The following is required if filing an Adoption Complaint for a Step-Parent or Close Relative Adoption with the Gloucester County Surrogate:   

What To File 

  • Verified Complaint and Order for Hearing
  • Original results of State and Federal fingerprint checks (CHRI)
  • Copy of child's birth certificate
  • Consent of custodial parent
  • Consent/Proof of Service of non-custodial natural parent
  • Affidavit of Diligent Inquiry if whereabouts of the above are unknown 
  • Filing fee is $175.00 per child. Each child must be on its own complaint.

 Please make checks payable to Gloucester County Surrogate.

What The Complaint Should Contain

  • The names and dates of birth of anyone residing in the adoptive home.  All adults (except for custodial natural parent) must undergo the CHRI.
  • If the birth father is not known or not named on the birth certificate the court needs a sworn statement (notarized) that the father is unknown and why.  We must have a copy of the birth certificate.
  • Reports will include Criminal History Record Check (CHRI)

The criminal history records investigation (CHRI) can be obtained through the NJ State Police. You must call to make an appointment.

The foregoing is a list for Step-Parent/Close relative adoptions.  There are different requirments for other types of adoptions such as: foreign re-adoption, private placements, agency placements and adult adoptions.

If you choose to prepare the adoption pleadings yourself and represent yourself in court, review the following reference resources available at the law library: New Jersey Practice Volumes 7a, 8, 8a, and 9 (index); and Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey. 

Adoption records are sealed upon the final hearing and the statutes are clear that the contents are confidential and can only be disclosed for good cause. 

If you have any questions please contact

Nancy Richter
Mon-Fri 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

*Outlining the new administrative office of the courts requirments for Step-Parent (including close relative) (Directive #17-06 effective October 15, 2006)