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Getting started with the adoption process in Georgia

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Family Law

Adopting a child is a journey that can result in immense joy. However, the process itself can be complex and stressful. For starters, it requires careful preparation and understanding of the legal requirements involved. 

If you’re considering adoption in Georgia, you’ll need personalized guidance concerning the specific kind of adoption – infant, international, foster care, grandparent, stepparent, etc. – that you’re interested in pursuing. With that said, there are some general requirements and procedures that you can familiarize yourself with immediately, as you’re processing your decision and getting ready to move forward. 

Requirements and procedural concerns

Georgia has specific legal requirements for adoption, which generally include the following:

  • Residency: At least one prospective adoptive parent must be a Georgia resident for six months before filing for adoption.
  • Age: Prospective parents must be at least 25 years old (or married and living with their spouse) and at least 10 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
  • Consent: Birth parents must consent to the adoption, except in cases of termination of parental rights due to abuse, neglect or abandonment.

There are specific eligibility and procedural requirements that apply to each type of adoption. For example, foster care adoptions may involve visits and gradual integration before the child is permanently placed with you. You’ll need to fill out paperwork, submit to home visits and interviews, etc. Preparing for the stress-related toll that this kind of challenge can inspire is generally a good idea.

Eventually, if all goes well, you’ll attend a court hearing to finalize the adoption. The judge will review your case and, if all criteria are met, will grant the adoption decree.

Adopting a child in Georgia is a structured process that requires careful preparation, compliance with legal requirements and a commitment to providing a loving and stable home. By understanding the steps involved and seeking legal guidance proactively, prospective parents can work towards navigating the adoption process successfully and embarking on a fulfilling journey of parenthood.