Choosing to add a child to your family can bring years of joy and provide a child with many incredible opportunities. Adoption involves a complex legal process that requires a prospective adopting family to demonstrate their fitness as parents and prove that the child’s biological parents have forfeited their parental rights. As a result, adoption can be a lengthy and complicated legal endeavor.
If you can prove that you meet the state’s minimum qualifications to be an adoptive parent, you will then need to gather information about the child’s biological parents to determine what steps you need to take next. A Marietta adoption lawyer can help you add a child to your family. Let one of our well-versed family law attorneys handle the administrative and legal aspects of becoming an adoptive parent.
Adoptions in Marietta are processed through the Cobb County Superior Court. It is the responsibility of a prospective parent to convince the court that they are qualified to care for a child. Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-8-3 states that a single person may only apply to be an adoptive parent if they are 25 years of age or older. On the other hand, married couples of any age may apply for adoption.
Next, you must demonstrate that you would be a fit parent. This includes showing that you are financially, mentally, and physically capable of caring for a child. The State sponsors the IMPACT program to help prospective parents understand the impact of bringing a child into their family. You are required to complete this program before an adoption can be finalized.
Finally, the Department of Human Services (DHS), a licensed child-placement agency, will investigate your fitness as a parent. This includes an in-person interview and home visit to ensure your living conditions can safely and comfortably accommodate a child. One of our attorneys can offer you valuable insight on local court procedures to help ensure that you meet all of the State’s adoption requirements.
Any person may be eligible to apply for adoption. However, children are only eligible to be adopted if their biological parents no longer have their parental rights. It falls to prospective parents to prove this element of the local adoption process.
It is possible that a parent may lose their rights through involuntary intervention. If a parent has a history of drug abuse, domestic violence, or incarceration, the State may terminate their parental rights.
According to O.C.G.A. §19-8-4, biological parents may also voluntarily waive their parental rights to the DHS or the equivalent of this agency in another state. In either case, a lawyer from our team can gather proof that a child’s biological parents have lost their parenting rights and help you submit this evidence to the court.
Adoption is a great way for a family to grow and for a child to have a chance at a brighter future. If you want to adopt a child, you will need to participate in State training programs, submit to an interview, and show that you are prepared to give a child a safe home. You also need to establish that the child’s biological parents do not retain their parental rights, either through voluntary surrender or court order.
A Marietta adoption lawyer from our firm can help you every step of the way. We can explain the necessary legal steps and guide you in the right direction, from researching the child’s legal status to submitting all necessary information to the court. Contact our team of attorneys today to learn more.