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Bringing someone into your family through adoption is an exciting prospect. Whether your new loved one is an infant, an older child, or even an adult relative, opening your home to care for another comes with rewards as well as challenges.

Adoption can be a complex process, with unexpected hurdles and obstacles. Let a skilled Crabapple adoption lawyer on our team help you understand the law and what to expect from this legal process. Our firm’s compassionate attorneys can help provide a smooth transition for you and your new family member.

Who Can Adopt in Crabapple?

Adoption permanently places children who have been legally separated from their birth parents with adoptive parents, who have the same rights and responsibilities as biological parents. Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-8-3, an individual may petition to adopt if they are:

  • At least 21 years old;
  • Not yet 21 years of age but are married and residing with their spouse;
  • 10 years older than the child, unless the petitioner is a stepparent or relative; or
  • A resident of Georgia.

Additionally, any person seeking to adopt must be financially, physically, and mentally capable of having permanent custody of the child. Because of the legal and emotional complexities associated with legal adoption, prospective parents are well-advised to consult a skilled lawyer before beginning the process.

Types of Adoptions in Georgia

Two types of adoptions are permitted in Crabapple. In an agency placement adoption, the birth parents’ parental rights have been terminated, and a local social services department or licensed child-placement agency with custody of the child places them with an adoptive parent. The agency must consent to the adoption on the child’s behalf.

In non-agency adoptions, the birth parents or legal guardians consent to the adoption, and a judge terminates their parental rights when the adoption is finalized. There are three types of non-agency adoptions: parental placement, stepparent, and adult adoptions. An experienced lawyer in Crabapple can explain each type of adoption’s legal requirements.

Home Studies in Crabapple Adoptions

In almost every adoption, the prospective adoptive parents must undergo a home study. The local social services department or a licensed home study agency will conduct the evaluation, consisting of reviewing documents, interviewing the parents and other family members, and conducting a criminal background check. Some of the information that the home study evaluator will assess includes the family’s overall dynamics and the prospective parents’:

  • Family history;
  • Physical and mental health;
  • Educational background;
  • Employment history; and
  • Financial stability

Generally, an adoption may not be finalized until a judge has reviewed and approved the home study. A knowledgeable lawyer is familiar with the home study requirements and could guide a prospective family throughout the adoption process.

Work with a Compassionate Adoption Attorney in Crabapple

The process of adoption can be legally and emotionally challenging. Having the skill and experience of a dedicated Crabapple adoption lawyer can make all the difference. Our legal team is available to provide you with the information and assistance you need to make the right decisions for you and your family throughout the adoption process, so call today.

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