Georgia’s adoption laws in order to make adoptions easier in the state is up for discussion among a state legislators. Georgia’s House approved the latest version of the adoption bill earlier this year. However, the state senators did not vote, thus, awaiting review of the proposed legislation. Georgia’s adoption rates are below the national average. The number of children in the state’s foster care system has doubled to 14,000 during the past four years.
House Bill 159 would make several changes to the current adoption law. First, it would shorten the time period during which a birth mother can change her mind about giving up her child for adoption. The range will change from 10 days to four days. Second, it would make it legal for birth mothers to seek out payment of living expenses from adoptive parents seeking private adoption. Third, it would ban third parties who make a profit from arranging adoptions. Fourth, it would simplify the out-of-state adoption process.
Should HB 159 pass, it is expected that families would be more likely to adopt in Georgia. As it stands, Georgia parents seeking to adopt often travel outside of the state because the process is easier.
Adoption in Other States
In some other states, the birth mother can change her mind and reclaim her child much sooner than 10 days. Also, 20 states in the country do not grant a birth mother the right to change her mind. Additionally, most states allow adoptive parents to make plans for living expenses to the birth mother during pregnancy. While Georgia allows payments for items like groceries, rent, and maternity clothes, this is only allowed in adoptions that are handled by child-placement agencies.
In 2012, there were more than 3,370 adoptions in Georgia according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. The CWIG is a service of the Children’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Georgia’s adoption laws have not been updated since 1990.
If you or someone you know is interested in adopting in Georgia, contact a knowledgeable attorney to learn about your rights and obligations under state law.