Douglasville Adoption LawyerBringing a child into your home as part of your family is a wonderful experience. It is also a legal experience, however, which can make it seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Adoption is a process that involves a lot of paperwork, legal proceedings, and following certain steps along the way. If you are considering adopting a child, contact The Embry Law Firm to get the legal guidance and support you need. Our caring Douglasville adoption lawyer can help you understand the steps, laws, and processes involved in adoption in order to ensure that your family’s goals are the top priority.
Georgia Adoption RequirementsWith so many children abandoned, in homes, or in foster care, it seems like adoption would be a fairly easy process. You want to help a child and provide him or her with a loving home. Unfortunately, the legality of the process can shadow the joy of your experience. In Georgia, there are certain processes and requirements that you must follow in order to adopt a child. The requirements to adopt in Georgia include:
- If you are single, you must be at least 25 years old, or 21 if the person you choose to adopt is a relative. You must be at least 10 years older than the child.
- If you are married, you must be at least 10 years older than the child.
- You must pass a criminal background check.
- You must complete a thorough medical examination and drug screen.
- You are required to complete a home safety check.
- You must complete a two-hour information session.
- You must complete a 23-hour pre-service training session.
- You must submit to a complete home evaluation.
Georgia Adoption ProcessIn Georgia, the adoption process includes seven steps. Some of the requirements mentioned above are included in these steps. According to the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), the adoption process includes:
- Step 1: Inquiry - The initial contact between the adoptive parent and DFCS.
- Step 2: Information Session - Prospective parents should attend information sessions to learn more about the process and requirements for adopting a child.
- Step 3: Pre-Service Training - Prospective parents who have decided that adoption is right for them must participate in an Adoption Preparation Program. These programs are offered through local County DFCS offices. They may also be available through private adoption agencies.
- Step 4: Family Evaluation - Once prospective parents complete the Adoption Preparation Program, a family evaluation will be submitted to the Adoption Exchange. Once this is completed, the prospective parents will be considered an “available resource” for a child waiting for adoption.
- Step 5: Pre-Placement - The pre-placement step is different for each family in terms of how long it takes for a child to be placed. Some prospective parents identify a child that they would like to adopt, while others simply have parameters based on age, gender, or race. Prospective parents also have the option of attending meetings and support groups, which can help identify children in need of adoption. Once a match has been made, prospective parents will schedule pre-placement visits with the child. After a series of visits, prospective parents will sign a Placement Agreement. If the prospective child has special needs, there may be addition support through a Resource Development Worker.
- Step 6: Placement - Once DFCS submits a final release, the prospective parents and their attorney will complete an adoption petition, which is filed with the county Superior Court. A hearing will be held, and a Superior Court Judge will make a final ruling to finalize the adoption process.
Get Help with Your Georgia AdoptionAdoption is a beautiful process that brings families together. Adoption helps children enter the loving environments that they need and deserve, and also helps parents who want to expand their family. Yes, the process of adoption can take considerable time, and it is certainly a labor of love. You are not alone. With the help of a caring and supportive adoption lawyer, this process can be made considerably more manageable. If you are considering adopting a child in Georgia, the best first step you can take is contacting a skilled Georgia adoption lawyer. At The Embry Law Firm, our Douglasville adoption lawyer has helped clients all over the state move through the adoption process. Our goal is to help families reach their adoption goals as smoothly as possible.
To learn more about adoption laws and the process in Georgia, contact our office to schedule a free consultation. Call us at 844-443-6279, or fill out our online form.