Columbus Georgia Adoption Lawyer
GA Adoption Attorney
What is an adoption?
Adoption is a legal method that is used to give a person or a couple all the parental rights and responsibilities to another person. An adoption generally involves a child. When the adoption is approved, the birth parents will no longer have any rights to that child, or any of the rights and obligations in the raising of that child. The birth parents will not have the right to visit the child.
Can anyone adopt a child in Georgia?
If you are over the age of 25 and at least 10 years older than the child you want to adopt, you are eligible to adopt in the state of Georgia. You must be a legal resident of the state of Georgia.
While extremely rare, if you’re adopting an adult, the adult being adopted may be a resident of Georgia, but the adopting parent does not have to reside in the state of Georgia.
Can anyone be adopted?
If the parents of a child has died, that child may be eligible for adoption. A child who has been abandoned or given up by its parents voluntarily can be adopted. In some cases, the court will terminate the rights of the parents and that child would be eligible to be adopted.
Can I adopt a child from a different state?
Yes, but there are very strict rules regarding out-of-state adoptions. The adoption generally must meet the laws of both states before the child will be allowed to move. The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children is the governing body behind any interstate adoptions.
Can I adopt my step-child?
Yes, but the biological parents of that child will have to agree to the adoption. If a stepfather adopts a child, the child’s biological father will lose all his rights to that child. The same is true if a stepmother adopts a child. The child’s last name is normally changed as part of the adoption process.
Can I adopt a relative?
You can adopt a relative, but the child’s biological parents will lose all their rights to that child. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, sometimes will adopt a child when the biological parents are unwilling or unable to care for the child properly.
Can I adopt a child from another country?
Yes you can. The simplest way to adopt a child is according to the laws of the other country then bring the child to Georgia and re-adopt them according to Georgia law. Doing the adoption in this manner will allow the state of Georgia to issue a Proof of Foreign Birth that will show you are the parent of this child. You can adopt a child from another country in the state of Georgia without going through the adoption process of the other country, but it’s very complicated. If you violate the laws of the other country, you could be jailed. The laws in other countries are very strict when it comes to taking a child out of the country.
Do I have to go to court to adopt a child?
Yes. The only way to legally adopt a child in Georgia is to file a petition for adoption in the county you live in. A qualified attorney, you, and the child must appear in court for the hearing. The birth parents do not have to go to the hearing, but the judge will require that you prove the birth parent’s rights have been terminated or that they voluntarily gave up the child.