Even though in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technology has come a long way and many would-be parents are relying on science to bring a newborn into the world, adoption has proven to be a reliable means of expanding a family and securing a bundle of joy.
Whether you are a single parent or a couple who cannot have a child due to medical or other reasons, adoption can be an avenue to have children. Adoption, in other cases, can be a way to change a legal status after there has been a change in the marriage.
In this blog, we’ll briefly examine some of the most common adoption scenarios. As with any other situation involving the law, it is important that you hire an experienced attorney before attempting to navigate a courtroom on your own.
Extended Family Adoptions
There are times when someone in the extended family (aunts and uncles, grandparents) or even an older sibling wants to adopt a child that is a relative. Most often, this is a legal custody move after the biological parents have passed away, but it can also occur if the biological parents find themselves in a situation where they cannot take care of the child.
The advantage of an extended family adoption is that the child is already familiar with the would-be parents. They have spent years building relationships with these people so there is less of a harsh transition. In an ideal situation, they have already been living with the extended family member and the adoption process becomes more of a legal formality.
As with all legal decisions involving children, the question of whether to grant the adoption will come down to the issue of what is in the best interest of the child. Don’t assume it’s a slam dunk just because you have been the primary caregiver for some time. Often, for an extended family adoption to be approved, the parental rights of one or both biological parents must be terminated.
Hiring an attorney is your best bet for a successful adoption petition. You will need to prove to the court that you are fit to be the parent of this child, but also that it is in the child’s best interests for you to serve in that capacity.
Non-Traditional Family Adoptions
As much as some people wish we lived back in the 1950s-nuclear-family world, the landscape these days when it comes to families is much more broad and inclusive. In a family law court, it is not uncommon to see petitions from unwed couples, same-sex couples, or single parents.
Many unwed couples find themselves caring for children, usually from a previous marriage. This opens the possibility of adopting a child together, or changing the legal status of the child to reflect that a member of the couple is the legal parent. Here again, it is vital to secure advice from an experienced attorney.
There is no rule in Georgia that prevents a single parent from adopting, provided they can prove their character and financial stability to the court. A lawyer can help a single parent work with a reputable adoption agency to guide them through this process.
As of 2018, the state of Georgia has no restrictions on same-sex couples who wish to adopt a child. There are also no restrictions on surrogacy or IVF treatments. Given old prejudices, however, as well as the amount of paperwork (as well as necessary court appearances), an attorney can be a valuable resource to a same-sex couple seeking a child.
An Attorney Can Help With Adoption in Georgia
Family Matters Law Group in Henry County is a comprehensive family law practice. We specialize in litigation and father’s rights, because we strongly believe if you’re going to advocate for families, you need to listen and fight hard for what’s in the best interests of the child.
If you are in the Atlanta metro area and need advice on a pending adoption case, contact our office either by phone or online contact form. We look forward to talking with you and helping you understand your options.