There are several ways prospective parents can adopt a child. For example, they may use an agency, private adoption, an adoption consultant, international adoption, and the foster system. These are the five types of adoption in Alpharetta that are available to adoptive parents.
Some states have adoption facilitators, which are illegal in Georgia. Some states also allow attorneys to search for birthmothers and facilitate adoptions on behalf of adoptive parents. Alpharetta doesn’t allow that, though.
Private domestic adoption involves parents finding a birthmother on their own and essentially skipping visiting an agency. Agency fees are very large, so the huge advantage to a private adoption is that the adoptive parents could save a lot of money by not using an agency.
In Alpharetta, we have very strict laws about private adoption, which is sometimes called an identified adoption, because adoptive parents have already identified the birthparent. Parents seeking to adopt in Georgia cannot advertise as adoptive parents on flyers or in newspaper ads, and they can’t ask lawyers to find a birthmother, which makes it very difficult to then find a birthmother.
Basically, local prospective parents can only spread the word to other individuals that they personally know. They could send out letters to friends, relatives, acquaintances, pastors, doctors, or anyone that they already know asking them to let them know if they hear of anybody who is interested in placing a child for adoption or looking to adopt.
This can take a very long time, but it can be extremely affordable. Some individuals have been able to complete a private adoption for as little as $5,000.00, so it is a legitimate option for many adoptive parents. It just takes a lot of work and a lot of patience.
You want to make sure that you are doing this in a legal manner. One of our well-versed family law attorneys can help you avoid the criminal penalties associated with violating Georgia’s strict laws and choose a type of adoption that fits your particular needs.
Most individuals in our area end up adopting through an agency since they can’t use attorneys or advertisements to find a birthmother. There’s usually quite a large agency fee, but that goes toward advertising to find birthmothers.
It also goes toward counseling and other services for birthmothers, which are truly very important because this is understandably an incredibly difficult decision to make. It’s best for the birthmother and for everyone involved to make sure this is what she wants to do, because the more counseling she’s received and the more sure she is of her decision, the less likely she is to change her mind during Georgia’s four-day revocation period.
The typical wait time for domestic agency adoptions is about 12-18 months, but it depends largely on the results of the home study and what you’re open to. For example, wanting a Caucasian newborn girl where there was prenatal care and no drug use or smoking during pregnancy may result in longer wait times.
The stricter you are, the longer it can take. If you are open to a baby of any race or a child who’s not a newborn, the adoption process is more likely to happen quite fast for you. The more criteria that you add on, the longer your wait time is typically going to be.
An adoption consultant is very similar to a facilitator, although facilitators are illegal in Georgia. An adoption consultant provides education, advice, and guidance about the adoption process. Their fee is usually not very high.
The greatest benefit of having an adoption consultant is they have relationships with attorneys in other states that do allow facilitation for adoption, as well as other adoption professionals who can help place a child. The other advantage of using an adoption consultant is a quick placement. The average placement when using an adoption consultant is under a year. If you’re open regarding race or other situations, you can have a baby placed with you within two to three months.
Adopting from out of state adds additional requirements, and it’s called Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). The other state has to approve for the adoptive parents to take the baby out of that state, and then Georgia has to approve them bringing the baby into the state. This means that a lot of time has to pass with you in another state. How long it takes varies by the state.
Out-of-state adoptions in Alpharetta also often involve last-minute plane tickets because it’s not something you can plan for. You match, you find out when the birthmother’s due, and you’re booking last-minute tickets. Then you have to take time off work and stay in another state for as long as it’s needed to get that approval.