Adoptions are a very special kind of legal action. Adoptions are filed under seal and require a great deal of paperwork.
There will also be a great deal of work for the petitioner(s).
- There will need to be a Home Study, if the Court does not waive the requirement;
- Fingerprinting and a criminal background search will need to be done;
- Child and parental background forms will need to be completed; and
- Many other tasks requiring time, effort, and money from the petitioner(s).
Who may adopt a child?
Per O.C.G.A § 19-8-3
(a) Any individual may petition to adopt a child if he or she:
- Is at least 25 years of age or is married and living with his or her spouse, or is at least 21 years of age and is a relative of the child;
- Is a least ten years older than the child, except such ten-year requirement shall not apply when the petitioner is a stepparent or relative and the petition is filed pursuant to Code Section 19-8-6 or 19-8-7;
- Is a bona fide resident of this state at the filing of the petition for adoption or is a bona fide resident of the receiving state when the adoptee was born in this state and was placed in compliance with Chapter 4 of Title 39, relating to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children; and
- Is financially, physically, and mentally able to have permanent custody of the child.
(b) If an individual seeking to adopt a child is married, the petition for adoption shall be filed in the name of both spouses; provided, however, that when the child is or was the stepchild of the party seeking to adopt, such petition shall be filed by the stepparent alone.
Adoptions are one of the most enjoyable areas of Family Law. With that being said, there is a great deal of work that goes into properly preparing an adoption petition and it is highly recommended that you meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss the process.