While we live in Bucks County, PA, we are planning to give birth in New Jersey. "Why?" you may ask. It's simple, really. Aside from the fact that we want to deliver in a brand new, state of the art, hospital with the highest ranked NICU, an adoption in our county would require a series of three home studies and an additional $2,000. If we cross the river, New Jersey recognizes our marriage certificate (from Massachusetts) and therefore does not require a home study. They treat it the same as a step parent adoption. I would be the sole petitioner and Meg would just need to sign off saying that she agrees to the adoption. Oh, and get this...Both Meg's name and my name will appear on Avery's birth certificate. Pretty smart, right?
As far as the estate planning goes, Ms. Palmer encouraged us to obtain a Medical Power of Attorney (so that I can make medical decisions for Meg) and a Will (Meg will nominate me as Avery's guardian) Both of these documents cost extra, but will protect our family should something happen before the adoption is finalized.
We're going to do the will and power of attorney immediately, but we have 90 days from the day Avery is born to file the adoption papers in New Jersey. (After that, we would have to file in Bucks County)
One more thing...she told me about the adoption tax credit. Provided we file the adoption before the year 2013 (which we will), it is 100% refundable!