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Who Is Eligible to be Adopted in Georgia?

The decision to adopt a child can be one of the most rewarding an individual or couple can make. However, it can also be extraordinarily complex. Those who wish to adopt a child must be willing not merely to welcome a new life into their hearts, they must also be willing to deal with legal and bureaucratic issues that can easily take as long as a typical pregnancy.

The key to adopting successfully is to do one’s homework: finding reputable attorneys and agencies, knowing the pros and cons of different types of adoptions, and understanding the need to be actively involved at every step without allowing impatience or frustration to take control.

One of the critical elements of a successful adoption is to know that the party you are adopting is eligible for adoption. Georgia Code Section 19-8-4 states the rules for who can be adopted in Georgia.

A child that has any living parent or guardian can only be adopted if each parent and each guardian voluntarily and in writing surrenders all of their rights to the child. Further, the rights to the child have to be terminated by an order of the court. The aim here is to prevent coercion and duress through judicial oversight.

In those cases where a prospective adopted child in Georgia is older than 14, it is necessary to have his or her written consent. The adoption consent must be given and acknowledged in the presence of the court.

Beyond the adoption consent, it is also necessary that the surrender or relinquishing of a prospective adopted child in Georgia must be made in the presence of a representative of an agency, or a notary. The parents relinquishing, and the parents gaining the child, must all sign an acknowledgment pursuant to Georgia Code Section 19-8-26.

There are a few other requirements in the section of who can be adopted in Georgia. For these, and any other, it is advisable to check with an attorney. The last thing you want is to be surprised by anything other than the joy of bringing someone new into your family.

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