Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
(770) 676-1191
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Failure to comply with state laws can jeopardize an adoption

Long before people adopt a child, they typically go through a process of planning, preparing and positioning themselves to add to their family. They may redo a room in their homes or buy a bigger house; they may review their finances and start setting aside money for college; they might even go seek counseling to understand some of the emotional and psychological challenges that can come with adoption.

It will also be crucial to address and plan for some of the legal obstacles that could arise during the adoption process. There are several adoption laws in Georgia with which biological and adoptive parents must comply. Unfortunately, there are times when these laws are ignored or misinterpreted which can lead to significant obstacles in the process.

For instance, legal parents and/or guardians must each surrender their rights and consent to an adoption. There are exceptions to this, including situations in which a parent has had his or her rights terminated or is found to be incapacitated, but generally speaking, termination of parental rights or surrender will be required. If a parent or guardian has not consented or is not informed of the adoption, the adoption can be stopped or reversed.

In Georgia, prospective adoptive parents must meet certain criteria to adopt. They must be 10 years older than the child, at least 25 years old and be a resident in Georgia for at least six months before petitioning to adopt. They must also be deemed fit to parent a child. People who do not fit these criteria can have their petition denied.

This is just a small sample of the numerous legal requirements that are in place in this state; there are several others that dictate how a lawful adoption should proceed. Failure to comply with any of these laws could jeopardize the adoption and potentially put a child in danger.

In order to understand the legal aspects of adoption and hopefully avoid any complications, it can be crucial for all parties involved to work with an attorney throughout the adoption process.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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