Unregulated Custody Transfers of Adopted Children - Georgia

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Definitions

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-24

The term 'inducements' includes any financial assistance, either direct or indirect, from whatever source, except payment or reimbursement of the medical expenses directly related to the birth parent's pregnancy and hospitalization for the birth of the child and medical care for the child.

Prohibited or Required Actions Regarding Custody

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 19-8-24; 19-9-126

It shall be unlawful for any person, organization, corporation, hospital, or association of any kind that is not a child-placing agency to do either of the following:

  • Advertise that the person or entity will adopt children or arrange for children to be placed for adoption
  • Directly or indirectly hold out inducements to parents to part with their children

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer to sell, or conspire with another to sell a child for money or anything of value, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

An individual shall not execute a power of attorney with the intention of divesting or negating another individual€™s legal responsibility for the care of a child.

The parental obligations set forth in chapter 7 of this title to their child shall not be extinguished or serve as a defense when a parent executes a power of attorney. Any individual giving a power of attorney to a nonrelative shall carefully consider such agent's criminal background check and such consideration shall not absolve the signer from liability.

Exceptions

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 19-8-24; 19-9-122; 19-9-132

The law prohibiting adoption advertising does not apply to either of the following:

  • Communication by private means, including only written letters or oral statements, by an individual seeking to adopt a child or place that individual's child for adoption, whether the communication occurs before or after the birth of the child
  • Any communication that contains any attorney's name, address, telephone number, or any combination of such information and that requests any attorney named in that communication to be contacted to facilitate the carrying out of the purpose of the individual making such personal communication

A parent may delegate caregiving authority regarding their child to an adult person who resides in this State and who is the child's grandparent, great-grandparent, stepparent, former stepparent, step-grandparent, cousin, sibling, a parent's or grandparent's sibling or is a nonrelative who is approved by a child-placing agency, nonprofit entity, or faith-based organization for no more than 1 year by executing a power of attorney that substantially complies with this article.

When a power of attorney delegates caregiving authority to a child's grandparent, it may have an unlimited duration.

A parent who is a member of the U.S. armed forces, including any reserve component, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the U.S. Public Health Service detailed for duty with the armed forces, or who is required to enter or serve in the active military service or to serve on State active duty, may delegate caregiving authority for a period longer than 1 year if such parent is deployed. Such term of delegation, however, shall not exceed the term of deployment plus 30 days.

Consequences

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-24

Any person who violates § 19-8-24 shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000 or imprisonment for no more than 10 years, or both, in the discretion of the court.