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Georgia Adoption Laws

The adoption process varies greatly from state to state. For instance, Wisconsin and Louisiana do not require the child's consent, while Hawaii law requires a "proper" adopter (the definition of this term determined largely through the courts). Georgia adoption laws allow any child who is at least 10 years younger than the prospective parent (or any adult who gives written consent) to be adopted. Additionally, Georgia does not require home residency prior to finalization of the process.

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (Ga. DHS) identifies seven main steps to the adoption process, from the initial inquiry to finalization. These steps are:

  1. Inquiry - Contact DHS, at 1-877-210-KIDS, to get the adoption process started; you will be scheduled for an interview with a case manager.
  2. Orientation - Attend a meeting to learn more about the adoption process and requirements for adoptive parents; pictures of available children will be shown.
  3. IMPACT Program - A comprehensive adoption preparation program consisting of 20 classroom hours of training.
  4. Family Evaluation - Your family will be evaluated by DHS officials to determine whether your family is eligible for adoption.
  5. Pre-Placement - Families and individuals who have qualified for adoption may identify a child early, which may shorten the length of the process
  6. Placement - Either you or the DHS will identify a child to be placed in your home; a meeting will be arranged to answer questions and schedule preliminary visits.
  7. Finalization - The adoption will be legally finalized with the help of your adoption attorney; this typically ends with a judge's finalization.

Georgia DHS Adoption section provides additional tools and resources to help you get started with an adoption, learn more about the process, or search for your birth family.

The main provisions of Georgia's adoption laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Adoption section for more articles and resources.

Code Section 19-8-1 to 26; No
Who May Be Adopted Any child 10 years younger than petitioner; any adult who gives written consent.
Age that Child's Consent Needed 14 years and older
Who May Adopt Any adult at least 25 years of age or married and living with spouse and bona fide resident for 6 mos. prior to filing petition; must be ten years older than adoptive child.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? No
State Agency/Court Dept. of Human Resources/Superior Court in county
Statute of Limitations to Challenge Not specified

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Georgia adoption attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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