Loving families hoping to add a child to their home sometimes choose adoption. Although providing a home to a child who needs one is a beautiful decision, it can be financially, emotionally, and legally challenging.
Working with an experienced family attorney can ensure you are well-prepared for the twists and turns that mark many adoptions. Turn to a Roswell adoption lawyer for support throughout the process, from the initial application to formalizing the adoption in court.
Georgia family laws allow anyone over 25 years of age to adopt if they pass the application and home study process. Someone younger than 25 could adopt if they are married and living with their spouse. You must be at least ten years older than the child you adopt unless you are adopting an immediate family member.
Single people are eligible to adopt. If you are married, both spouses must apply for adoption and sign the adoption petition. However, if you are adopting your spouse’s child, you are the only one who signs the adoption petition.
Same-sex couples also have the legal right to adopt, but judges and court personnel in some parts of the state are unsympathetic to same-sex adoption. If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, wish to adopt, and are concerned about judicial hostility in your county of residence, speak with our Roswell attorneys about your options.
Parents can work with an adoption agency or adopt through the state’s foster care system. Parents sometimes adopt a child they find without the help of an agency. In that case, you still must undergo an application and evaluation process before a court approves the adoption.
Applying to adopt can be arduous and feel intrusive. As a prospective adoptive parent, you must undergo a criminal background check and complete a comprehensive application that probes your:
Different agencies might place more or less emphasis on any of these elements—for example, current religious practices might be more important to an adoption agency serving a particular faith community.
The agency you work with will do a home check, which could require several visits. Some agencies reserve the right to conduct unannounced visits in addition to scheduled interviews at the home. A Roswell attorney will ensure your adoption application is accurate and complete, help you draft a response to any potentially embarrassing questions, and prepare you for the home study.
Kinship adoptions usually occur when a parent dies, the state social services agency removes the child from the parent’s care, or the parent surrenders the child to a family member. Grandparents or the child’s aunt, uncle, or older sibling might assume responsibility for the child. However, until a formal adoption takes place, the caregiver has limited legal rights.
You can adopt a family member if you are at least 21, a resident of the state, and able to provide a safe home for the child. If you are married, your spouse must also adopt. A stepparent adoption is considered a kinship adoption, and the child’s other biological parent must agree to surrender their parental rights.
The approval process for intra-family adoptions is usually less burdensome than other forms of adoption. The state social service agency or its contractor usually performs the pre-approval investigation. A Marietta attorney can walk you through the kinship adoption process and ensure you understand your rights and obligations.
Adopting has led to many happy endings for children as well as their adoptive parents and other family members, but the process can be hard on everyone. Working with an experienced attorney can smooth the way.