Stepparent Adoption in Georgia

| Jenni Brown |

“Adoption is a legal process that results in a court order declaring one person (generally a minor) to be the legal child of the adoptive parent or parents. When an adoption is finalized, the birth parents have no legal rights to the child, are no longer responsible for the child and no longer have an obligation to support the child.” In the state of Georgia, there are six types of adoption.

  1. Public or private agency adoptions
  2. Adoptions by third parties
  3. Stepparent adoptions
  4. Relative adoptions
  5. Adult adoptions
  6. Adoptions by foreign decree

Stepparent adoption is a memorable experience, but an undertaking that can be complex and lengthy. In order to adopt a child in Georgia the law requires; you have been a resident of Georgia for at least six months, you are at least 25 years of age, you are at least 10 years older than the stepchild, and you have the physical, financial, and mental capabilities to take care of the child adequately.

As a stepparent if you meet all those requirements, you will then need to get written consent from both birth parents. The birth parent will essentially need to end his/her relationship with the child. The parents can agree that the birth parent is allowed to have the right to visit the child still, they just won’t have any legal rights of the child. They will no longer be allowed to make any decisions for that child. In certain occasions, a court may terminate the parental rights of a parent which will take the place of consent.

After getting consent, there is an adoption checklist you will have to go through. You will first need to have a complete extensive criminal background check. You will need to provide financial and medical history to the coordinator. The court will look over everything and if all looks good, they will schedule the adoption hearing.

Blended families are a beautiful thing and stepparents truly become some of the most important people in the child’s life. A stepparent adoption can change a child’s life and make them feel secure. Stepparent adoption is not an easy process, and we strongly encourage you to retain an attorney to help with the nuances of adoption. To schedule a consultation, call Brown Dutton & Crider today!

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