Cara Sprouse Rowe, Attorney at Law - Augusta Family Law and Divorce Attorney
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4 ways to ease the adoption process in Georgia

The adoption process can be fraught with paperwork, nerves and excitement. Parents can take several measures to ease the transition.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 887 children were adopted in Georgia through the use of public child welfare agencies in 2014. When welcoming a child into a family through a private or public agency, there are laws in place dictating how the process must go. Additionally, there are other factors to consider when adopting. In the following ways, family members can make the transition run smoothly.

1. Know the laws

One of the most important aspects of an adoption is to ensure that the adults involved understand the laws. The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services states that only people who are residents in the state for at least six months may file a petition for adoption. Further, the person who wishes to adopt must either be married to someone who is at least 10 years or older than the child and living with that spouse, or the person, if single, must be at least 25 and be at least 10 years older than the child.

There is a significant amount of paperwork that must be completed as well as other regulations. Having an understanding of these laws and working with an experienced legal professional can help parents avoid complications.

2. Prepare for the home visit

When adopting through public and private agencies, families will have to undergo an evaluation, which will include a home visit. To prepare for the visit, adoptive parents should do the following:

  • Remove safety hazards and ensure the home meets regulations, such as fencing in a swimming pool.
  • Be honest when answering questions.
  • Have all the necessary paperwork completed.

Adoption professionals often remind people that the home study is just a small part of the overall process.

3. Know the child's background

Especially in circumstances in which the child is not a newborn, parents should take the time to get to know what the child's life has been like. It is wise to find out what his or her routines may have been as well as what he or she enjoys doing. Further, if the adoption is an international one, it may be wise to spend time in the child's home country simply learning the culture and customs.

4. Help the child adjust

No matter what age the child is, it may take time for him or her to get used to the new environment. Practicing patience and understanding in the first days, weeks and even months may be necessary. As excited as new parents may be, the child may take longer to feel comfortable.

Reaching out to support groups can ease the process and give adoptive parents an outlet for questions, concerns and frustrations. Anyone who has questions about this topic should speak with a family law attorney in Georgia.

Cara Sprouse Rowe Cara Sprouse Rowe

Cara Sprouse Rowe, Former State Prosecutor

Cara Sprouse Rowe has focused her career in the areas of family law and criminal defense. She is one of the few attorneys that have worked in thousands of civil, criminal, motion hearings, jury trials and bench trials. Her experience in both sides of the system, prosecution and defense, has allowed her to get the best results for her clients... {Read More}