Hall County Adoption Celebration

In support of National Adoption Month, SM&P attorneys hosted a celebration of adoption in mid-November at the Hall County Courthouse in Gainesville. The event attracted about 50 attendees – families of all sizes, children of all ages, and even adoptive children and their parents from more than ten years ago. “We wanted to celebrate adoptive families and thank them for making the world a better place – one child at a time,” said SM&P founding and managing partner, Mary Montgomery.

SM&P’s family law attorney and adoption expert, Judy D. Sartain, was there to share her knowledge of the adoption process as well as encourage people in Hall County and the surrounding areas to consider adoption. “Biological children get celebrated with gender reveal parties, baby showers, and huge welcomes at the hospital and homecoming,” said Judy. “There’s no special recognition of folks who have gone through the arduous process of becoming approved to adopt and then adopting a child or children.”

Judy has completed more than 850 adoptions and is edging towards 900 fairly quickly. “I did my first adoption 27 years ago and was fortunate to understand the complex nature of the law.” Judy explained that it is a highly technical legal process unlike any other civil matter. “Most family law matters have some ‘wiggle’ room – but adoptions must be drafted to an exact standard. The adoption code is strictly enforced and construed by the judiciary. If it’s wrong, the entire adoption can fail and no one wants that. So you want an attorney who does them all of the time and knows what they are doing.”

Judge Bonnie Chessher Oliver, who presides over the Hall County Superior Court, said, “As a superior court judge, adoptions are very near and dear to my heart. It is truly the best thing that superior court judges do all day long, I want to thank all of you for what you do and for stepping up and raising these children.”