjustment, obtain a psychological evaluation of the child to assure that appropriate treatment is provided.

                    ii)        If a child's birth parent has a significant history of mental illness or disability, or the child has been exposed to trauma, parental substance abuse, and/or blood lead poisoning, a psychological examination is recommended.

                   iii)        A psychological examination is generally not required if the observations of the Worker, the CP&P nurse, pediatrician, resource parents, school personnel and others indicate that the child is developing normally, or if the child is too young to be evaluated properly.

                   iv)        Remind the adoptive family that they have the right to request a psychological evaluation of the child at the Division's expense prior to finalization of the adoption. If the adoptive parent(s) is satisfied with the child's development and chooses to waive the psychological evaluation, he or she must complete the CP&P Form 14-234, Waiver for Psychological Examination.

8)    Prepare the CP&P Form 26-53c, Individual and Family Assessment Outline - Adoption, Child Summary Outline - Parts A and B. Access the form through the NJ SPIRIT Desktop > Create > Case Work > Adoption. The form:

                     i)        Is a comprehensive examination of the medical, social, developmental, physical, and emotional background of the child. With CP&P Form 14-177, it meets the legal requirement to provide full disclosure of the child's history and background to the adoptive parents.

                    ii)        Provides the basis of the Life Book. The Life Book should be started at the time of the child's initial placement outside the home. See CP&P-IV-B-6-300, Life Book for the Child in Placement, and CP&P Form 5-32, Helping a Child Make History -- A Guide to Preparation of Life Books.

                   iii)        Is the primary reference for the adoptive parent in responding to the child's on-going questions about his or her background, or for exploring the root causes the child's medical or behavioral/emotional problems.

                   iv)        May be the only available document for the child that connects the fact of his or her birth to the fact of his or her adoption, with a chronological account of events and people.

                    v)        Complete this form in a comprehensive, but sensitive manner before the child becomes legally free. Update it as needed.

9)    Negotiate the adoption subsidy (see CP&P-IV-C-8-100) with the resource parent, if the parent is interested in pursuing this benefit. Discuss and clarify any concerns. Prepare the subsidy eligibility paperwork and submit the subsidy packet to the Office of Adoption Operations for approval. See CP&P-IV-C-8-200, Processing Adoption Subsidies. Have it ready for the resource parent to review at the Pre-Consent interview.

10)  Present the Consent Package to the Local Office Manager no later than 60 days after the child becomes legally free. See CP&P Form 14-6, Consent of Guardian to Adoption, CP&P Form 14-149, Consent of Custodian to Adoption, and CP&P Form 14-175, Adoption Consent Checklist. If the case is on appeal, the Local Office Manager may choose to delay the Consent approval.

F)   Pre-Consent Interview with Resource Parent           

1)    Although the child is already placed in the resource home, he or she is not actually considered to be placed pre-adoptively until the Consent of Guardian to Adoption or Consent of Custodian to Adoption is submitted to, and signed, by the Local Office Manager.

2)    Before the Consent documentation can be submitted to the Local Office Manager, the Pre-Consent Interview must be held. Once the child becomes legally free, the Worker holds the Pre-Consent Interview at the resource family home. The Supervisor is encouraged to attend, whenever possible. At the Interview the Worker:

                             i)        Formally shares the child's background with the resource family, going over the information in CP&P Form 26-53c, Individual and Family Assessment Outline - Adoption, Child Summary Outline - Part B, and CP&P Form 14-177, Family Medical History. The Worker and Supervisor sign the CP&P Form 26-53c and give copies of Part B and CP&P Form 14-177 to the resource family.

                            ii)        Reads and reviews both the CP&P Form 11-10, Health Passport and Placement Assessment, and CP&P Form 5-16, Child's Education Record, with the resource family. Discusses any outstanding medical, educational, behavioral, psychological, or psychiatric concerns, and, where necessary, updates forms with any new information the resource family may provide.

                           iii)        Shares the approved subsidy agreement, CP&P Form 14-184, Initial Agreement Between the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency and Adoption Parents Regarding Subsidy Payments. Has the resource parent(s) sign the form, if he or she is in agreement with its conditions. Explains benefits provided through the CP&P Adoption Subsidy Program. See CP&P-IV-C-8-100

                           iv)        Shares information on reimbursement for approved non-recurring adoption expenses, including that up to $2,000 may be reimbursed for each child, within two years of the adoption finalization, and that the expenses may be reimbursed even if the adoption disrupts. See CP&P-IV-C-8-300, Reimbursement for Non-recurring Adoption Expenses.

                            v)        Shares information regarding the resource parent's eligibility for the Federal adoption tax credit after the adoption is finalized, and other potential New Jersey and Federal benefit programs and tax provisions. See CP&P-IV-C-1-1100, NJ and Federal Benefit Programs and Federal Taxes.

                           vi)        Shares information on the requirements and services provided through the Post Adoptive Child Care (PACC) Program, if the resource parent(s) is adopting a child under age six (6). See CP&P-IV-C-8-900, Post Adoption Child Care (PACC).

                          vii)        Discusses available Post Adoption Support Services.

                        viii)        Reviews information to provide documentation to fulfill the licensing requirement regarding family roles, relationships, and attitudes of family member towards the child's adoption.

                           ix)        Verifies information in the court report for the final adoption hearing.

                            x)        Discusses, how the adoptive family will tell the child he or she is adopted and shares information regarding his or her birth or other legal family. Shares information about the Adoption Registry.

                           xi)        Engages the family in maintaining ongoing sibling contact.

                          xii)        Fully document the contents of this Interview in the child's electronic case record on the Contact/Activity Notes Window, printable as CP&P Form 26-52, Contact Sheet.

G)  Submitting the Adoption Consent Package  

1)    Within 60 days of the child's becoming legally free, compile the Adoption Consent package and forward it to the Local Office Manager. If the case is on appeal, the LOM may choose to delay the Consent review. The Adoption Consent package includes:

                                     i)        Child's long form birth certificate.

                                    ii)        Child's Social Security number.

                                   iii)        Judgment of Guardianship or DAG Clearance of Surrender Documents, or Transfer of Custody from a licensed adoption agency.

                                   iv)        CP&P Form 26-53c, Individual and Family Assessment Outline - Adoption, Child Summary Outline - Parts A and B.

                                    v)        CP&P Form 14-177, Family Medical History.

                                   vi)        Approved subsidy packet, including the signed CP&P Form 14-182, Application for Subsidized Adoption Payments, CP&P Form 14-183, Determination of Eligibility for Subsidy, and the CP&P Form 14-184, Initial Agreement Between the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency and Adoption Parents Regarding Subsidy Payments.

                                  vii)        CP&P Form 10-5fc, Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Initial Determination or CP&P Form 10-6fc, Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Redetermination.

                                viii)        Medical and Dental Reports:

1.                All children under CP&P supervision in out-of-home placement are required to receive comprehensive medical and dental care on a regularly scheduled basis according to Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) standards. See CP&P-V-A-3-800, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT).

2.                Refer to the National Immunization Program website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ to view the current Recommended Immunization Schedules.

3.                Document/update the above medical information on CP&P Form 11-10, Health Passport and Placement Assessment. A child's medical well-being is managed in coordination with the Local Office nursing staff. Submit the form after consulting with the Local Office nursing staff to assure:

(1)  Immunizations are current,

(2)  Any required diagnostic testing has been completed, documentation has been received, and results have been evaluated, and

(3)  Any outstanding medical issues are resolved to the adopting parent's satisfaction.

                                   ix)        Current Educational Report: Document the child's educational information and progress on CP&P Form 5-16, Child's Education Record.

                                    x)        Resource Family Information:

1.                Original or copy of resource home study, if available.

2.                A resource family adopting a child placed after July 1, 2005, must have a valid Resource Family License. Include a copy of the license.

3.                Information on family income.

4.                Documentation of current marital/civil union or domestic partnership status and any previous marriages/civil unions or domestic partnerships or divorce/dissolution decrees.

5.                Medical statement on resource parent, if there is a question about his or her health.

                                   xi)        Criminal History Record Information (CHRI):

1.                Fingerprint results for all adults residing in the household must be current within one year of the filing for the adoption finalization. Preference is for archiving, so the family does not have to take new prints, but if this cannot be accomplished, new prints must be taken. Be cognizant of any adolescent(s) in the home who will turn 18 before the adoption is finalized, as they will need to be finger printed.

(1)  State prints are required for out-of-state families, both from the individual's state of residence and from New Jersey, if the family has resided in New Jersey in the last five years.

2.                To allow for the resolution of any unexpected issues, conduct Criminal History checks, PROMIS/GAVEL, Domestic Violence, and other law enforcement related systems checks, approximately 90 days prior to the adoption finalization. A copy of all approved waivers must be submitted with the Adoption Consent package. Checks must be completed using all names the person has used (i.e., maiden name, previous name, nick name, married name).

                                  xii)        Child Abuse Record Information (CARI):  CARI results are to be current within 90 days of the Local Manager signing the Adoption Consent. Checks are required in the family member's state of residence and all other states where the individual has resided in the last five years. If CARI checks have already been completed in a state where the applicant previously resided, they do not have to be redone. A copy of all approved waivers must be submitted with the Adoption Consent package. Checks must be completed using all names the person has used (i.e., maiden name, previous name, nick name, married name).

See CP&P Form 14-175, Adoption Consent Checklist, in the online Forms Manual (11-20) for more information on Consent Package requirements.

H)   Case Record Documentation                            

Case record documentation must include:

1)    The results of interviews with each resource parent (caregiver) regarding his or her decision to adopt the child, his or her role and relationship regarding the care and discipline of the child, and any impact the child has had on the caregiver's personal relationship with the other caregiver.

2)    The results of interviews with all other family members (children and adults) regarding their relationship with the child and attitude toward the child's adoption.

3)    When age appropriate, a description of the ongoing discussions held with the child regarding his or her life in the resource home and his or her understanding of, and feelings about, being adopted by the resource family.

4)    A summary of any counseling or therapy reports.

5)    Efforts to either reunify siblings in the same home or efforts to maintain on-going sibling communication and visitation (before or after finalization), if siblings are in different homes.

6)    Life Book work with the child. Life Book work must be frequent and ongoing at an age appropriate level to help bring out and resolve the child's feelings about the loss of his or her birth/legal family and now legally becoming part of the adoptive family. Record the Worker's observations of the Life Book work.

I)     Resource Parent's Legal Rights to Notification of Final Adoption Proceedings Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:3-46(b), if a person other than the resource parent is adopting the child (and the resource parent has cared for the child for six months or one half of the life of a child, whichever is less, in the two years prior to the adoption complaint being filed), CP&P is required to notify the resource parent by letter of the impending adoption. The resource parent has legal standing to object to the adoption, with the objection receiving due consideration from the court. Complete and send the CP&P Form 14-210, Notification Letter to Resource Parent(s) of Final Adoption Proceedings.

J)    Resource Parent Has Right to Dispositional Review         

A resource parent(s) has the right to a dispositional review when a child is moved from his or her home after six or more months of placement UNLESS:

1)    The child is being reunited with a parent or kin, including placement with a sibling;

2)    The resource parent is not willing to make an adoption commitment and the child is being moved to an adoptive home;

3)    The resource home is pending completion of a child abuse investigation by the DCF Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit; or

4)    The resource parent or a household member has a finding of substantiated child abuse or neglect in accordance with N.J.A.C. 10:129-7.3(c)1.

See N.J.A.C. 10:120A-3.1(a)2i-v.

K) Court Report                                                                 

The following information is necessary for the court report for the final adoption hearing:

1)    The Child:

                               i)        Full name, birthdate, and birthplace as it appears on the long form birth certificate.

                              ii)        Date and reason the child entered care.

                             iii)        Date the child was placed in the resource home and his or her development since placement.

                             iv)        Any serious diagnosed condition the child may have and special services he or she is receiving.

                              v)        The child's educational progress, including the name of the school or daycare center he or she attends.

                             vi)        The child's attitude toward the adoption, if age appropriate.

                            vii)        Date of TPR, the court and Judge's name.

                          viii)        The child's name after adoption.

2)    Biological Parent or Other Legal Parent (for each parent):

                               i)        Full name, including mother's maiden name, or any previously married names.

                              ii)        Birthdate and place, race, religion, and ethnicity.

                             iii)        Marriage/civil union or domestic partnership history.

                             iv)        Health.

                              v)        Names, ages, and current living arrangements of any other children.

                             vi)        The reason the parent was unable to care for the child.

                            vii)        The attitude of the parent toward the adoption.

3)    Adoptive Parent (for each parent):

                               i)        Full name, including mother's maiden name, or any names used in previous marriages.

                              ii)        Birthdate and place, race, religion, and ethnicity.

                             iii)        Social Security number.

                             iv)        Marriage/Civil Union or domestic partnership history:

                              v)        Verification of the date and place of current marriage/civil union partnership or domestic partnership, if applicable;

                             vi)        Date, to whom partnered, and, if dissolved, when and where, regarding other marriages/civil union partnerships or domestic partnerships;

                            vii)        If a single parent adoption and the adoptive parent is either married or in a civil union, verification that the partners are legally separated (i.e., living separate and apart) or have the consent of the other partner to adopt; and

                          viii)        Verification of the divorce or dissolution decree, if the adoptive parent has not remarried.

                             ix)        Information regarding where the adoptive parent has resided within the last five years.

                              x)        Citizenship or immigration status.

                             xi)        Current health status and ability to raise the child to adulthood.

                            xii)        Employment history, family income including how it was verified (i.e., family income must be verified through pay stubs or income tax forms), and the ability of the family to financially meet the child's needs (with the subsidy, if necessary).

                          xiii)        Fingerprint results:  State and Federal prints must be current within one year of the filing for adoption finalization, or must be retaken or archived.

                          xiv)        Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) check:

1.    The date the check was run and the results, which must be approximately 90 days prior to the adoption finalization;

2.    If a waiver was required, the circumstances must be explained. (Some courts may require a copy of the approved waiver); and/or

3.    Copies of the fingerprint results and printouts from law enforcement database checks must be attached, if required (some courts require copies and printouts).

4.    Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) check, including the date the check was run and the results, which must be current within 90 days of the Adoption Consent signature. If a waiver is required, the circumstances must be explained. (Some courts may require a copy of the waiver.) 

                           xv)        Domestic Violence Registry results.

See Submitting the Adoption Consent Package, above, for more details on required CARI, CHRI, PROMIS/GAVEL, fingerprint, and other law enforcement checks.

4)    Other Persons in the Home:

                               i)        Other Children (for each child):

1.    Name (for children, only use the first name).

2.    Age.

3.    Permanency goal (for each child placed in the home).

4.    Relationship to the child being adopted.

5.    Attitude toward the child's adoption.

                              ii)        Other Adults:

1.    Name and birthdate.

2.    Social Security number.

3.    States of residence within the past five years.

4.    Fingerprint, CHRI, and CARI information for each adult over age 18. Note:  Under no circumstances should names of other individuals subject to CARI checks be submitted to the court.

5.    Relationship to the child being adopted.

6.    Attitude toward the child's adoption.

5) Description of the Home and Neighborhood.

6) Recommendation Regarding the Finalization of the Child's Adoption.

L) Signing the Adoption Consent                                            

1) The Local Office Manager thoroughly reviews the child's record and all material provided with the CP&P Form 14-6, Consent of Guardian to Adoption, or the CP&P Form 14-149, Consent of Custodian to Adoption, for completeness, accuracy, timeliness, and consistency. The signing of the Consent to Adoption precipitates a life altering action for the child. The Local Office Manager only signs the consent when he or she is completely sure that all requirements have been met, and that adoption by the resource parent(s) is in the child's best interest.

2)    If the Local Office Manager is ready to sign the consent, but a single component is missing from the Consent package, the Consent may be signed and placed on hold for up to 90 days, thus "stopping the clock" on material that may become outdated. (The only exception is that fingerprint results must be current within one year of filing for the adoption finalization.)

3)    If the adoption complaint is not filed within 90 days of the signing of the Adoption Consent, the Local Office Manager must re-review the Consent material to determine the cause of the delay and re-sign the Consent, once issues causing the delay have been resolved.

M) Consent and Materials Sent to the Family Attorney                  

1)    Once the Local Office Manager signs the CP&P Form 14-6, Consent of Guardian to Adoption, or CP&P Form 14-149, Consent of Custodian to Adoption, or a "hold" is removed on a signed Consent, mail the Consent documents and related materials to the attorney chosen by the family within 48 hours.

2)    Use the CP&P Form 14-150, Letter Transmitting CP&P Form 14-6 or CP&P Form 14-149 to Attorney. Note: The CP&P Form 14-150 requests that the family attorney send CP&P a copy of the Judgment of Adoption.

3)    Submit to the family attorney the following additional documents:

                     i)        Letter to the attorney (some courts require a copy be sent to the court);

                    ii)        Guardianship judgment or surrender documentation, if surrenders were not followed by a judgment of guardianship;

                   iii)        Long form birth certificate; and

                   iv)        Court report for final hearing with a clear explanation of any CARI or CHRI issues, and any required documents attached.

N) Subsidy Begins                                                                        

Once the Adoption Consent is signed, inform the family that following the finalization the resource family care board will be discontinued. If the adoption is subsidized, inform the family that the subsidy will begin as indicated in the subsidy agreement, CP&P Form 14-184, Initial Agreement Between the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency and Adoption Parents Regarding Subsidy Payments. See CP&P-IV-C-8-100, Adoption Subsidy.

O) Adoption Finalization                                                 

1)    Unless the family requests otherwise, the Worker attends the finalization hearing. In the same month as the adoption is finalized, complete the required changes in NJ SPIRIT to remove the child from the birth case and enter him or her into the adoptive family case. The court is notified via an electronic information exchange through the NJS application. If the adoption took place in another state, include a copy of the Judgment of Adoption (court order) with the court notification.

2)    Upon finalization, the Worker completes the CP&P Form 25-66, Notice of Termination of State Responsibility for Tuition and Transportation, and faxes it to the State Responsible Coordinator, DCF Office of Education, at 609-583-3175.

P) Adoption Finalization Folder                                    

1)    Local Office and Office of Adoption Operations staff use the CP&P Form 14-228, Adoption Finalization Folder Requirement Checklist, to verify that required documents were submitted to the Office of Adoption Operations in the adoption finalization folder. Within 30 days of receiving the Judgment of Adoption for a child, Local Office staff prepare the finalization folder and complete the checklist. For an adoption:

                     i)        Without a subsidy, complete the checklist when the Local Office has:

1.                Closed the CP&P case;

2.                Opened an Adoption Subsidy case (Note: A subsidy case is opened, even if no subsidy will be provided, in order to register an adoption); and

3.                Closed the Adoption Subsidy case. (Note: NJS allows payment in closed cases, as long as the support service is entered in NJS and is approved.)

                    ii)        With a subsidy, complete the checklist when the Local Office:

1.                Has closed the CP&P case;

2.                Has opened an Adoption Subsidy case; and

3.                Is ready to transfer the Adoption Subsidy case to the Office of Adoption Operations (no later than 30 calendar days after receiving the judgment of adoption).

2)    Using the NJS application, prepare, print, and place forms and other required documents in the folder, including:

                     i)        CP&P Form 14-177, Family Medical History (access through the Medical/Mental Health Window in NJS);

                    ii)        CP&P Form 26-53c, Individual and Family Assessment Outline - Adoption Child Summary Outline - Part B (access through the Adoption Window in NJS);

                   iii)        CP&P Form 26-52, Contact Sheet (access through the Contact/Activity Notes Window in NJS); and

                   iv)        CP&P Form 10-5aa, Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Eligibility Determination (access through the Adoption Eligibility Window in NJS); or, if not available,

                    v)        CP&P Form 10-5fc, Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Initial Determination, and Attachment, AFDC Financial Need Determination (access through the Eligibility Window-Determinations Tab in NJS); and, as appropriate,

                   vi)        CP&P Form 10-6fc, Title IV-E Foster Care Redetermination, and Attachment, Financial Need Redetermination (access through the Eligibility Window-Determinations Tab in NJS).

                  vii)        CP&P Form 25-66, Notice of Termination of State Responsibility for Tuition and Transportation.

Q)  Requirements for Finalization                                             

1)    The Worker requests approval for the finalization of the adoption after completing the required material. The Worker submits the supportive material through the Supervisor to the LO Manager who reviews the material and, if appropriate, approves the adoption by signing the consent of guardian/custodian to adoption. The consent is forwarded to the adoptive parents' attorney who files the adoption complaint and secures a court date for the final hearing. When the court date is scheduled, the attorney submits the complaint and order to the Worker supervising the placement. The Worker prepares the court report for final hearing.

2)    As part of the material submitted to the LO Manager for approval of  the adoption of a child, CP&P Form 14-210, Notification Letter to Resource Parent(s) of Final Adoption Proceedings, must be included. The letter is signed by the LO Manager and sent certified mail, receipt requested to any resource parent of the child to be adopted who cared for the child for a period of six months or one half of the life of the child, whichever is less, in the two years prior to the adoption complaint being filed, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 9:3-46(b). If the resource parent has signed CP&P Form 14-211, Waiver of Notice to Adoption Proceedings, CP&P Form 14-210 is not required. See Resource Parent’s Legal Rights to Notification of Final Adoption Proceedings, above.

3)    The attorney for the adoptive parents is notified that a report has been sent to the court. Unless the court requests otherwise, the Worker attends the hearing and then completes the required documents.

4)    The case records, Judgment of Adoption, and birth certificate(s) are stamped "CONFIDENTIAL." All material relevant to the adoption, especially identifying information about the adoptive parents, is, in effect, sealed. Information from these records can be shared only as specified in CP&P-IV-C-1-900, Release of Information on Finalized Adoptions. See also CP&P-IX-G-1-100 and N.J.A.C. 10:121C-6.2 and 10:133G-2.5, for specific policy and rules regarding release of adoption-related information.

5)    Subsequent to the finalization of the adoption, the attorney obtains a new birth certificate for the child.

R)   Procedures Related to Finalization of the Adoption     

1)    Responsibilities:

                     i.    Worker

1.    Make final visit to adoption home. Submit required material with Adoption Consent Checklist, CP&P Form 14-175. Specific materials are:

a)    Doctor's current statement of child's health,

b)    Consent of Guardian to Adoption, CP&P Form 14-6, or Consent of Custodian to Adoption, CP&P Form 14-149,

c)    Summary for Consent of Guardian/Custodian to Adoption.

d)    Signed Waiver of Notice to Adoption Proceedings, CP&P  Form 14-211, if appropriate, or, a typed Notification Letter to Resource Parent(s) of Final Adoption Proceedings, CP&P Form 14-210,

e)    Birth verification for child,

f)     Copy of pre-placement interview,

g)    Medical report on adoptive parents, if necessary,

h)    Dental report on child, if appropriate,

i)      Update electronic case record as appropriate (narratives),

j)      Psychological report/waiver, CP&P Form 14-234, Waiver for Psychological Examination, 

k)    Picture of child and family, if available,

l)      Surrender of Custody and Consent for Adoption, CP&P Form 14-86 or CP&P Form 14-86(S), CP&P Form 14-86a, b, d and/or copy of guardianship order,

m)  Transfer of custody, where applicable,

n)    Copy of DAG clearance,

o)    Home study,

p)    Financial statement/subsidy forms,

q)    Death certificate/divorce/ dissolution of civil union decree, if appropriate, for single parent adoption.

2.              Local Office Manager

a.    Review summary material and sign CP&P Form 14-6 or CP&P Form 14-149.

b.    Sign CP&P Form 14-210, if appropriate

3.    Worker

a.    Forward CP&P Form 14-6 or CP&P Form 14-149 to attorney for adoptive parents. See the CP&P Form 14-150 and its instructions. The CP&P Form 14-150 requests from the family attorney a copy of the adoption decree to file in the child's case record. See Consent and Materials Sent to the Family Attorney, above.

b.    Forward CP&P Form 14-210 to resource parent, if appropriate.

c.    Prepare court report and forward to court.

d.    Attend court hearing.

e.    Record case movement in NJS.

f.     Complete Recommendation for Discharge from Guardianship, CP&P Form 4-3.

4.  Worker,Clerk

a.    Clearly stamp "CONFIDENTIAL" on "paper" case record(s), Judgment of Adoption, and birth certificate(s).

 

Forms and Attachments:                                                

 

      CP&P Form 5-8, Resource Family Rate Assessment

      CP&P Form 5-8a, Resource Family Rate Agreement

·         CP&P Form 5-32, Helping a Child Make History, A Guide to the Preparation of Life Books

·         CP&P Form 5-16, Child's Education Record

·         CP&P Form 10-5aa, Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Eligibility Determination

·         CP&P Form 10-5fc, Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Initial Determination, and Attachment, AFDC Financial Need Determination

·         CP&P Form 10-6fc, Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Redetermination

·         CP&P Form 11-10, Health Passport and Placement Assessment

      CP&P Form 14-6, Consent of Guardian to Adoption

      CP&P Form 14-177, Family Medical History

·         CP&P Form 14-126, Pre-Adoptive Medical Report

      CP&P Form 14-149, Consent of Custodian to Adoption

      CP&P Form 14-175, Adoption Consent Checklist

      CP&P Form 14-182, Application for Subsidized Adoption Payments

      CP&P Form 14-183, Determination of Eligibility for Subsidy

      CP&P Form 14-184, Initial Agreement Between the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency and Adoption Parents Regarding Subsidy Payments

      CP&P Form 14-219, Basis for Subsidy Eligibility

      CP&P Form 14-228, Adoption Finalization Folder Requirement Checklist

      CP&P Form 14-234, Waiver for Psychological Examination

      CP&P Form 25-66, Notice of Termination of State Responsibility for Tuition and Transportation

      CP&P Form 26-53c, Individual and Family Assessment Outline - Adoption, Child Summary Outline Parts A and B

 

Related Policy                                                                    

 

•     CP&P-IV-F-1-100, Title IV-E Foster Care, Kinship Guardianship, and Adoption Assistance

      CP&P-IV-C-8-100, Adoption Subsidy Overview

 

Policy History

 

·         10-04-2021

·         10-12-2016