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Adoption in Georgia

Macon GA Adoption Lawyer

More and more adoptions are taking place in Georgia every year. For many couples who are unable to have children, and people who want to provide a loving, permanent family to needy children, adoption is a viable option.


The Definition of Adoption


Adoption is the legal process used by a couple or an individual to give all the rights and responsibilities of being a parent to another person or couple. The majority of adoptions in Georgia involve children.


As soon as the court approves the adoption the birth parents will no longer have any rights or responsibilities involving that child. The court will either terminate the rights of the birth parents, or the birth parents may voluntarily give up any rights to the child. The birth parents will not have any right to visit the child, or be involved with any decisions the adoptive parents may make for the child.


You, your attorney, and the child will have to go to court and appear in front of the judge to legally adopt the child. The birth parents are not required to appear in court for the hearing, but the judge will want proof that the birth parents rights have been terminated, or that they have voluntarily given up the child before he finalizes the adoption.


Who is Eligible to Adopt In Georgia


To adopt a child in Georgia you must be over the age of 25 and at least 10 years older than the child you wish to adopt. Georgia law requires that you be a resident of Georgia in order to adopt a child in the state.


Although very rare, if an adult is being adopted they can be a resident of Georgia, but the person adopting the adult does not have to live in Georgia in order for the court to approve the adoption.


Out of State Adoptions


If you want to adopt a child from another state, and you live in Georgia it can be accomplished, but there are very specific rules that dictate interstate adoptions. The adoption must meet all the laws and requirements of both states before the child will be allowed to leave the state they reside in and move with you to Georgia.


The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children is the governing body who oversees and regulates any out-of-state adoptions.


The Adoptions of Relatives and Step-Children


If you want to adopt your step-child, the biological parents of the child must agree on the adoption. If a stepmother adopts a stepchild, the biological mother of that child will no longer have any rights to the child. The same is true if a stepfather wants to adopt a stepchild. In most cases, the child’s last name is changed as part of the adoption process.


If you want to adopt a relative, the biological parents will lose any rights they have to the child being adopted. Grandparents, aunts, uncles or another relative may be able to adopt a child that the biological parents are unable or unwilling to care for.


Adopting Children from a Foreign Country


One of the simplest ways to adopt a child from a foreign country is to have the adoption finalized according to the laws of that country, then bring the child back to Georgia and re-adopt the child according to Georgia law. This process will allow the state to issue a certificate of  Proof of Foreign

Birth which will name you as the parents of the child.


It’s possible to adopt a child from another country in Georgia without going through the formal adoption process of the foreign country, but foreign countries have very strict laws regarding removing a child from that country.


If you don’t follow the laws of the other country and attempt to remove the child from that country, you could be arrested and thrown in jail. You are better off to follow the adoption laws of the foreign country and then bringing the child home and redo the process in the state of Georgia.