Adopting a child in Georgia is a multi-step process that can seem daunting at times. While the adoption process is extensive, it is more streamlined than in the past. Adoptive parents need to be aware of the procedures and the recent changes to Georgia adoption law.
According to the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, the process begins by contacting 1.877.210.KIDS or by completing an inquiry form in order to receive an informational packet. After that, the future parents attend an informational session and complete pre-service training to be eligible for a family evaluation. Passing the family evaluation is pivotal because it means prospective parents are officially considered available for children needing adoption. The next phase before placement is that of matching the adoptive parents with a child. After a match has been made, there is a pre-placement process that includes visits. Once everything is in order, a placement agreement is signed. The parents’ journey culminates with a petition and hearing before the Superior Court judge to finalize the adoption.
Fortunately for prospective parents, as of Sep. 1, 2018, lawmakers simplified the adoption process and harmonized it with the rest of the country according to AJC. House Bill 159 makes adoption a simpler process for adoptive parents in several key ways:
- Removes a requirement that prospective parents reside in Georgia for six months
- Reduces the number of days a birth mother can change her mind from 10 days to four
- Creates a process for international adoptions
- Provides a way for birth mothers to be reimbursed for certain expenses
It is important for individuals looking to adopt in Georgia to familiarize themselves with the required adoption procedures and plan accordingly. The process has recently changed in ways that make it easier to adopt. Armed with knowledge and patience, prospective parents can expand their family through a successful and life-changing adoption.