Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
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What is the process to adopt in Georgia?

When a child is adopted, he or she has the same benefits and rights as a child who is born into the family. The Division of Family and Children Services in Georgia has many children who are in state custody permanently and are available to adopt. They simply want to find loving homes for these children so they can have a better life.

The adoption process can take between four and 10 months. The main focus of the DFCS is to ensure that the family that adopts the child is ready to do so. The steps of the process include:

-- Inquiry: Call the DFCS and explain that you are interested in adoption. After a few questions are answered, a packet with information on the next adoption information meeting will be forwarded to you.

-- The information meeting: You will learn the requirements for adopting a child through DFCS and have a chance to look at pictures of children who are currently available for adoption in the state.

-- Home visit: Before you can proceed to the pre-service training, a Resource Development Worker will conduct an initial home visit.

-- Pre-service training: You will need to attend 23 hours of classroom training for the adoption preparation program. While you are attending this training, a family evaluation will begin. This will include home visits, criminal records checks, a review of finances and discussions on what you think and feel about adoption.

-- Family evaluation: Once you have completed the adoption preparation program and the case manager's assessment process. When your family evaluation is finished, it is sent to the Adoption Exchange.

-- Pre-placement: You can search photolistings, attend adoption parties and more to locate the child you want to add to your family.

-- Placement: If you decide a child may be a good fit for your family, you will be allowed to look over information about him or her. If you want to move forward, then pre-placement visits will be scheduled. If you want to proceed with the adoption, then a placement agreement will need to be completed. The child will become part of your family.

-- Finalization: Once DFCS gives you a release, your attorney will need to finalize the adoption through the court. A hearing in front of a Superior Court judge will permanently make the child a part of your family.

Source: Division of Family and Children Services, "The Adoption Process," accessed Jan. 21, 2016

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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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