In Georgia, adopting is a positive decision for people who want to provide a loving home to a child in need. However, it is important to understand key aspects. One that should be fully known from the outset is the surrendering and terminating of parental rights before the adoption. In some cases, it is necessary for the parents to do so. In others, it is not. If it is not necessary, everyone involved should understand the law to ensure the adoption is legal and no issues arise before, during or after it is completed.
When do parental rights not need to be surrendered or terminated for an adoption?
The court will look at the circumstances of the case before deciding that the surrender or termination of parental rights is not needed for the adoption. If the parent has abandoned the child, there is no need for surrender or terminate parental rights. There will be a good faith attempt to locate the parent if their whereabouts are unknown. If the parent is incapacitated or deemed insane and cannot surrender the rights, the adoption can proceed without it.
In cases where the parent has not provided the proper level of care to the child and the court decides that the child’s best interests will be served if they are adopted, the surrender or termination is not needed. For example, if the parent has committed misconduct or is unable to provide that care and the new home would be stable, secure and serve their needs, this is sufficient.
The parent might also fail to communicate or not try to communicate with the child to give support and guidance. They might not give the child the care and support they need. This too eliminates the need for termination or surrender of parental rights. In these instances, the biological parent must be served with a copy of the petition for adoption.
Professional guidance can help to ensure a smooth process in adoption
While many adoptions are completed without dispute and everyone from the adoptive parents to the biological parents to the child are satisfied with the results, there can be disagreements and issues. Since the law is so specific regarding adoption, it is imperative to have assistance. For all areas of adoption, it is wise to have experienced representation to address any challenges that come up.