Imagine this: A child learning for the first time that it’s perfectly acceptable – even welcome – to laugh at the dinner table, do homework at the desk, help with the dishes. If you have an abundance of love to give such a child, and the safety and security of a permanent, nurturing home, you could have the experience of being an adoptive parent – with unimaginable rewards.

Children’s Aid and Family Services has been helping children who don’t have families able to care for them for over 110 years. We’ve placed more than 10,000 infants and children with loving adoptive families and have many opportunities for you to open your home and heart to a vulnerable child. The agency is uniquely qualified to guide you every step of the way, helping you navigate this new terrain by providing comprehensive support and guidance. A staff member is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week — an especially reassuring fact if you are adopting a child with behavioral or learning issues.

Support For Families

Adoption is a life-changing experience for both the parents and the child. We believe families thrive when they have support during the challenging times that may occur. We offer a variety of services for adoptive families.

The New Jersey Adoption Resources Clearing House (NJ ARCH) is a statewide one-stop adoption information and resource service for those touched by adoption.

NJ ARCH provides adoption advocacy, support, education, information, and resource services to adoptees, birthparents, adoptive and pre-adoptive families, families interested in adoption, and professionals and community members interested in adoption issues.

Services are provided via the NJ ARCH website, www.njarch.org and a toll-free Warm Line which is staffed 40 hours per week. Click here to visit the NJ ARCH website or call the toll free number at 877.4.ARCHNJ or 877-427-2465.

Post Adoption Counseling Services (PACS) are available to any family that resides in Bergen, Passaic, or Essex Counties and has an adopted child under the age of 21. Although the majority of adopted children adjust well to their adoptive status, there are a considerable number of children and families that face challenges that are unique to the adoption experience. Services include family and/or individual therapy, wraparound services and support groups.

An adoptive parent support group meets in our Fair Lawn office. Meetings are scheduled for the third Friday of each month, from 6:30-8pm. Please contact Kate Hamilton at (201)740-7126 for more information and to register for meetings.

All Post Adoption Counseling Service clinicians specialize in the clinical concerns of adoption including, but not limited to: identity issues; loss and separation; curiosity about origins; and feelings of difference. There is no fee for the any of the PACS services provided to families, and services are available in our Fair Lawn and South Orange offices. Contact the program director at (201)740-7124 for information or to discuss services.

The New Jersey Kinship Legal Guardianship Resource Clearing House (KinKonnect) is a web-based service that provides resources and information to families involved with kinship care in the state of New Jersey.

KinKonnect is “an information center for Kinship Legal Guardianship families.” KinKonnect provides information, advocacy, support, education and resource services to those involved with Kinship Care. Services are provided via the KinKonnect website, www.kinkonnect.org and a toll-free Warm Line number. Visit the KinKonnect website or call the toll free number at 877- KLG-LINE or 877-554-5463.

Children’s Aid and Family Services provides KLG counseling to families that reside in Bergen, Passaic and Essex Counties, excluding Newark. This service is available to families that have achieved kinship legal guardianship through the Division of Child Protection and Permanency. There is no fee charged for services that include individual and/or family therapy, educational and wraparound support. Services are provided either in-home or in our Fair Lawn or South Orange offices. To learn more, contact the program director at (201) 740-7124. To find similar services in other areas of New Jersey, visit www.kinkonnect.org and click on “Resources.”

A free support group for anyone who is contemplating placing a child for adoption or who has placed a child for adoption in the past. This group is also open to the birthparents’ family members. The group discusses issues of grief and loss that may arise as a result of this decision.  The Birth Parent Support Group meets monthly. For more information, call Marcia Fisher 201-740-7038.

Children’s Aid and Family Services, formerly known as Children’s Aid and Adoption Society, provides background and search services to adopted persons who are interested in obtaining non-identifying information about their medical and social histories, and/or who are interested in establishing contact with their birth families. The agency also conducts searches on behalf of birth parents who would like to meet the adult sons and daughters they placed for adoption through this agency or the Sister Mary Eugene Foundation, an agency that merged with Children’s Aid and Adoption Society in 1974.

People interested in these services can contact the South Orange office at 76 South Orange Ave, Suite 209, South Orange, NJ 07079 Tel: 201-740-7135. Gloria T. Smith, L.C.S.W., coordinator of the program, will be happy to give you information about the agency’s Background and Search Services.

Children’s Aid and Family Services has been supporting those touched by adoption since 1899, and we have helped more than 11,000 children find loving adoptive families. We know how profoundly life altering adoption is for everyone involved. We offer free comprehensive counseling services to birth parents, helping them to make the most informed decision regarding adoption planning. We also provide help to adult adoptees, who were originally placed by our agency and are seeking information on their history. We help adult adoptees search for their birth parent(s) and reunite with them if everyone is open to this possibility.  We also provide search services to birth parents who are interested in initiating contact with their adult adopted son or daughter.

We have a long history of advocating for the rights of adult adoptees to gain access to their original birth certificate, as this document* provides adoptees with critical information. We are proud of New Jersey’s passage of the Adoptees Birthright Act (also known as the Public Law 2014, Chapter 9) and we want to ensure that anyone touched by adoption, such as birth parents and adult adoptees, understands the intentions of the Act. Birth parents should be aware that they may consent to sharing or redacting (deleting) their identifying information when the original birth certificate is issued to the adopted adult. Birth parent redactions may only take place until December 31st, 2016. They also have the opportunity to share their medical and background history with the Department of Health, which would allow the adult adoptee to access his or her medical history.

In addition to the above Adoptees Birthright Act, New Brunswick Canada has also changed their laws about Adopted persons obtaining their original birth certificate.  The Sister Mary Eugene Foundation, which merged in the 1970s with Children’s Aid and Family Services, placed children born in New Brunswick, Canada, with families in New Jersey.  These adopted persons are able after April 1, 2018 to request their original birth certificate.  For details about the bill, please click here.

Helping those touched by adoption is a core part of our mission. For information about our adoption services, please contact Marcia Fisher at 201-740-7038. For questions about this Law, please contact the NJ Adoption Resource Clearing House (NJ ARCH) at 877-4ARCH (877-427-2465) or visit their website at www.njarch.org.

*Click here for more details on this Adoptees Birthright Act. This document has information adapted but originally cited by the NJ Department of Health, which provides the specific language of the law and contact information.