As part of a specialized area of Georgia law, an extended member of the family that is related to a child by blood or marriage may adopt the child, given that the rights of the child’s biological parents have been surrendered. This includes adoption by a grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, great aunt, great uncle or a sibling. For many, the benefit of relative adoption is that a child can remain in a stable, nurturing environment among family members that he or she is already connected with. This is especially true when family members are already caring for a child, and this is the case in many relative adoptions throughout the state. Even so, adopting a relative is a process by which obtaining consents are required, as well as petitions and negotiations. The family law attorneys at Shepard, Plunkett & Hamilton, LLP, provide honest, professional and effective representation for clients, including those hoping to adopt a relative.
From start to finish, there are varying scenarios when it comes to adopting a relative, depending on who petitions to adopt. For instance, in a stepparent adoption, it must be proven that a child’s non-custodial biological parent is either deceased or has terminated his or her parental rights. Though not a complicated process in general, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney that will streamline the process, helping create a more meaningful and just transition for all involved. Other adoption procedures include those by an extended family member or grandparent, and this might involve a contested adoption. Ultimately, it depends on the circumstances surrounding the custodial birth parents, which may prove complicated.
As such, for relatives that successfully adopt, they gain full parental rights for the adopted child. This includes making medical decisions and obtaining medical records for the child, ensuring that the child is covered by insurance, enrolling the child in school and making sure that the child’s inheritance rights are secured.
If you are hoping to adopt a relative in Augusta or Evans, Georgia, the esteemed team at Shepard, Plunkett & Hamilton welcome your call today.
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