Adoption Law FAQ

Who can adopt in the state of Georgia?

The initial requirements that a person must meet in order to adopt a child in Georgia are as follows:

  • The person is either at least 25 years of age or is married and living with his or her spouse; or is at least 21 years of age and is a relative of the child; and

  • The person is at least ten (10) years older than the child, except such ten-year requirement shall not apply with the petitioner is a stepparent or relative; and

  • The person has been a bona fide resident of Georgia at the filing of the petition for adoption, or is a bona fide resident of the receiving state when the adoptee was born in this state and in compliance with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children; and

  • The person is financially, physically, and mentally able to have permanent custody of the child.

Where is the proper venue to file an adoption?

In Georgia, generally, you should file your adoption in the Superior Court of the county of the petitioner’s residence. However, upon good cause shown, the court in its discretion may allow such petition to be filed in the court of the county of the child’s domicile; county in which any child-placing agency having legal custody of the child, county where the child was born if such petition is filed within one year of the child’s birth, or any county where the office of the department having legal custody of the child is located.

When is a home investigation and criminal background check necessary in an adoption?

A criminal back ground check must be completed in all cases. A home investigation is required for adoptions by a third party. It is at the court’s discretion if the adoption is pursuant to a stepparent or relative adoption. 

Are there any adoption benefits to assist with the costs of adopting a child?

Yes. There is adoption assistance available to help place children with “special needs” into permanent homes.To assist with the expensive costs of adopting a child, Georgia provides four types of adoption assistance: monthly assistance, non-recurring assistance, Medicaid, and special services adoption assistance. Contact The Campbell Law Practice, LLC to see whether your child may qualify as a "special needs" child and for adoption assistance.

How do you apply for adoption assistance benefits?

The Georgia Department of Human Resources administers the adoption assistance program through the local Department of Family and children Services (DFCS). The adoptive family must go to the DFCS office in the county where they reside and take a copy of the filed Adoption Petition and Order from the Judge granting the hearing to apply for the benefits. The adoptive family must apply before the adoption is finalized. The adoption assistance agreement must be signed prior to the finalization of the adoption.