Over the years, our firm has been fortunate enough to be involved in the joining together of families through the adoption process. While complicated and technical, we have the expertise to wade through the process. Robert Gardner heads our adoption practice, and is one of the highest level adoption attorneys on Avvo.com. He has represented clients in private adoptions, state adoptions, and agency adoptions throughout the State of Georgia, both contested and uncontested.
When the parents have either surrendered their parental rights, are willing to do so, or have had their rights terminated by Court Order prior to the initiation of an adoption process, the adoption is considered uncontested. Requirement for the adoptive parents include a home study, background checks, and a myriad of legal documents being signed, but the case can usually be completed within 90 days.
In some cases, a parent or both parent’s rights must be terminated before an adoption can be filed, or by motion within the adoption case itself. As parental rights are the most protected rights a person can have, terminating them can only be done under strict circumstances. Often, this has already been done by the State, but in many cases termination is prosecuted by the party or parties seeking to adopt a child. Our firm has the experience and knowledge to succeed in terminating rights to effectuate adoption cases under the circumstances.
The most prevalent type of adoption case is where a natural parent has remarried and feels that their child or children should be adopted by their spouse. The rights of the other biological parents must be considered, and either surrendered or terminated within the adoption case. Therefore, step-parent adoptions can be either contested or uncontested. If contested, a prerequisite to filing is the ability to prove that the parent whose rights one is seeking to terminate has either failed to support the child for one year, or has failed to have significant contact with the child for one year. If this is the case, a step-parent must then prove that the child’s best interests are served for the adoption to be granted. Again, we have much experience in all aspects of these cases from both sides of the case.
If you are even considering any of these options, or are faced with an attempt by another party to adopt your own natural child, we encourage you to call or email us about setting up a free consultation.