Here is a great list of the basic types of adoptions in Georgia:
- Independent/ Private Adoptions
- Private Agency Adoptions
- DFCS adoptions
- Relative Adoptions
- Step-parent Adoptions
- International Adoptions
So what does each of these types of adoption really mean?
Private Agency Adoption – These adoptions are adoptions in which the child is placed with the adoptive parents through a child placing adoption agency licensed in the state of Georgia. A pre-placement home study, criminal background check, child’s background information form, and agency’s written consent to the adoption will be required to a private agency adoption
Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) Adoptions – These involve the adoption of children who have been in DFCS custody in the foster care system. DFCS adoptions have the same basic requirements as private agency adoptions. Most often these children qualify for adoption assistance which can help with legal fees, provide a monthly stipend, and Medicaid for the child. It is critical that you get approved for this assistance before you finalize a DFCS adoption.
Independent/ Private Adoptions – In an independent or private adoption the child is placed directly with the adoptive parents by the child’s biological mother, or by both biological parents, often with the involvement of an adoption attorney. A pre-placement home study and criminal background check are still required, usually by a licensed adoption agency or qualified social worker.
Stepparent Adoptions – In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent adopts the child of his/her spouse with consent of the spouse. (i.e. the child’s custodial parent). It is also necessary for the parental rights of the non-custodial parent to either be surrendered or to be terminated in court before the stepparent can adopt the child. A pre-placement home study is not required for a step-parent adoption, but a criminal background check and court report (verifying the facts in the petition) is required before finalizing the adoption.
Relative Adoptions – In a relative adoption, the petitioner must be related by blood or marriage to the child as a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, or sibling. A pre-placement home study is not required for a relative adoption, but a criminal background check and court report (verifying the facts in the Petition) is typically required before finalization of the adoption
Note: Other relatives, even though related by marriage or blood, such as cousins, do not meet the definition of relatives for the purpose of “relative adoption”.
International Adoptions – International Adoption is when you work with an international licensed adoption agency to adopt a child from another country. It can be a complicated process and the adoption, and immigration of the child to the United Sates, must be approved by both the other country and by the U.S. State Department.
If you and your spouse are considering expanding your family through adoption we encourage you to contact us. We would love to help guide you through all of the options.