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Adoption in Georgia is a legal process through which a person becomes part of family. The adopted child acquires the same rights, privileges, and status as any other children in the family.
Adoptive Parent Requirements
Adopting parents in Georgia must satisfy the following requirements:
- Be at least twenty-five (25) years of age if single, and ten (10) years older than the child(ren) to be placed;
- Married and living with spouse, and ten (10) years older than the child(ren) to be placed;
- A resident of the state of Georgia for at least six (6) months prior to filing a petition to adopt.
The adoption process includes personal interviews and certain levels of review to ascertain the ability of the adopting parents to care for the child. It is important for prospective adopting parents to recognize and embrace the need to provide a stable and nurturing environment. Adoptive parents must commit to meeting the unconditional physical, emotional, medical, psychological, and social needs of the adopted child.
The Adoption Process
Why hire an adoption lawyer? It is possible to work with DFCS to attempt adoption. Without a lawyer the process can be intimidating, confusing, and sometimes aggravating. As your adoption lawyer we can mitigate the frustrations and get you through the process with minimal hangups.
In Georgia, the adoption proces has seven steps. These steps are:
- Inquiry Working with your adoption attorney you can take the first steps toward the adoption, including working through a packet of information from the DFCS.
- Information Session with your attorney to acquaint you with the adoption process and requirements. A Resource Development Worker will conduct a home visit and discuss the next steps in the process.
- Pre-Service Training for the prospective adoptive family. The training is the Adoption Preparation Program offered through a local County Department of Family and Children Services or a comparable program offered by a private licensed adoption agency under contract with DFCS.
- Family Evaluation, after completing the Adoption Training Program, the prospective adoptive parents will be advanced to the Adoption Exchange as an approved and available resource.
- Pre-Placement is the time between being approved as adoptive parents and having a child placed in your home. During this time, prospective adoptive parents can also attend adoption parties and match meetings.
- Placement begins when a prospective adoptive family identifies a child of interest or a county DFCS office identifies a prospective adoptive family as a possible resource. The prospective adoptive parents then have the opportunity to review detailed information about the child, and then agree or disagree about the feasibility of the proposed match. If the proposed match is feasible, a seried of pre-placement visits will be scheduled. If things move forward, prospective adoptive parents will sign a Placement Agreement, placing the child within the family. If a special needs child is placed with a prospective adoptive family, a Resource Development Worker will assist with an application for Adoption Assistance.
- Finalization occurs after the attorney of prospective adoptive parents files an adoption petition, and a hearing is held for a county Superior Court Judge to finalize the adoption.
All adoptions are a legal process which move through the family courts. Adoptions require nothing short of perfection in preparing and filing the proper documents. Our law firm can guide you through the process including aanswering questions, handling paperwork, and court representation when necessary. Our services can help you with any facet of the adoption process in Georgia.