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When can a stepparent adopt a spouse’s child in Georgia?

In Georgia, stepparent adoption is a common occurrence. In general, it is a positive decision where the prospective stepparent married a person who already has children and wants to be their legal parent. However, when this is the objective, it is important to understand the law for stepparent adoption. This is critical to ensure that the process goes smoothly and any disagreements are adequately addressed. It is also necessary to protect the participants, especially the child.

Basic rules for a stepparent adoption in Georgia

For a stepparent to adopt a child in which both biological parents are alive and unmarried, it can be done if the other parent surrenders their rights to the child. This must be voluntary and in writing. The biological parent whose spouse wants to adopt the child must consent to the stepparent adopting them. If the child has a guardian or guardians, they too must surrender their rights so the adoption can move forward.

If only one biological parent is still living and their spouse wants to adopt the child, then this can take place only if the biological parent consents to it. If there is a guardian or guardians, they too must agree to it. The child can have a say if they are 14-years-old or older. In such a circumstance, that child must give written consent and do so in court. A person who is surrendering their right to the child, they have four days to revoke that decision to surrender their rights.

All involved in stepparent adoptions should have guidance

Stepparent adoption might seem to be a simple process, but that does not mean obstacles will not arise. Given the number of people who will or might have a say as to whether the stepparent adoption will go through, it is important to have legal guidance. This is also true for a biological parent or guardian who has concerns or outright objects to the adoption. To have a full grasp of the facets of stepparent adoption and how to handle issues as they come up to try and forge an acceptable resolution, it is important to have experienced help.