Consent to Adoption - Georgia

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Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-4(a)

A child may be adopted through the Department of Human Services or any child-placing agency only if either of the following applies to each living parent and guardian of the child:

  • Has voluntarily and in writing surrendered all his or her rights to the child to the department or to a child-placing agency and the department or agency thereafter consents to the adoption
  • Has had all his or her rights to the child terminated by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, the child has been committed by the court to the department or to a child-placing agency for placement for adoption, and the department or agency thereafter consents to the adoption

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-4(b)

In the case of a child who is age 14 or older, the written consent of the child to his or her adoption must be given and acknowledged in the presence of the court.

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-10

Surrender or termination of rights of a parent shall not be required as a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for adoption of a child of that parent when the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the following applies to the parent:

  • Has abandoned the child
  • Cannot be found after a diligent search has been made
  • Is insane or otherwise incapacitated from surrendering such rights
  • Caused his child to be conceived as a result of having nonconsensual sexual intercourse with the mother of his child or when the mother is younger than age 10
  • Has failed to exercise proper parental care or control due to misconduct or inability

Surrender of rights of a parent shall not be required as a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for adoption of a child of that parent when the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that parent, for a period of 1 year or longer immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption, without justifiable cause, has significantly failed to do the following:

  • To communicate or to make a bona fide attempt to communicate with that child in a meaningful, supportive, and parental manner
  • To provide for the care and support of that child as required by law or judicial decree, and the court is of the opinion that the adoption is for the best interests of that child

When Consent Can Be Executed

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 19-8-4(c); 19-8-5

The surrender of rights to the department or a child-placing agency shall be executed following the birth of the child, and the prebirth surrender to the department or child-placing agency shall be executed prior to the birth of the child.

Consent may be executed any time after the birth of the child.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 19-8-4; 19-8-5

Each surrender shall be executed under oath and in the presence of a notary public and an adult witness. A copy of the surrender shall be provided to the individual signing the surrender at the time of the execution thereof.

The biological father who is not the legal father of a child may execute a surrender of his rights to the child prior to the birth of the child for the purpose of adoption. A prebirth surrender, when signed under oath by the alleged biological father, shall serve to relinquish the alleged biological father's rights to the child and to waive the alleged biological father's right to notice of any proceeding with respect to the child's adoption, custody, or guardianship. The court in any adoption proceeding shall have jurisdiction to enter a final order of adoption of the child based upon the prebirth surrender and in other proceedings to determine the child's legal custody or guardianship shall have jurisdiction to enter an order for those purposes.

A child may be adopted by a third party who is neither the stepparent nor relative of that child only if each living parent and guardian of the child has voluntarily and in writing surrendered all his or her rights to the child to that third party for the purpose of enabling that third party to adopt the child. Each surrender shall be executed under oath and in the presence of a notary public and an adult witness.

A biological father or a legal father who signs a surrender of rights may execute an affidavit regarding his Native American heritage and military service meeting the requirements of § 19-8-26(n). Such affidavit shall be signed under oath and in the presence of a notary public.

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 19-8-4(d); 19-8-9(a)

An individual signing a surrender of rights pursuant to this section shall have the right to revoke such surrender within 4 days as provided in § 19-8-9(a).

An individual signing a surrender of rights shall have the right to revoke the surrender by written notice delivered in person or mailed by registered mail or overnight delivery within 4 days after signing the surrender document€”such surrender document shall not be valid unless it so states. If the fourth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the last day on which such surrender may be revoked shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. After the 4-day period, a surrender of rights cannot be revoked.