Have you decided that you would adopt a child? Give him/her a loving family and a place they can call home? Whether it is third party adoption, relative, foreign or step-parent adoption, you are free to choose, depending upon how the child becomes available for adoption.
There are a few important basic points that you must know before you begin.
What adoption options do I have?
While the general process from the start to the end is primarily the same, the key difference is in the complexity involved in completing the adoption.
Relative adoption: Applies only when the adoption is between children and adoptive parents from blood relation. Thus and adoption of one’s grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grand and great grand nephews and nieces would be placed in this category.
Third party adoption: Without the involvement of an agency or a state department for adoption, this is an arrangement made between the biological as well as the adoptive parents. This is not to say that legal proceedings are exempted; the availability of the child through the network of friends and family lessens the hassle of engaging adoption agencies.
Step-parent Adoption: The name is self-explanatory; however, this form of adoption can be completed only with the ex-partner of one’s spouse who is also the biological parent of the child being adopted. This becomes mandatory unless one can prove abandonment of the child by that particular parent and irresponsibility in terms of performing essential parental duties.
Foreign Adoption: If you decide to adopt a child from another country, know that you must complete litigation in the child’s country of origin as well as your own as is compulsory under the Georgia adoption laws. This alone adds to the complication of the entire process, but could be a more cost effective option.
Five things you need to look for
- Experience in dealing with relevant types of adoption cases; practical knowledge is gold.
- Affiliation with associations like the Georgia Council of Adoption lawyers can help facilitate your search for a competent, recognized adoption lawyer who has been marked for his expertise.
- The fee is a function of several factors but has to justify the quality and types of services delivered. Thomas Tebeau III is amongst the most famous adoption attorneys in Atlanta for the high quality of their services.
- Your adoption attorney is not only your representative in the court but must also be your advisor in managing matters with the adopted child; his knowledge on the family laws makes me most suitable for the role.
- Of course, compassion is of great value in the entire process as the adoption lawyer can only take the matters forward in a streamlined manner if he is cognizant of the thoughts and feelings of the involved parents as well as the child being adopted.
Consent and age
The court, under the Georgia adoption laws, does not rely solely on the verbal consent of the biological parents. A written consent from them is a mandatory step in taking the legal proceedings forward especially if at least one of the birth parents is alive. In fact, the law also allows for the change of mind within a certain time span once the case has been filed and is proceeding towards finalization.
The age too has a lot of importance and is linked with the matter of consent too. A child who is 14 years of above must give written consent and its acknowledgement in the court for the adoption. This and the age of the adoptive parent(s) is also considered as the completion of the entire process depends on the confirmation of child’s wellbeing. In that case, the adoptive parent(s) are only eligible if they are at least 25 years is age, or married and living with a spouse. Also, the adoptive parent (s) has to be at least 10 years older than the child being adopted.
This of course is evaluated in addition to the adoptive family’s ability to manage the child.
Cost of adoption
Adoption is a technical process that involves
- Engaging with adoption agency or state department
- Fees of the adoption lawyer
- Court charges
- Home study charges
Thus, it is not a matter that can be handled free of charge. Of course, if it is a third party adoption, the first point is skipped. The other elements still remain and it is best that you obtain a court before beginning with the process.
For an experience that justifies the cost of the procedure, Thomas Tebeau III can be your reliable legal expert to see you through the process.