TRENTON (Oct. 5)
Couples adopting children through the State of New Jersey are no longer required to give their religious affiliation, nor will a recommendation by a religious leader be required. The new ruling follows a settlement of a court dispute here in a case involving a couple who challenged the requirements on the grounds that the State Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. The ruling was accepted by the State Superior Court Appellate Division.
Under the new ruling, Jewish couples will be permitted to adopt, through the State, non-Jewish children while non-Jewish couples will be permitted to adopt Jewish children under certain circumstances. The ruling will not affect adoptions through private agencies, which still require a religious statement. State law still requires that adopted children be placed with families of the same religious affiliation wherever practicable.