Who may adopt in Georgia?
To adopt in Georgia, you must be:
• At least 25 years of age, if single and ten years older than the Child to be placed; or
• Married and living with spouse and ten years older than the Child to be placed; and
• A bona fide resident of the State of Georgia for 6 months prior to filing petition
What is an open adoption?
In an open adoption, both the biological and adoptive families have access to varying degrees of each other’s personal information and can decide to maintain contact during the pregnancy, at the time of birth, and after the child has been legally transferred to the custody of the adoptive family. In Open Adoption everyone becomes ONE BIG FAMILY.
What does ONE BIG FAMILY look like?
Adoption has evolved. The days where the Adoptive Parents never met or had a relationship with the Birthmother are gone. History has shown that your “Grandmother’s Adoption” is not healthy for the Child, Adoptive Parent, or Birthparent. Thankfully, Open Adoption has taken over, turning the three branches of Adoption, Birth Parent, Adoptive Parent, and Child into one tree. Many times, the Birthparent moves into the role of a favored Aunt/Uncle in a Big Family. The Adoptive Parents retain the parental decision making powers while easily sharing the love of the Child with the Birthparent, allowing the Child to be confident in knowing his/her Birthparent lovingly chose the option of Adoption.
What is a Private Adoption v. Agency Adoption?
A Private Adoption is where the Adoptive Parents and the expectant mothers are exclusively working with an Attorney and not an Adoption Agency. There are several limitations to private adoption. For example, Georgia law does not allow for expectant mothers expenses to be paid to the expectant mother through a private adoption except for medical expenses.
In an agency adoption, a licensed adoption agency is involved and oversees the placement of the Child with the adoptive family to confirm that the Child is being cared for properly. In an agency adoption, expectant mothers can receive expenses related to the pregnancy, delivery and recovery after the Child is born. At Abiding Love, the Executive Director is an Adoption Attorney with over ten (10) years experience. What does this mean for you as an Adoptive Parent? That means that instead of the Agency having to consult with an Attorney to answer any of your legal questions, Abiding Love can answer those questions in house.
How long does it take to finalize an Adoption?
Georgia Law requires three (3) post placement visits after the Child is placed in your home. The average finalization time frame is four (4) to six (6) months.
Do adoptive families get to choose the Child they want to adopt?
Yes, they can choose to be presented as a Prospective Adoptive Parent. Generally, the Birthparent will review several Adoptive Parent Profiles and choose the family she believes is best to adopt her Child. So while the Birthparent is the one ultimately choosing you, you must first agree to be one of the Prospective Adoptive Families to be presented to the Birthparent(s).
What determines how much an adoption costs?
Adoption costs can include financial and social help for birth mothers, training for families, home studies, matching with a Child, travel preparation, travel and finalization. Every adoption is different.
A home study evaluates a Prospective Adoptive Parent’s readiness to adopt, to ensure the health and wellbeing of the Child. The process usually takes about 4-6 weeks. The time frame depends on how quickly the Prospective Adoptive Parents complete their Home Study Paperwork.
When can Adoptive Parents take custody of the Child?
In an Agency Adoption, the Birthmother cannot sign Adoption Surrender Paperwork to the Agency until twenty-four (24) hours after birth. The Birthmother then has ten (10) days to revoke her Surrender of Parental Rights. Depending on the Adoption plan of the Birthparents and Prospective Adoptive Parents, the Child may be in the custody of the Prospective Adoptive Parents, immediately after Birthmother signs or after the ten (10) day revocation. Each Adoption Plan is unique and tailored to the needs of that situation.
Is the birthmother allowed to communicate or see her Child after the adoption is finalized?
Yes, in fact we encourage communication and contact. Studies have shown that open adoption is the healthiest option for the Child, Adoptive Parents, and Birthparents. Georgia allows for a legally binding document called a Post Adoption Contact Agreement that states when and how the Birthparent will receive updates, communications and/or visits with the Child. Each Adoption is unique and specifically tailored to the needs of that specific Child, Adoptive Parent and Birthparent. While Abiding Love encourages open adoption, the safety and wellbeing of the Child is of the utmost importance and to be the central focus in designing your open adoption.