To adopt a child, it helps to understand some of the legal, practical, and emotional hurdles so that you can prepare for a long, complicated process. The following tips will help you with the practical and emotional aspects.
- Study and know all of your options. For example, have you considered options outside Atlanta and Georgia, such as international adoption?
- Be specific about what you want yet consider your level of flexibility. That includes not only race and gender but also children with physical disabilities, health issues, and mental issues relating to the child's past.
- Develop a strong support system, either with people who meet in-person or online. Adoption can be an emotionally trying and heavy process, so a good support system is essential. Look into support groups that meet in Atlanta or explore online support groups.
- Plan your finances. Costs increase rapidly during the adoption process. Budget for the adoption application fee, home study and preparation services, post-placement supervision, mental health evaluations, document preparation, etc.
- Don't worry about the laws. That's where we come in. Laws can vary significantly depending on where you adopt. Seeking guidance from the start can help your entire adoption process go smoother. An experienced adoption attorney will have the knowledge and resources to overcome any delays and obstacles.
- Know that as part of the adoption process, the rights of the biological parent or parents must be terminated. A full and complete termination is essential to ensure that the biological parent does not try to undo the adoption later. If the biological parent does not wish to voluntarily terminate his or her rights, a number of grounds are available that Georgia courts will consider when deciding whether those rights should be terminated involuntarily.
Many of the adoptions our lawyers handle are by stepparents or relatives who wish to adopt a child already living with them. In these cases, the biological parent is either absent from the child's life or unable to care for the child. In addition to giving the child the security of a permanent parent-child relationship, adoption gives the adoptive parent all the same legal rights as a biological parent.
For additional information about adoption, explore our blog articles:
Our Adoption Attorneys
At Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor, we understand that adoption is a joyous occasion but one that can also be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. It is important that you get legal advice early in the adoption process to prevent any setbacks that could be unpleasant and demoralizing. Our attorneys will help guide you through the adoption process and help to make your journey more streamlined and cost-effective.
We handle a number of unique adoption situations, including:
- Stepparent adoptions
- Grandparent adoptions
- Relative adoptions
- State and private agency adoptions
- Interstate adoption
- Contested adoption
- Termination of parental rights (TPR)
- Involuntary termination of parental rights (TPR)
- Name changes
Our managing partner, Randy Sabatini, is especially well-known in this area and has earned a stellar reputation for adoption law. He not only has successfully guided many families through the process of adoption, but he also has a deep passion for helping his clients' families. You certainly want him and his team fighting on your side.
"One of my most memorable experiences was going to the hospital to visit my clients right after they adopted their child." – Alpharetta Managing Partner, Randy Sabatini
If you are thinking about adoption, schedule a consultation with us or call us at (678) 971-3413.