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Georgia Adoption Laws


Posted by Tamara

Georgia’s Safe Have law permits a mother to surrender an infant up to one week old at any medical facility. These include hospitals, infirmaries, health centers and birthing centers, but not the private offices of physicians or dentists. The mother must provide her name, address and proof of identity. The Georgia Department of Human Resources will take custody of the child within 6 hours, and secure a permanent placement or adoption for the child.

Under Georgia adoption laws, any adult person including a foster parent may adopt if they are over 25 years old or married and living with their spouse. In addition, the parent must be at least 10 years older than the child, have been a Georgia resident for at least 6 months, and be financially, physically and mentally capable of caring for the child. Married people must adopt jointly. Georgia courts have permitted homosexual individuals to adopt, and the laws do not specifically prohibit same-sex couples from adopting. 

Any child or any adult who gives written consent is eligible for adoption under Georgia adoption laws. Any living parent or guardian must provide written consent. Consent can be provided at any time after the child’s birth, and must be executed before a notary. If an agency is involved, a representative of the agency must also be present. Consent forms are not valid unless they state the right of withdrawal. Consent may be withdrawn within 10 days by any parent. Consent may be found invalid more than 10 days later, if executed under fraud, duress, or incapacity. Any child who is 14 years old or older must consent to the adoption in person, in court.

Parental consent is not required if the child has been abandoned or if the parent cannot be found. The legal test for this is defined as “after a diligent search.”  Consent is also waived if the parent is insane or otherwise incapacitated, or has failed to exercise proper parental care for the child.  

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