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Child Adoption Laws
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Child Adoption Laws
Georgia



We hope to help you learn more about the child adoption laws in the State of Georgia.  Please note that while we have tried to be as current as possible, laws are occasionally rewritten and/or amended; accordingly, the Georgia adoption law provided below may have errors, omissions, or may not be the most current version. Please remember that this information should not be used as the basis for making any legal decision. Please use appropriate resources and an attorney's advice when making legal decisions.

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Adopting Families in Georgia

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Georgia General Assembly

Georgia Adoption Law and Statute
Title 19: Domestic Relations
Chapter 8: Adoption
Article I: General Provisions
Sections 1-27

and

Article II: Option of Adoption (Embryo Adoption)
Sections 40-43

(This page was last updated on 08/02/13.)

19-8-1. Definitions
For purposes of this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Biological father' means the male who impregnated the biological mother resulting in the birth of the child.
(2) 'Child' means a person who is under 18 years of age and who is sought to be adopted.
(3) 'Child-placing agency' means an agency licensed as a child-placing agency pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 49.
(4) 'Department' means the Department of Human Resources.
(5) 'Guardian' means a legal guardian of the person of a child.
(6) 'Legal father' means a male who:
(A) Has legally adopted a child;
(B) Was married to the biological mother of that child at the time the child was conceived or was born, unless such paternity was disproved by a final order pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 7 of this title;
(C) Married the legal mother of the child after the child was born and recognized the child as his own, unless such paternity was disproved by a final order pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 7 of this title;
(D) Has been determined to be the father by a final paternity order pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 7 of this title; or
(E) Has legitimated the child by a final order pursuant to Code Section 19-7-22,
and who has not surrendered or had terminated his rights to the child.
(7) 'Legal mother' means the female who is the biological or adoptive mother of the child and who has not surrendered or had terminated her rights to the child.
(8) 'Parent' means either the legal father or the legal mother of the child.
(9) 'Petitioner' means a person who petitions to adopt or terminate rights to a child pursuant to this chapter.
(10) 'Putative father registry' means the registry established and maintained pursuant to subsections (d) and (e) of Code Section 19-11-9.

19-8-2. Jurisdiction and venue of adoption proceedings

(a) The superior courts of the several counties shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all matters of adoption, except such jurisdiction as may be granted to the juvenile courts.
(b) All petitions under this chapter shall be filed in the county in which any petitioner resides, except that:
(1) Upon good cause being shown, the court of the county of the child´s domicile or of the county in which is located any child-placing agency having legal custody of the child sought to be adopted may, in its discretion, allow the petition to be filed in that court; and
(2) Any person who has been a resident of any United States Army post or military reservation within this state for six months next preceding the filing of the petition for adoption may file the petition in any county adjacent to the United States Army post or military reservation.


19-8-3. Who may adopt a child; when petition must be filed in names of both spouses
(a) Any adult person may petition to adopt a child if the person:
(1) Is at least 25 years of age or is married and living with his spouse;
(2) Is at least ten years older than the child;
(3) Has been a bona fide resident of this state for at least six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition; and
(4) Is financially, physically, and mentally able to have permanent custody of the child.
(b) Any adult person, including but not limited to a foster parent, meeting the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be eligible to apply to the department or a child-placing agency for consideration as an adoption applicant in accordance with the policies of the department or the agency.
(c) If a person seeking to adopt a child is married, the petition must be filed in the name of both spouses; provided, however, that, when the child is the stepchild of the party seeking to adopt, the petition shall be filed by the stepparent alone.

19-8-4. When surrender or termination of parental or guardian's rights required; consent of child of 14 or older necessary; acknowledgment of surrender; compliance with Interstate Compact on Placement of Children
(a) Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a child who has any living parent or guardian may be adopted through the department or any child-placing agency only if each such parent and each such guardian:
(1) Has voluntarily and in writing surrendered all of his rights to the child to the department or to a child-placing agency as provided in this Code section and the department or agency thereafter consents to the adoption; or
(2) Has had all of his rights to the child terminated by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, the child has been committed by the court to the department or to a child-placing agency for placement for adoption, and the department or agency thereafter consents to the adoption.
(b) In the case of a child 14 years of age or older, the written consent of the child to his adoption must be given and acknowledged in the presence of the court.
(c) The surrender to the department or to a child-placing agency specified in this Code section shall be executed, following the birth of the child, in the presence of a representative of the department or the agency and a notary. A copy shall be delivered to the individual signing the surrender at the time of the execution thereof.
(d) A person signing a surrender pursuant to this Code section shall have the right to withdraw the surrender as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 19-8-9.
(e)(1) The surrender by a parent or guardian specified in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall meet the requirements of subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(2) The biological father who is not the legal father of a child may surrender all his rights to the child for the purpose of an adoption pursuant to this Code section. That surrender shall meet the requirements of subsection (d) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(f) A surrender of rights shall be acknowledged by the person who surrenders those rights by also signing an acknowledgment meeting the requirements of subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(g) Whenever the legal mother surrenders her parental rights pursuant to this Code section, she shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(h) Whenever rights are surrendered to the department or to a child-placing agency, the department or agency representative before whom the surrender is signed shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (j) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(i) A surrender pursuant to this Code section may be given by any parent or biological father who is not the legal father of the child irrespective of whether such parent or biological father has arrived at the age of majority. The surrender given by any such minor shall be binding upon him as if the individual were in all respects sui juris.
(j) In any surrender pursuant to this Code section, the provisions of Chapter 4 of Title 39, relating to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, if applicable, shall be complied with.

19-8-5. Surrender or termination of parental or guardian's rights where child to be adopted by third party
(a) Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a child who has any living parent or guardian may be adopted by a third party who is neither the stepparent nor relative of that child, as described in subsection (a) of Code Sections 19-8-6 and 19-8-7, only if each such living parent and each such guardian has voluntarily and in writing surrendered all of his rights to the child to that third person for the purpose of enabling that person to adopt the child.
(b) In the case of a child 14 years of age or older, the written consent of the child to his adoption must be given and acknowledged in the presence of the court.
(c) The surrender specified in this Code section shall be executed, following the birth of the child, in the presence of a notary. The name and address of each person to whom the child is surrendered may be omitted to protect confidentiality, provided the surrender sets forth the name and address of his agent for purposes of notice of withdrawal as provided for in subsection (d) of this Code section. A copy shall be delivered to the individual signing the surrender at the time of the execution thereof.
(d) A person signing a surrender pursuant to this Code section shall have the right to withdraw the surrender as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 19-8-9.
(e)(1) The surrender by a parent or guardian specified in subsection (a) of this Code section shall meet the requirements of subsection (c) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(2) The biological father who is not the legal father of a child may surrender all his rights to the child for purposes of an adoption pursuant to this Code section. That surrender shall meet the requirements of subsection (d) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(f) A surrender of rights shall be acknowledged by the person who surrenders those rights by also signing an acknowledgment meeting the requirements of subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(g) Whenever the legal mother surrenders her parental rights pursuant to this Code section, she shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(h) Whenever rights are surrendered pursuant to this Code section, the representative of each petitioner shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (k) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(i) A surrender pursuant to this Code section may be given by any parent or biological father who is not the legal father of the child sought to be adopted irrespective of whether such parent or biological father has arrived at the age of majority. The surrender given by any such minor shall be binding upon him as if the individual were in all respects sui juris.
(j) A copy of each surrender specified in subsection (a) of this Code section, together with a copy of the acknowledgment specified in subsection (f) of this Code section and a copy of the affidavits specified in subsections (g) and (h) of this Code section and the name and address of each person to whom the child is surrendered, shall be mailed, by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the
Office of Adoptions
Georgia Department of Human Resources
Atlanta, Georgia
within 15 days from the execution thereof. Upon receipt of the copy the department may commence its investigation as required in Code Section 19-8-16.
(k) A petition for adoption pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall be filed within 60 days from the date of the surrender. If the petition is not filed within the time period specified by this subsection or if the proceedings resulting from the petition are not concluded with an order granting the petition, the surrender shall operate as follows according to the election made therein by the legal parent or guardian of the child:
(1) In favor of that legal parent or guardian, with the express stipulation that neither this nor any other provision of the surrender shall be deemed to impair the validity, absolute finality, or totality of the surrender under any other circumstance, once the revocation period has elapsed;
(2) In favor of the licensed child-placing agency designated in the surrender of rights, if any; or
(3) If the legal parent or guardian is not designated and no child-placing agency is designated in the surrender of rights, or if the designated child-placing agency declines to accept the child for placement for adoption, in favor of the department for placement for adoption pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-4. The court may waive the 60 day time period for filing the petition for excusable neglect.
(l) In any surrender pursuant to this Code section, the provisions of Chapter 4 of Title 39, relating to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, if applicable, shall be complied with.

§ 19-8-6.  Surrender of parental rights where father and mother not still married; surrender of rights where only one parent still living
(a) Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter:
(1) A child whose legal father and legal mother are both living but are not still married to each other may be adopted by the spouse of either parent only when the other parent voluntarily and in writing surrenders all of his rights to the child to that spouse for the purpose of enabling that spouse to adopt the child and the other parent consents to the adoption and, where there is any guardian of that child, each such guardian has voluntarily and in writing surrendered to such spouse all of his rights to the child for purposes of such adoption; or
(2) A child who has only one parent still living may be adopted by the spouse of that parent only if that parent consents to the adoption and, where there is any guardian of that child, each such guardian has voluntarily and in writing surrendered to such spouse all of his rights to the child for the purpose of such adoption.
(b) In the case of a child 14 years of age or older, the written consent of the child to his adoption must be given and acknowledged in the presence of the court.
(c) The surrender specified in this Code section shall be executed, following the birth of the child, in the presence of a notary. A copy shall be delivered to the individual signing the surrender at the time of the execution thereof.
(d) A person signing a surrender pursuant to this Code section shall have the right to withdraw the surrender as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 19-8-9.
(e)(1) The surrender by a parent or guardian specified in subsection (a) of this Code section shall meet the requirements of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(2) The biological father who is not the legal father of a child may surrender all his rights to the child for purposes of an adoption pursuant to this Code section. That surrender shall meet the requirements of subsection (d) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(f) A surrender of rights shall be acknowledged by the person who surrenders those rights by also signing an acknowledgment meeting the requirements of subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(g) Whenever the legal mother surrenders her parental rights or consents to the adoption of her child by her spouse pursuant to this Code section, she shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(h) Whenever rights are surrendered pursuant to this Code section, the representative of each petitioner shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (k) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(i) A surrender or consent pursuant to this Code section may be given by any parent or biological father who is not the legal father of the child sought to be adopted irrespective of whether such parent or biological father has arrived at the age of majority. The surrender given by any such minor shall be binding upon him as if the individual were in all respects sui juris.
(j) The parental consent by the spouse of a stepparent seeking to adopt a child of that spouse and required by subsection (a) of this Code section shall be as provided in subsection (l) of Code Section 19-8-26.

19-8-7. Surrender or termination of parental or guardian's rights where child adopted by relative
(a) Except as otherwise authorized in this Code section, a child who has any living parent or guardian may be adopted by a relative who is related by blood or marriage to the child as a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, great aunt, great uncle, or sibling only if each such living parent and each such guardian has voluntarily and in writing surrendered to that relative and any spouse of such relative all of his or her rights to the child for the purpose of enabling that relative and any such spouse to adopt the child.
(b) In the case of a child 14 years of age or older, the written consent of the child to his adoption must be given and acknowledged in the presence of the court.
(c) The surrender specified in this Code section shall be executed, following the birth of the child, in the presence of a notary. A copy shall be delivered to the individual signing the surrender at the time of the execution thereof.
(d) A person signing a surrender pursuant to this Code section shall have the right to withdraw the surrender as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 19-8-9.
(e)(1) The surrender by a parent or guardian specified in subsection (a) of this Code section shall meet the requirements of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(2) The biological father who is not the legal father of the child may surrender all his rights to the child for purposes of an adoption pursuant to this Code section. That surrender shall meet the requirements of subsection (d) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(f) A surrender of rights shall be acknowledged by the person who surrenders those rights by also signing an acknowledgment meeting the requirements of subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(g) Whenever the legal mother surrenders her parental rights pursuant to this Code section, she shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(h) Whenever rights are surrendered pursuant to this Code section the representative of each petitioner shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (k) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(i) A surrender pursuant to this Code section may be given by any parent or biological father who is not the legal father of the child sought to be adopted irrespective of whether such parent or biological father has arrived at the age of majority. The surrender given by any such minor shall be binding upon him as if the individual were in all respects sui juris.

19-8-8. Adoption based upon foreign decrees and valid visa
A child may be adopted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter based upon:
(1) A decree which has been entered pursuant to due process of law by a court of competent jurisdiction outside the United States establishing the relationship of parent and child by adoption between each petitioner and a child born in such foreign country; and
(2) The child´s having been granted a valid visa by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.

19-8-9. Surrender of parental rights where legal mother puts up for adoption child she previously adopted herself; withdrawal of surrender; expiration of rights
(a) In those cases where the legal mother of the child being placed for adoption has herself previously adopted such child, said adoptive mother shall execute, in lieu of the affidavit specified in subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7, an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (i) of Code Section 19-8-26.
(b) A person signing a surrender pursuant to Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 shall have the right to withdraw the surrender by written notice delivered in person or mailed by registered mail or statutory overnight delivery within ten days after signing; and the surrender document shall not be valid unless it so states. The ten days shall be counted consecutively beginning with the day immediately following the date the surrender is executed, however, if the tenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday then the last day on which the surrender may be withdrawn shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. After ten days, a surrender may not be withdrawn. The notice of withdrawal of surrender shall be delivered in person or mailed by registered mail or statutory overnight delivery to the address designated in the surrender document

19-8-10. (For effective date, see note.) When surrender or termination of parental rights not required; service on parents in such cases
(a) Surrender or termination of rights of a parent pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 shall not be required as a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for adoption of a child of that parent pursuant to Code Section 19-8-13 where the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the:
(1) Child has been abandoned by that parent;
(2) Parent cannot be found after a diligent search has been made;
(3) Parent is insane or otherwise incapacitated from surrendering such rights; or
(4) Parent has failed to exercise proper parental care or control due to misconduct or inability, as set out in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of subsection (b) of Code Section 15-11-94,
and the court is of the opinion that the adoption is in the best interests of that child, after considering the physical, mental, emotional, and moral condition and needs of the child who is the subject of the proceeding, including the need for a secure and stable home.
(b) Surrender of rights of a parent pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-6 or 19-8-7 shall not be required as a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for adoption of a child of that parent pursuant to Code Section 19-8-13, if that parent, for a period of one year or longer immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption, without justifiable cause, has significantly failed:
(1) To communicate or to make a bona fide attempt to communicate with that child in a meaningful, supportive, parental manner; or
(2) To provide for the care and support of that child as required by law or judicial decree,
and the court is of the opinion that the adoption is for the best interests of that child.
(c) Whenever it is alleged by any petitioner that surrender or termination of rights of a parent is not a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for adoption of a child of that parent in accordance with subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section, that parent shall be personally served with a conformed copy of the adoption petition, together with a copy of the court´s order thereon specified in Code Section 19-8-14, or, if personal service cannot be perfected, by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, at his last known address. If service cannot be made by either of these methods that parent shall be given notice by publication once a week for three weeks in the official organ of the county where the petition has been filed and of the county of his last known address. A parent who receives notification pursuant to this paragraph may appear in the pending adoption action and show cause why such parent´s rights to the child sought to be adopted in that action should not be terminated by that adoption. Notice shall be deemed to have been received the date:
(1) Personal service is perfected;
(2) Of delivery shown on the return receipt of registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery; or
(3) Of the last publication

19-8-11. (For effective date, see note.) Petitioning superior court to terminate parental rights; service of process
(a)(1) In those cases where the department or a child-placing agency has either obtained:
(A) The voluntary written surrender of all parental rights from one of the parents or the guardian of a child; or
(B) An order of a court of competent jurisdiction terminating all of the rights of one of the parents or the guardian of a child,
the department or child-placing agency may in contemplation of the placement of such child for adoption petition the superior court of the county where the child resides to terminate the parental rights of the remaining parent pursuant to this Code section.
(2) In those cases where a person who is the resident of another state has obtained the voluntary written surrender of all parental rights from one of the parents or the guardian of a child, each such person to whom the child has been surrendered may in contemplation of the adoption of such child in such other state petition the superior court of the county where the child resides to terminate the parental rights of the remaining parent pursuant to this Code section.
(3) Parental rights may be terminated pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection where the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the:
(A) Child has been abandoned by that parent;
(B) Parent of the child cannot be found after a diligent search has been made;
(C) Parent is insane or otherwise incapacitated from surrendering such rights; or
(D) Parent has failed to exercise proper parental care or control due to misconduct or inability, as set out in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of subsection (b) of Code Section 15-11-94,
and the court shall set the matter down to be heard in chambers not less than 30 and not more than 60 days following the receipt by such remaining parent of the notice under subsection (b) of this Code section and shall enter an order terminating such parental rights if it so finds and if it is of the opinion that adoption is in the best interests of the child, after considering the physical, mental, emotional, and moral condition and needs of the child who is the subject of the proceeding, including the need for a secure and stable home.
(b) Whenever a petition is filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, the parent whose rights the petitioner is seeking to terminate shall be personally served with a conformed copy of the petition, and a copy of the court´s order setting forth the date upon which the petition shall be considered or, if personal service cannot be perfected, by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, at his last known address. If service cannot be made by either of these methods, that parent shall be given notice by publication once a week for three weeks in the official organ of the county where the petition has been filed and of the county of his last known address. A parent who receives notification pursuant to this subsection may appear and show cause why such parent´s rights to the child sought to be placed for adoption should not be terminated. Notice shall be deemed to have been received the date:
(1) Personal service is perfected;
(2) Of delivery shown on the return receipt of registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery; or
(3) Of the last publication.

19-8-12. Notice to biological father; procedure when identity or location of father not known; petition, hearing, and order; when rights of biological father terminated; legitimation of child by father; rights of mother
(a) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The state has a compelling interest in promptly providing stable and permanent homes for adoptive children, and in preventing the disruption of adoptive placements;
(2) Adoptive children have a right to permanence and stability in adoptive placements;
(3) Adoptive parents have a constitutionally protected liberty and privacy interest in retaining custody of children;
(4) A biological father who is not the legal father may have an interest in his biological child. This inchoate interest is lost by failure to develop a familial bond with the child and acquires constitutional protection only if the biological father who is not the legal father develops a familial bond with the child;
(5) The subjective intent of a biological father who is not a legal father, whether expressed or otherwise, unsupported by evidence of acts manifesting such intent, shall not preclude a determination that the biological father who is not a legal father has failed to develop a familial bond with the child; and
(6) A man who has engaged in a nonmarital sexual relationship with a woman is deemed to be on notice that a pregnancy and adoption proceeding regarding a child may occur and has a duty to protect his own rights and interests in that child. He is therefore entitled to notice of an adoption proceeding only as provided in this Code section.
(b) If there is a biological father who is not the legal father of a child and he has not executed a surrender as specified in paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7, he shall be notified of adoption proceedings regarding the child in the following circumstances:
(1) If his identity is known to the petitioner, department, or licensed child-placing agency or to the attorney for the petitioner, department, or licensed child-placing agency;
(2) If he is a registrant on the putative father registry who has acknowledged paternity of the child in accordance with subparagraph (d)(2)(A) of Code Section 19-11-9;
(3) If he is a registrant on the putative father registry who has indicated possible paternity of a child of the child´s mother during a period beginning two years immediately prior to the child´s date of birth in accordance with subparagraph (d)(2)(B) of Code Section 19-11-9; or
(4) If the court finds from the evidence, including but not limited to the affidavit of the mother specified in subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 in the form provided in subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26, that such biological father who is not the legal father has performed any of the following acts:
(A) Lived with the child;
(B) Contributed to the child´s support;
(C) Made any attempt to legitimate the child; or
(D) Provided support or medical care for the mother either during her pregnancy or during her hospitalization for the birth of the child.
(c) Notification provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section shall be given to a biological father who is not a legal father by the following methods:
(1) Registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, at his last known address, which notice shall be deemed received upon the date of delivery shown on the return receipt;
(2) Personal service, which notice shall be deemed received when personal service is perfected; or
(3) Publication once a week for three weeks in the official organ of the county where the petition has been filed and of the county of his last known address, which notice shall be deemed received upon the date of the last publication.
If feasible, the methods specified in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection shall be used before publication.
(d)(1) Where the rights of a parent or guardian of a child have been surrendered or terminated in accordance with subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-4, the department or a child-placing agency may file, under the authority of this paragraph, a petition to terminate such biological father´s rights to the child with the superior court of the county where the child resides.
(2) Where the rights of a parent or guardian of a child have been surrendered in accordance with subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 or a consent to adopt has been executed pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-6, the petitioner shall file, under the authority of this paragraph, with the superior court either a motion, if a petition for adoption of the child has previously been filed with the court, or a petition to terminate such biological father´s rights to the child.
(3) Where a petition or motion is filed pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, the court shall, within 30 days from such filing, conduct a hearing in chambers to determine the facts in the matter. The court shall be authorized to consider the affidavit of the mother specified in subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7, as applicable, in making its determination pursuant to this paragraph. If the court finds from the evidence that such biological father has not performed any of the following acts:
(A) Lived with the child;
(B) Contributed to the child´s support;
(C) Made any attempt to legitimate the child; or
(D) Provided support or medical care for the mother, either during her pregnancy or during her hospitalization for the birth of the child,
and the petitioner provides a certificate as of the date of the petition or the motion, as the case may be, from the putative father registry stating that there is no entry on the putative father registry either acknowledging paternity of the child or indicating possible paternity of a child of the child´s mother for a period beginning no later than two years immediately prior to the child´s date of birth, then it shall be rebuttably presumed that the biological father who is not the legal father is not entitled to notice of the proceedings. Absent evidence rebutting the presumption, then no further inquiry or notice shall be required by the court and the court shall enter an order terminating the rights of such biological father to the child.
(e) When notice is to be given pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, it shall advise such biological father who is not the legal father that he loses all rights to the child and will neither receive notice nor be entitled to object to the adoption of the child unless, within 30 days of receipt of such notice, he files:
(1) A petition to legitimate the child pursuant to Code Section 19-7-22; and
(2) Notice of the filing of the petition to legitimate with the court in which the action under this Code section, if any, is pending and to the person who provided such notice to such biological father.
(f) A biological father who is not the legal father loses all rights to the child and the court shall enter an order terminating all such father´s rights to the child and such father may not thereafter object to the adoption and is not entitled to receive further notice of the adoption if within 30 days from his receipt of the notice provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section he:
(1) Does not file a legitimation petition and give notice as required in subsection (e) of this Code section;
(2) Files a legitimation petition which is subsequently dismissed for failure to prosecute; or
(3) Files a legitimation petition and the action is subsequently concluded without a court order declaring a finding that he is the father of the child.
(g) If the child is legitimated by his or her biological father, the adoption shall not be permitted except as provided in Code Sections 19-8-4 through 19-8-7.

19-8-13. (For effective date, see note.) Petition; filing and contents; financial disclosures; attorney's affidavit
(a) The petition for adoption, duly verified, together with one conformed copy thereof, must be filed with the clerk of the superior court having jurisdiction and shall conform to the following guidelines:
(1) The petition shall set forth:
(A) The name, age, marital status, and place of residence of each petitioner;
(B) The name by which the child is to be known should the adoption ultimately be completed;
(C) The date of birth and the sex of the child;
(D) The date and circumstances of the placement of the child with each petitioner;
(E) Whether the child is possessed of any property and, if so, a full and complete description thereof;
(F) Whether the child has one or both parents or his biological father who is not the legal father living; and
(G) Whether the child has a guardian.
(2) Where the adoption is pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-4 the following shall be provided or attached or its absence explained when the petition is filed:
(A) An affidavit from the department or a child-placing agency stating that all of the requirements of Code Sections 19-8-4 and 19-8-12 have been complied with;
(B) The written consent of the department or agency to the adoption;
(C) A copy of the appropriate form verifying the allegation of compliance with the requirements of Chapter 4 of Title 39, relating to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children; and
(D) A completed form containing background information regarding the child to be adopted, as required by the adoption unit of the department.
(3) Where the adoption is pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-5, the following shall be provided or attached or its absence explained when the petition is filed:
(A) The written voluntary surrender of each parent or guardian specified in subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-5;
(B) The written acknowledgment of surrender specified in subsection (f) of Code Section 19-8-5;
(C) The affidavits specified in subsections (g) and (h) of Code Section 19-8-5;
(D) Allegations of compliance with Code Section 19-8-12;
(E) Allegations of compliance with Chapter 4 of Title 39, relating to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children;
(F) The accounting required by the provisions of subsection (c) of this Code section;
(G) Copies of appropriate certificates or forms verifying allegations contained in the petition as to guardianship of the child sought to be adopted, the marriage of each petitioner, the divorce or death of each parent of the child sought to be adopted, and compliance with Chapter 4 of Title 39, relating to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children; and
(H) A completed form containing background information regarding the child to be adopted, as required by the adoption unit of the department.
(4) Where the adoption is pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-6, the following shall be provided or attached or its absence explained when the petition is filed:
(A) The written voluntary surrender of the parent or guardian specified in subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-6;
(B) The written acknowledgment of surrender specified in subsection (f) of Code Section 19-8-6;
(C) The affidavits specified in subsections (g) and (h) of Code Section 19-8-6;
(D) The consent specified in subsection (j) of Code Section 19-8-6;
(E) Allegations of compliance with Code Section 19-8-12;
(F) Copies of appropriate certificates verifying allegations contained in the petition as to guardianship of the child sought to be adopted, the birth of the child sought to be adopted, the marriage of each petitioner, and the divorce or death of each parent of the child sought to be adopted; and
(G) A completed form containing background information regarding the child to be adopted, as required by the adoption unit of the department.
(5) Where the adoption is pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-7, the following shall be provided or attached or its absence explained when the petition is filed:
(A) The written voluntary surrender of each parent specified in subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-7;
(B) The written acknowledgment of surrender specified in subsection (f) of Code Section 19-8-7;
(C) The affidavits specified in subsections (g) and (h) of Code Section 19-8-7;
(D) Allegations of compliance with Code Section 19-8-12;
(E) Copies of appropriate certificates or forms verifying allegations contained in the petition as to guardianship of the child sought to be adopted, the birth of the child sought to be adopted, the marriage of each petitioner, and the divorce or death of each parent of the child sought to be adopted; and
(F) A completed form containing background information regarding the child to be adopted, as required by the adoption unit of the department.
(6)(A) Where the adoption is pursuant to Code Section 19-8-8, the following shall be provided or attached or its absence explained when the petition is filed:
(i) A certified copy of the final decree of adoption from the foreign country along with a verified English translation. The translator shall provide a statement regarding his qualification to render the translation, his complete name, and his current address. Should the current address be a temporary one, his permanent address shall also be provided;
(ii) A verified copy of the visa granting the child entry to the United States;
(iii) A certified copy along with a verified translation of the child´s amended birth certificate or registration showing each petitioner as parent; and
(iv) A copy of the home study which was completed for United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
(B) It is not necessary to file copies of surrenders or termination on any parent or biological father who is not the legal father when the petition is filed pursuant to paragraph (1) of Code Section 19-8-8.
(7) Where Code Section 19-8-10 is applicable, parental rights need not be surrendered or terminated prior to the filing of the petition; but any petitioner shall allege facts demonstrating the applicability of Code Section 19-8-10 and shall allege compliance with subsection (c) of Code Section 19-8-10.
(8) If the petition is filed in a county other than that of the petitioners´ residence, the reason therefor must also be set forth in the petition.
(b) At the time of filing the petition, the petitioner shall deposit with the clerk the deposit required by Code Section 9-15-4; the fees shall be those established by Code Sections 15-6-77 and 15-6-77.1.
(c) Each petitioner in any proceeding for the adoption of a minor pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 19-8-5 shall file with the petition, in a manner acceptable to the court, a report fully accounting for all disbursements of anything of value made or agreed to be made, directly or indirectly, by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of the petitioner in connection with the adoption, including, but not limited to, any expenses incurred in connection with:
(1) The birth of the minor;
(2) Placement of the minor with the petitioner;
(3) Medical or hospital care received by the mother or by the minor during the mother´s prenatal care and confinement; and
(4) Services relating to the adoption or to the placement of the minor for adoption which were received by or on behalf of the petitioner, either natural parent of the minor, or any other person.
(d) Every attorney for a petitioner in any proceeding for the adoption of a minor pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 19-8-5 shall file, in a manner acceptable to the court, before the decree of adoption is entered, an affidavit detailing all sums paid or promised to that attorney, directly or indirectly, from whatever source, for all services of any nature rendered or to be rendered in connection with the adoption; provided, however, that if the attorney received or is to receive less than $500.00, the affidavit need only state that fact.
(e) Any report made under this Code section must be signed and verified by the individual making the report.
(f) Whenever a petitioner is a blood relative of the child to be adopted and a grandparent other than the petitioner has visitation rights to the child granted pursuant to Code Section 19-7-3, the petitioner shall cause a copy of the petition for adoption to be served upon the grandparent with the visitation rights or upon such person´s counsel of record.
(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Sections 19-8-5 and 19-8-7 and this Code section which require obtaining and attaching a written voluntary surrender and acknowledgment thereof and affidavits of the legal mother and a representative of the petitioner, where the adoption is sought under subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-5 or 19-8-7 following the termination of parental rights and the placement of the child by the juvenile court pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 15-11-103, obtaining and attaching to the petition a certified copy of the order terminating parental rights of the parent shall take the place of obtaining and attaching those otherwise required surrenders, acknowledgments, and affidavits.
(h) A petition for adoption regarding a child or children who have a living biological father who is not the legal father and who has not surrendered his rights to the child or children shall include a certificate from the putative father registry disclosing the name, address, and social security number of any registrant acknowledging paternity of the child or children pursuant to subparagraph (d)(2)(A) of Code Section 19-11-9 or indicating the possibility of paternity of a child of the child´s mother pursuant to subparagraph (d)(2)(B) of Code Section 19-11-9 for a period beginning no later than two years immediately prior to the child´s date of birth. Such certificate shall indicate a search of the registry on or after the earliest of the following:
(1) The date of the mother´s surrender of parental rights;
(2) The date of entry of the court order terminating the mother´s parental rights;
(3) The date of the mother´s consent to adoption pursuant to Code Section 19-8-6; or
(4) The date of the filing of the petition for adoption, in which case the certificate may be filed as an amendment to the petition for adoption.
Such certificate shall include a statement that the registry is current as of the earliest date listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection, or as of a specified date that is later than the earliest such date.

19-8-14. Timing of adoption hearing; required records; filing
(a) It is the policy of this state that, in the best interest of the child, uncontested adoption petitions should be heard as soon as possible but not later than 120 days after the date of filing, unless the petitioner has failed to arrange for the court to receive the report required by the provisions of Code Section 19-8-16 or has otherwise failed to provide the court with all exhibits, surrenders, or certificates required by this chapter within that time period. It is the policy of this state that, in contested adoption petitions, the parties shall make every effort to have the petition considered by the court as soon as practical after the date of filing taking into account the circumstances of the petition and the best interest of the child.
(b) Upon the filing of the petition for adoption, accompanied by the filing fee unless such fee is waived, it shall be the responsibility of the clerk to accept the petition as filed.
(c) Upon the filing of the petition for adoption the court shall fix a date upon which the petition shall be considered, which date shall be not less than 45 days from the date of the filing of the petition.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (c) of this Code section, it shall be the petitioner´s responsibility to request that the court hear the petition on a date that allows sufficient time for fulfillment of notice requirements of Code Section 19-8-10 and Code Section 19-8-12, where applicable.
(e) In the best interest of the child the court may hear the petition less than 45 days from the date of filing upon a showing by the petitioner that either no further notice is required or that any statutory requirement of notice to any person will be fulfilled at an earlier date, and provided that any report required by Code Section 19-8-16 has been completed or will be completed at an earlier date.
(f) The court in the child´s best interest may grant such expedited hearings or continuances as may be necessary for completion of applicable notice requirements, investigations, and reports or for other good cause shown.
(g) Copies of the petition, the order fixing the date upon which the petition shall be considered, and all exhibits, surrenders, or certificates required by this chapter shall be forwarded by the clerk to the department within 15 days after the filing of the petition for adoption.
(h) Copies of the petition, the order fixing the date upon which the petition shall be considered, and all exhibits, surrenders, or certificates required by this chapter shall be forwarded by the clerk to the child-placing agency or other agent appointed by the court pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 19-8-16 within 15 days after the filing of the petition for adoption, together with a request that a report and investigation be made as required by law.
(i) Copies of all motions, amendments, and other pleadings filed and of all orders entered in connection with the petition for adoption shall be forwarded by the clerk to the department within 15 days after such filing or entry.

19-8-15. When objections may be filed by relatives to petition for adoption
If the child sought to be adopted has no legal father or legal mother living, it shall be the privilege of any person related by blood to the child to file objections to the petition for adoption. A grandparent with visitation rights to a child granted pursuant to Code Section 19-7-3 shall have the privilege to file objections to the petition of adoption if neither parent has any further rights to the child and if the petition for adoption has been filed by a blood relative of the child. The court, after hearing such objections, shall determine, in its discretion, whether or not the same constitute a good reason for denying the petition and the court shall have the authority to grant or continue such visitation rights of the grandparent to the child in the adoption order in the event the adoption by the blood relative is approved by the court.

19-8-16. Investigation by child-placing agency or other agent
(a) Prior to the date set by the court for a hearing on the petition for adoption, it shall be the duty of a child-placing agency appointed by the court or any other independent agent appointed by the court to verify the allegations in the petition for adoption, to make a complete and thorough investigation of the entire matter, including a criminal records check of each petitioner, and to report its findings and recommendations in writing to the court where the petition for adoption was filed. The department, child-placing agency, or other independent agent appointed by the court shall also provide the attorney for petitioner with a copy of the report to the court. If for any reason the child-placing agency or other agent finds itself unable to make or arrange for the proper investigation and report, it shall be the duty of the agency or agent to notify the court immediately, or at least within 20 days after receipt of the request for investigation service, that it is unable to make the report and investigation, so that the court may take such other steps as in its discretion are necessary to have the entire matter investigated.
(b) If the petition has been filed pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-6 or 19-8-7, the court is authorized but not required to appoint a child-placing agency or other independent agent to make an investigation in whatever form the court specifies.
(c) If the petition has been filed pursuant to Code Section 19-8-8, or if the department has conducted an investigation and has consented to the adoption, an investigation shall not be required.
(d) Where a criminal records check of a petitioner is required pursuant to this Code section, that petitioner shall pay the fee and the child-placing agency or other independent agent may make application for such records check to the Georgia Crime Information Center.
(e) The court may appoint the department to serve as its agent to conduct the investigation required by this Code section if an appropriate child-placing agency or independent agent is not available. If for any reason the department finds itself unable to make or arrange for the proper investigation and report, it shall be the duty of the commissioner of human resources to notify the court immediately, or at least within 20 days after receipt of the request for investigation service, that it is unable to make the report and investigation, so that the court may take such other steps as in its discretion are necessary to have the entire matter investigated.
(f) The court shall require the petitioner to reimburse the child-placing agency or other independent agent, including the department, for the full cost of conducting the investigation and preparing the report. Such cost shall not exceed $250.00 unless specifically authorized by the court.

19-8-17. Report and recommendation of investigating agency; dismissal of petition; appointment of guardian ad litem
(a) The report and findings of the investigating agency shall include, among other things, the following:
(1) Verification of allegations contained in the petition;
(2) Circumstances under which the child came to be placed for adoption;
(3) Whether each proposed adoptive parent is financially, physically, and mentally able to have the permanent custody of the child; in considering financial ability any adoption supplement approved by the department shall be taken into account;
(4) The physical and mental condition of the child, insofar as this can be determined by the aid of competent medical authority;
(5) Whether or not the adoption is in the best interests of the child, including his general care;
(6) Suitability of the home to the child;
(7) If applicable, whether the identity and location of the biological father who is not the legal father are known or ascertainable and whether the requirements of Code Section 19-8-12 were complied with; and
(8) Any other information that might be disclosed by the investigation that would be of any value or interest to the court in deciding the case.
(b) If the report of the investigating agency or independent agent disapproves of the adoption of the child, motion may be made by the investigating agency or independent agent to the court to dismiss the petition and the court after hearing is authorized to do so. If the court denies the motion to dismiss, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem who may appeal the ruling to the Georgia Court of Appeals or Supreme Court, as in other cases, as provided by law.
(c) If at any time it appears to the court that the interests of the child may conflict with those of any petitioner, the court may, in its discretion, appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child and the cost thereof shall be a charge upon the funds of the county.

19-8-18. Hearing and decree of adoption; district attorney to be directed to review inducement of violations; disposition of child on denial of petition
(a)(1) Upon the date appointed by the court for a hearing of the petition for adoption or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached for a hearing, the court shall proceed to a full hearing on the petition and the examination of the parties at interest in chambers, under oath, with the right of continuing the hearing and examinations from time to time as the nature of the case may require. The court at such times shall give consideration to the investigation report to the court provided for in Code Section 19-8-16 and the recommendations contained therein.
(2) The court shall examine the petition for adoption and the affidavit specified in subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7, as appropriate, to determine whether Code Section 19-8-12 is applicable. If the court determines that Code Section 19-8-12 is applicable to the petition, it shall:
(A) Determine that an appropriate order has previously been entered;
(B) Enter an order consistent with Code Section 19-8-12; or
(C) Continue the hearing until Code Section 19-8-12 is complied with.
(3) If the adoption petition is filed pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-5, the court shall examine the financial disclosures required under subsections (c) and (d) of Code Section 19-8-13 and make such further examination of each petitioner and his attorney as the court deems appropriate in order to make a determination as to whether there is cause to believe that Code Section 19-8-24 has been violated with regard to the 'inducement' of the placement of the child for adoption. Should the court determine that further inquiry is in order, the court shall direct the district attorney for the county to review the matter further and to take such appropriate action as the district attorney in his discretion deems appropriate.
(b) If the court is satisfied that each living parent or guardian of the child has surrendered or had terminated all his rights to the child in the manner provided by law prior to the filing of the petition for adoption or that each petitioner has satisfied his burden of proof under Code Section 19-8-10, that such petitioner is capable of assuming responsibility for the care, supervision, training, and education of the child, that the child is suitable for adoption in a private family home, and that the adoption requested is for the best interest of the child, it shall enter a decree of adoption, terminating all the rights of each parent and guardian to the child, granting the permanent custody of the child to each petitioner, naming the child as prayed for in the petition, and declaring the child to be the adopted child of each petitioner. In all cases wherein Code Section 19-8-10 is relied upon by any petitioner as a basis for the termination of parental rights, the court shall include in the decree of adoption appropriate findings of fact and conclusions of law relating to the applicability of Code Section 19-8-10.
(c) If the court determines that any petitioner has not complied with this chapter, it may dismiss the petition for adoption without prejudice or it may continue the case. Should the court find that any notice required to be given by any petitioner under this chapter has not been given or has not been properly given or that the petition has not been properly filed, the court is authorized to enter an order providing for corrective action and an additional hearing.
(d) If the court is not satisfied that the adoption is in the best interests of the child, it shall deny the petition. If the petition is denied because of such reason or for any other reason under law, the court shall commit the child to the custody of the department or to a child-placing agency, if the petition was filed pursuant to Code Section 19-8-4 or 19-8-5. If the petition was filed pursuant to Code Section 19-8-6, 19-8-7, or 19-8-8, the child shall remain in the custody of each petitioner if that petitioner is fit to have custody or the court may place the child with the department for the purpose of determining whether or not a petition should be initiated under Chapter 11 of Title 15.
(e) A decree of adoption issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section shall not be subject to any judicial challenge filed more than six months after the date of entry of such decree.
(f) Any decree of adoption issued prior to the effective date of this action shall not be subject to any judicial challenge more than six months after July 1, 1995.

19-8-19. Effect of decree of adoption
(a) A decree of adoption, whether issued by a court of this state or by a court of any other jurisdiction, shall have the following effect as to matters within the jurisdiction of or before a court in this state:
(1) Except with respect to a spouse of the petitioner and relatives of the spouse, a decree of adoption terminates all legal relationships between the adopted individual and his relatives, including his parent, so that the adopted individual thereafter is a stranger to his former relatives for all purposes, including inheritance and the interpretation or construction of documents, statutes, and instruments, whether executed before or after the adoption is decreed, which do not expressly include the individual by name or by some designation not based on a parent and child or blood relationship; and
(2) A decree of adoption creates the relationship of parent and child between each petitioner and the adopted individual, as if the adopted individual were a child of biological issue of that petitioner. The adopted individual shall enjoy every right and privilege of a biological child of that petitioner; shall be deemed a biological child of that petitioner, to inherit under the laws of descent and distribution in the absence of a will, and to take under the provisions of any instrument of testamentary gift, bequest, devise, or legacy, whether executed before or after the adoption is decreed, unless expressly excluded therefrom; shall take by inheritance from relatives of that petitioner; and shall also take as a 'child' of that petitioner under a class gift made by the will of a third person.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section, if a parent of a child dies without the relationship of parent and child having been previously terminated by court order or unrevoked surrender of parental rights to the child, the child´s right of inheritance from or through the deceased parent shall not be affected by the adoption.

19-8-20. Forwarding of decree, report, and subsequent orders to department; issuance of adoption certificate; use as evidence
(a) Upon the entry of the decree of adoption, the clerk of the court granting the same shall forward a copy of the decree, together with the original of the investigation report and background information filed with the court, to the department. If there is any subsequent order or revocation of the adoption a copy of same in like manner shall be forwarded by the clerk to the department.
(b) At any time after the entry of the decree of adoption, upon the request of an adopted person who has reached 18 years of age or upon the request of any adopting parent, the clerk of the court granting the decree shall issue to that requesting adopted person or adopting parent a certificate of adoption, under the seal of the court, upon payment to the clerk of the fee prescribed in paragraph (4) of subsection (g) of Code Section 15-6-77, which adoption certificate shall be received as evidence in any court or proceeding as primary evidence of the facts contained in the certificate.
(c) The adoption certificate shall be in substantially the following form:
This is to certify that _______________________

(names of each adopting parent) have obtained a decree of adoption for _______________________ (full name of adopted child) in the Superior Court of _____ County, Georgia, on the ______ day of ______________,

as shown by the court´s records.
Given under the hand and seal of said court,

this the ______ day of ______________, ____.

_______________
Clerk

19-8-21. Adoption of adult persons; applicability of Code Sections 19-8-19 and 19-8-20
(a) Adult persons may be adopted on giving written consent to the adoption. In such cases, adoption shall be by a petition duly verified and filed, together with two conformed copies, in the superior court in the county in which either any petitioner or the adult to be adopted resides, setting forth the name, age, and residence of each petitioner and of the adult to be adopted, the name by which the adult is to be known, and his written consent to the adoption. The court may assign the petition for hearing at any time. After examining each petitioner and the adult sought to be adopted, the court, if satisfied that there is no reason why the adoption should not be granted, shall enter a decree of adoption and, if requested, shall change the name of the adopted adult. Thereafter, the relation between each petitioner and the adopted adult shall be, as to their legal rights and liabilities, the relation of parent and child.
(b) Code Section 19-8-19, relating to the effect of a decree of adoption, and Code Section 19-8-20, relating to notice of adoption, shall also apply to the adoption of adults.

19-8-22. Recognition and effect of foreign decrees
(a) A decree of a court terminating the relationship of parent and child or establishing the relationship of parent and child by adoption, issued pursuant to due process of law by a court of any other jurisdiction within or outside the United States, or the clear and irrevocable release or consent to adoption by the guardian of a child where the appointment of the guardian has been certified by the appropriate and legally authorized court or agency of the government of the foreign country shall be recognized in this state; and the rights and obligations of the parties as to matters within the jurisdiction of this state shall be determined as though any such decree were issued by a court of this state and any such consent or release shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of Code Sections 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, 19-8-7, and 19-8-12.
(b) Any adoption proceeding in this state in which a final order of adoption was entered by the court prior to April 1, 1986, and to which subsection (a) of this Code section would have been applicable if said subsection, as amended, had been effective at the time such proceeding was filed or concluded shall be governed by the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section, as amended.
(c) Any adoption proceeding pending in a court of competent jurisdiction in this state in which no final order of adoption has been entered as of April 1, 1986, to which the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section are applicable shall be governed by the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section, as amended.

19-8-23. Where records of adoption kept; examination by parties and attorneys; use of information by agency and department
(a) The original petition, all amendments and exhibits thereto, all motions, documents, affidavits, records, and testimony filed in connection therewith, and all decrees or orders of any kind whatsoever, except the original investigation report and background information referred to in Code Section 19-8-20, shall be recorded in a book kept for that purpose and properly indexed; and the book shall be part of the records of the court in each county which has jurisdiction over matters of adoption in that county. All of the records, including the docket book, of the court granting the adoption, of the department, and of the child-placing agency that relate in any manner to the adoption shall be kept sealed and locked. The records may be examined by the parties at interest in the adoption and their attorneys when, after written petition has been presented to the court having jurisdiction and after the department and the appropriate child-placing agency have received at least 30 days´ prior written notice of the filing of such petition, the matter has come on before the court in chambers and, good cause having been shown to the court, the court has entered an order permitting such examination. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the adoptee who is the subject of the records sought to be examined is less than 18 years of age at the time the petition is filed and the petitioner is someone other than one of the adoptive parents of the adoptee, then the department shall provide written notice of such proceedings to the adoptive parents by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, at the last address the department has for such adoptive parents and the court shall continue any hearing on the petition until not less than 60 days after the date the notice was sent. Each such adoptive parent shall have the right to appear in person or through counsel and show cause why such records should not be examined. Adoptive parents may provide the department with their current address for purposes of receiving notice under this subsection by mailing that address to:
Office of Adoptions
Department of Human Resources
Atlanta, Georgia
(b) The department or the child-placing agency may, in its sole discretion, make use of any information contained in the records of the respective department or agency relating to the adoptive parents in connection with a subsequent adoption matter involving the same adoptive parents or to provide notice when required by subsection (a) of this Code section.
(c) The department or the child-placing agency may, in its sole discretion, make use of any information contained in its records on a child when an adoption disrupts after finalization and when such records are required for the permanent placement of such child, or when the information is required by federal law.
(d)(1) Upon the request of a party at interest in the adoption or of a provider of medical services to such a party when certain information is necessary because of a medical emergency or for medical diagnosis or treatment, the department or child-placing agency may, in its sole discretion, access its own records on finalized adoptions for the purpose of adding subsequently obtained medical information or releasing nonidentifying medical information contained in its records on such adopted persons.
(2) Upon receipt by the Office of Adoptions of the department or by a child-placing agency of documented medical information relevant to an adoptee, the office or child-placing agency shall use reasonable efforts to contact the adoptive parents of the adoptee or the adoptee if he or she is 18 years of age or older and provide such documented medical information to the adoptive parents or the adoptee. The office or child-placing agency shall be entitled to reimbursement of reasonable costs for postage and photocopying incurred in the delivery of such documented medical information to the adoptive parents or adoptee.
(e) Records relating in any manner to adoption shall not be open to the general public for inspection.
(f)(1) Notwithstanding Code Section 19-8-1, for purposes of this subsection, the term:
(A) 'Biological parent' means the biological mother or biological father who surrendered that person´s rights or had such rights terminated by court order giving rise to the adoption of the child.
(B) 'Commissioner' means the commissioner of human resources or that person´s designee.
(C) 'Department' means the Department of Human Resources or, when the Department of Human Resources so designates, the county department of family and children services which placed for adoption the person seeking, or on whose behalf is sought, information under this subsection.
(D) 'Placement agency' means the child-placing agency, as defined in paragraph (3) of Code Section 19-8-1, which placed for adoption the person seeking or on whose behalf is sought information under this subsection.
(2) The department or a placement agency, upon the written request of an adopted person who has reached 18 years of age or upon the written request of an adoptive parent on behalf of that parent´s adopted child, shall release to such adopted person or to the adoptive parent on the child´s behalf nonidentifying information regarding such adopted person´s biological parents and information regarding such adopted person´s birth. Such information may include the date and place of birth of the adopted person and the genetic, social, and health history of the biological parents. No information released pursuant to this paragraph shall include the name or address of either biological parent or the name or address of any relative by birth or marriage of either biological parent.
(3)(A) The department or a placement agency upon written request of an adopted person who has reached 21 years of age shall release to such adopted person the name of such person´s biological parent if:
(i) The biological parent whose name is to be released has submitted unrevoked written permission to the department or the placement agency for the release of that parent´s name to the adopted person;
(ii) The identity of the biological parent submitting permission for the release of that parent´s name has been verified by the department or the placement agency; and
(iii) The department or the placement agency has records pertaining to the finalized adoption and to the identity of the biological parent whose name is to be released.
(B) If the adopted person is deceased and leaves a child, such child, upon reaching 21 years of age, may seek the name and other identifying information concerning his or her grandparents in the same manner as the deceased adopted person and subject to the same procedures contained in this Code section.
(4)(A) If a biological parent has not filed written unrevoked permission for the release of that parent´s name to the adopted child, the department or the placement agency, within six months of receipt of the written request of the adopted person who has reached 21 years of age, shall make diligent effort to notify each biological parent identified in the original adoption proceedings or in other records of the department or the placement agency relative to the adopted person. For purposes of this subparagraph, 'notify' means a personal and confidential contact with each biological parent of the adopted person. The contact shall be by an employee or agent of the placement agency which processed the pertinent adoption or by other agents or employees of the department. The contact shall be evidenced by the person who notified each parent certifying to the department that each parent was given the following information:
(i) The nature of the information requested by the adopted person;
(ii) The date of the request of the adopted person;
(iii) The right of each biological parent to file an affidavit with the placement agency or the department stating that such parent´s identity should not be disclosed;
(iv) The right of each biological parent to file a consent to disclosure with the placement agency or the department; and
(v) The effect of a failure of each biological parent to file either a consent to disclosure or an affidavit stating that the information in the sealed adoption file should not be disclosed.
(B) If a biological parent files an unrevoked consent to the disclosure of that parent´s identity, such parent´s name shall be released to the adopted person who has requested such information as authorized by this paragraph.
(C) If, within 60 days of being notified by the department or the placement agency pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, a biological parent has filed with the department or placement agency an affidavit objecting to such release, information regarding that biological parent shall not be released.
(D)(i) If six months after receipt of the adopted person´s written request the placement agency or the department has either been unable to notify a biological parent identified in the original adoption record or has been able to notify a biological parent identified in the original adoption record but has not obtained a consent to disclosure from the notified biological parent, then the identity of a biological parent may only be disclosed as provided in division (ii) or (iii) of this subparagraph.
(ii) The adopted person who has reached 21 years of age may petition the Superior Court of Fulton County to seek the release of the identity of each of that person´s biological parents from the department or placement agency. The court shall grant the petition if the court finds that the department or placement agency has made diligent efforts to locate each biological parent pursuant to this subparagraph either without success or upon locating a biological parent has not obtained a consent to disclosure from the notified biological parent and that failure to release the identity of each biological parent would have an adverse impact upon the physical, mental, or emotional health of the adopted person.
(iii) If it is verified that a biological parent of the adopted person is deceased, the department or placement agency shall be authorized to disclose the name and place of burial of the deceased biological parent, if known, to the adopted person seeking such information without the necessity of obtaining a court order.
(5)(A) Upon written request of an adopted person who has reached 21 years of age or a person who has reached 21 years of age and who is the sibling of an adopted person, the department or a placement agency shall attempt to identify and notify the siblings of the requesting party, if such siblings are at least 18 years of age. Upon locating the requesting party´s sibling, the department or the placement agency shall notify the sibling of the inquiry. Upon the written consent of a sibling so notified, the department or the placement agency shall forward the requesting party´s name and address to the sibling and, upon further written consent of the sibling, shall divulge to the requesting party the present name and address of the sibling. If a sibling cannot be identified or located, the department or placement agency shall notify the requesting party of such circumstances but shall not disclose any names or other information which would tend to identify the sibling. If a sibling is deceased, the department or placement agency shall be authorized to disclose the name and place of burial of the deceased sibling, if known, to the requesting party without the necessity of obtaining a court order.
(B)(i) If six months after receipt of the written request from an adopted person who has reached 21 years of age or a person who has reached 21 years of age and who is the sibling of an adopted person, the placement agency or the department has either been unable to notify one or more of the siblings of the requesting party or has been able to notify a sibling of the requesting party but has not obtained a consent to disclosure from the notified sibling, then the identity of the siblings may only be disclosed as provided in division (ii) of this subparagraph.
(ii) The adopted person who has reached 21 years of age or a person who has reached 21 years of age and who is the sibling of an adopted person may petition the Superior Court of Fulton County to seek the release of the last known name and address of each of the siblings of the petitioning sibling, that are at least 18 years of age, from the department or placement agency. The court shall grant the petition if the court finds that the department or placement agency has made diligent efforts to locate such siblings pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph either without success or upon locating one or more of the siblings has not obtained a consent to disclosure from all the notified siblings and that failure to release the identity and last known address of said siblings would have an adverse impact upon the physical, mental, or emotional health of the petitioning sibling.
(C) If the adopted person is deceased and leaves a child, such child, upon reaching 21 years of age, may obtain the name and other identifying information concerning the siblings of his or her deceased parent in the same manner that the deceased adopted person would be entitled to obtain such information pursuant to the procedures contained in this Code section.
(6)(A) Upon written request of a biological parent of an adopted person who has reached 21 years of age, the department or a placement agency shall attempt to identify and notify the adopted person. Upon locating the adopted person, the department or the placement agency shall notify the adopted person of the inquiry. Upon the written consent of the adopted person so notified, the department or the placement agency shall forward the biological parent´s name and address to the adopted person and, upon further written consent of the adopted person, shall divulge to the requesting biological parent the present name and address of the adopted person. If the adopted person is deceased, the department or placement agency shall be authorized to disclose the name and place of burial of the deceased adopted person, if known, to the requesting biological parent without the necessity of obtaining a court order.
(B)(i) If six months after receipt of the written request from a biological parent of an adopted person who has reached 21 years of age the placement agency or the department has either been unable to notify the adopted person or has been able to notify the adopted person but has not obtained a consent to disclosure from the notified adopted person, then the identity of the adopted person may only be disclosed as provided in division (ii) of this subparagraph.
(ii) The biological parent of an adopted person who has reached 21 years of age may petition the Superior Court of Fulton County to seek the release of the last known name and address of the adopted person from the department or placement agency. The court shall grant the petition if the court finds that the department or placement agency has made diligent efforts to locate such adopted person pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph either without success or upon locating the adopted person has not obtained a consent to disclosure from the adopted person and that failure to release the identity and last known address of said adopted person would have an adverse impact upon the physical, mental, or emotional health of the petitioning biological parent.
(C) If the biological parent is deceased, a parent or sibling of the deceased biological parent, or both, may obtain the name and other identifying information concerning the adopted person in the same manner that the deceased biological parent would be entitled to obtain such information pursuant to the procedures contained in this Code section.
(7) If an adoptive parent or the sibling of an adopted person notifies the department or placement agency of the death of an adopted person, the department or placement agency shall add information regarding the date and circumstances of the death to its records so as to enable it to share such information with a biological parent or sibling of the adopted person if they make an inquiry pursuant to the provisions of this Code section.
(8) If a biological parent or parent or sibling of a biological parent notifies the department or placement agency of the death of a biological parent or a sibling of an adopted person, the department or placement agency shall add information regarding the date and circumstances of the death to its records so as to enable it to share such information with an adopted person or sibling of the adopted person if he or she makes an inquiry pursuant to the provisions of this Code section.
(9) The Office of Adoptions within the department shall maintain a registry for the recording of requests by adopted persons for the name of any biological parent, for the recording of the written consent or the written objections of any biological parent to the release of that parent´s identity to an adopted person upon the adopted person´s request, and for nonidentifying information regarding any biological parent which may be released pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection. The department and any placement agency which receives such requests, consents, or objections shall file a copy thereof with that office.
(10) The department or placement agency may charge a reasonable fee to be determined by the department for the cost of conducting any search pursuant to this subsection.
(11) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require the department or placement agency to disclose to any party at interest, including but not limited to an adopted person who has reached 21 years of age, any information which is not kept by the department or the placement agency in its normal course of operations relating to adoption.
(12) Any department employee or employee of any placement agency who releases information or makes authorized contacts in good faith and in compliance with this subsection shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for such release of information or authorized contacts.
(13) Information authorized to be released pursuant to this subsection may be released under the conditions specified in this subsection notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary.
(14) A placement agency which demonstrates to the department by clear and convincing evidence that the requirement that such agency search for or notify any biological parent, sibling, or adopted person under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (4) of this subsection or subparagraph (A) of paragraph (5) of this subsection or subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of this subsection will impose an undue hardship upon that agency shall be relieved from that responsibility, and the department shall assume that responsibility upon such finding by the department of undue hardship. The department´s determination under this subsection shall be a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'
(15) Whenever this subsection authorizes both the department and a placement agency to perform any function or requires the placement agency to perform any function which the department is also required to perform, the department or agency may designate an agent to perform that function and in so performing it the agent shall have the same authority, powers, duties, and immunities as an employee of the department or placement agency has with respect to performing that function.

19-8-24. Unlawful advertisements; unlawful inducements; penalties

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, organization, corporation, hospital, or association of any kind whatsoever which has not been established as a child-placing agency by the department to:
(1) Advertise, whether in a periodical, by television, by radio, or by any other public medium or by any private means, including letters, circulars, handbills, and oral statements, that the person, organization, corporation, hospital, or association will adopt children or will arrange for or cause children to be adopted or placed for adoption; or
(2) Directly or indirectly hold out inducements to parents to part with their children.
As used in this subsection, 'inducements' shall include any financial assistance, either direct or indirect, from whatever source, except payment or reimbursement of the medical expenses directly related to the mother´s pregnancy and hospitalization for the birth of the child and medical care for the child.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer to sell, or conspire with another to sell or offer to sell a child for money or anything of value, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(c) Any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both, in the discretion of the court.
(d)(1) Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply to communication by private means, including only written letters or oral statements, by an individual seeking to:
(A) Adopt a child or children; or
(B) Place that individual´s child or children for adoption,
whether the communication occurs before or after the birth of such child or children.
(2) Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply to any communication described in paragraph (1) of this subsection which contains any attorney´s name, address, telephone number, or any combination of such information and which requests any attorney named in such communication to be contacted to facilitate the carrying out of the purpose, as described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection, of the individual making such personal communication.

19-8-25. Effect of prior consent or surrender
(a) A written consent or surrender, executed on or before June 30, 1990, shall, for purposes of an adoption proceeding commenced on or after July 1, 1990, be deemed to satisfy the surrender requirements of this chapter and it shall not be necessary to have any parent or guardian execute the documents required by Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7; however, all other applicable provisions of this chapter must be complied with.
(b) It is the legislative intent of this subsection to clarify and not to change the applicability of certain previously existing provisions of this chapter to adoption proceedings pending on July 1, 1990. Any decree of adoption issued in an adoption proceeding in which the adoption petition was filed in a superior court of this state prior to July 1, 1990, shall be valid if the adoption conformed to the requirements of this chapter either as they existed on June 30, 1990, or on July 1, 1990, and each such adoption decree is hereby ratified and confirmed.

19-8-26. How surrender of parental rights executed; how and when surrender may be withdrawn; forms
(a) The surrender of rights by a parent or guardian pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-4 shall conform substantially to the following form:


SURRENDER OF RIGHTS
FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION


NOTICE TO PARENT OR GUARDIAN:

This is an important legal document and by signing it you are surrendering all of your right, title, and claim to the child identified herein, so as to facilitate the child´s placement for adoption. You are to receive a copy of this document and as explained below have the right to withdraw your surrender within ten days from the date you sign it.
_______________
I, the undersigned, being solicitous that my (male) (female) child, born (insert name of child) on (insert birthdate of child), should receive the benefits and advantages of a good home, to the end that (she) (he) may be fitted for the requirements of life, consent to this surrender.
I, the undersigned, (insert relationship to child) of the aforesaid child, do hereby surrender the child to (insert name of child-placing agency or Department of Human Resources, as applicable) and promise not to interfere in the management of the child in any respect whatever; and, in consideration of the benefits guaranteed by (insert name of child-placing agency or Department of Human Resources, as applicable) in thus providing for the child, I do relinquish all right, title, and claim to the child herein named, it being my wish, intent, and purpose to relinquish absolutely all parental control over the child.
Furthermore, I hereby agree that the (insert name of child-placing agency or Department of Human Resources, as applicable) may seek for the child a legal adoption by such person or persons as may be chosen by the (insert name of child-placing agency or Department of Human Resources, as applicable) or its authorized agents, without further notice to me. I do, furthermore, expressly waive any other notice or service in any of the legal proceedings for the adoption of the child.
Furthermore, I understand that under Georgia law the Department of Human Resources or the child-placing agency is required to conduct an investigation and render a report to the court in connection with the legal proceeding for the legal adoption of the child and I hereby agree to cooperate fully with such department or agency in the conduct of its investigation.
Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have received a copy of this document and that I understand I may only withdraw this surrender by giving written notice, delivered in person or mailed by registered mail or statutory overnight delivery, to (insert name and address of child-placing agency or Department of Human Resources, as applicable) within ten days from the date hereof; that the ten days shall be counted consecutively beginning with the day immediately following the date hereof; however, if the tenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday then the last day on which the surrender may be withdrawn shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday; and I understand that it may NOT be withdrawn thereafter.
Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have not been subjected to any duress or undue pressure in the execution of this surrender document and do so freely and voluntarily.
Witness my hand and seal this _______ day of __________, ____.

______________(SEAL)
(Parent or guardian)
__________________
Unofficial witness
_____________
Notary public
(b) Reserved.
(c) The surrender of rights by a parent or guardian pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-5 shall conform substantially to the following form:

SURRENDER OF RIGHTS
FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION

NOTICE TO PARENT OR GUARDIAN:

This is an important legal document and by signing it you are surrendering all of your right, title, and claim to the child identified herein, so as to facilitate the child´s placement for adoption. You are to receive a copy of this document and as explained below have the right to withdraw your surrender within ten days from the date you sign it.

__________
I, the undersigned, being solicitous that my (male) (female) child, born (insert name of child), on (insert birthdate of child), should receive the benefits and advantages of a good home, to the end that (she) (he) may be fitted for the requirements of life, consent to this surrender.
I, the undersigned, (insert relationship to child) of the aforesaid child, do hereby surrender the child to (insert name, surname not required, of each person to whom surrender is made), PROVIDED each such person is named as petitioner in a petition for adoption of the child filed in accordance with Chapter 8 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated within 60 days from the date hereof. Furthermore, I promise not to interfere in the management of the child in any respect whatever; and, in consideration of the benefits guaranteed by (insert name, surname not required, of each person to whom surrender is made) in thus providing for the child, I do relinquish all right, title, and claim to the child herein named, it being my wish, intent, and purpose to relinquish absolutely all parental control over the child.
It is also my wish, intent, and purpose that if each such person is not named as petitioner in a petition for adoption as provided for above within the 60 day period, other than for excusable neglect, or, if said petition for adoption is filed within 60 days but the adoption action is dismissed with prejudice or otherwise concluded without an order declaring the child to be the adopted child of each such person, then I do hereby surrender the child as follows:
(Mark one of the following as chosen)
____ I wish the child returned to me, and I expressly acknowledge that this provision applies only to the limited circumstance that the child is not adopted by the person or persons designated herein and further that this provision does not impair the validity, absolute finality, or totality of this surrender under any circumstance other than the failure of the designated person or persons to adopt the child and that no other provision of this surrender impairs the validity, absolute finality, or totality of this surrender once the revocation period has elapsed; or
____ I surrender the child to (insert name of designated licensed child-placing agency), a licensed child-placing agency, for placement for adoption; or
____ I surrender the child to the Department of Human Resources, as provided by subsection (k) of Code Section 19-8-5, for placement for adoption; and (insert name of designated licensed child-placing agency) or the Department of Human Resources may petition the superior court for custody of the child in accordance with the terms of this surrender.
Furthermore, I hereby agree that the child is to be adopted either by each person named above or by any other such person as may be chosen by the (insert name of designated licensed child-placing agency) or the Department of Human Resources and I do expressly waive any other notice or service in any of the legal proceedings for the adoption of the child.
Furthermore, I understand that under Georgia law an agent appointed by the court is required to conduct an investigation and render a report to the court in connection with the legal proceeding for the legal adoption of the child and I hereby agree to cooperate fully with such agent in the conduct of this investigation.
Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have received a copy of this document and that I understand I may only withdraw this surrender by giving written notice, delivered in person or mailed by registered mail or statutory overnight delivery, to (insert name and address of agent of each person to whom surrender is made) within ten days from the date hereof; that the ten days shall be counted consecutively beginning with the day immediately following the date hereof; however, if the tenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday then the last day on which the surrender may be withdrawn shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday; and I understand that it may NOT be withdrawn thereafter.
Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have not been subjected to any duress or undue pressure in the execution of this surrender document and do so freely and voluntarily.
Witness my hand and seal this ______ day of _________, ____.

______________(SEAL)
(Parent or guardian)
__________________
Unofficial witness
Sworn to and subscribed
before me this ______
day of ______________, ____.

_______________________
Notary public (SEAL)
My commission expires ______________.
(d) The surrender of rights by a biological father who is not the legal father of the child pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 shall conform substantially to the following form:

SURRENDER OF RIGHTS
FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION

NOTICE TO ALLEGED BIOLOGICAL FATHER:

This is an important legal document and by signing it you are surrendering all of your right, title, and claim to the child identified herein, so as to facilitate the child´s placement for adoption. You are to receive a copy of this document and as explained below have the right to withdraw your surrender within ten days from the date you sign it.
_______________
I, the undersigned, alleged biological father of a (male) (female) child, born (insert name of child) to (insert name of mother) on (insert birthdate of child), being solicitous that said child should receive the benefits and advantages of a good home, to the end that (she) (he) may be fitted for the requirements of life, consent to this surrender.
I, the undersigned, do hereby surrender the child. I promise not to interfere in the management of the child in any respect whatever; and, in consideration of the benefits provided to the child through adoption, I do relinquish all right, title, and claim to the child herein named, it being my wish, intent, and purpose to relinquish absolutely all control over the child.
Furthermore, I hereby agree that the child is to be adopted and I do expressly waive any other notice or service in any of the legal proceedings for the adoption of the child.
Furthermore, I understand that under Georgia law an agent appointed by the court is required to conduct an investigation and render a report to the court in connection with the legal proceeding for the legal adoption of the child and I hereby agree to cooperate fully with the agent appointed by the court in the conduct of this investigation.
Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have received a copy of this document and that I understand I may only withdraw this surrender by giving written notice, delivered in person or mailed by registered mail or statutory overnight delivery, to (insert name and address of child-placing agency representative, Department of Human Resources representative, person to whom surrender is made, or petitioner´s representative, as appropriate) within ten days from the date hereof; that the ten days shall be counted consecutively beginning with the day immediately following the date hereof; however, if the tenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday then the last day on which the surrender may be withdrawn shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday; and I understand that it may NOT be withdrawn thereafter.
Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have not been subjected to any duress or undue pressure in the execution of this surrender document and do so freely and voluntarily.
Witness my hand and seal this ______ day of __________, ____.

___________________(SEAL)
(Alleged biological father)
__________________
Unofficial witness
Sworn to and subscribed
before me this _____
day of ______________, ____.

__________________________
Notary public (SEAL)
My commission expires ______________.
(e) The surrender of rights by a parent or guardian pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-6 or 19-8-7 shall conform substantially to the following form:

SURRENDER OF RIGHTS
FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION

NOTICE TO PARENT OR GUARDIAN:

This is an important legal document and by signing it you are surrendering all of your right, title, and claim to the child identified herein, so as to facilitate the child´s placement for adoption. You are to receive a copy of this document and as explained below have the right to withdraw your surrender within ten days from the date you sign it.
______________________
I, the undersigned, being solicitous that my (male) (female) child, born (insert name of child), on (insert birthdate of child), should receive the benefits and advantages of a good home, to the end that (she) (he) may be fitted for the requirements of life, consent to this surrender.
I, the undersigned, (insert relationship to child) of the aforesaid child, do hereby surrender the child to (insert name of each person to whom surrender is made) and promise not to interfere in the management of the child in any respect whatever; and, in consideration of the benefits guaranteed by (insert name of each person to whom surrender is made) in thus providing for the child, I do relinquish all right, title, and claim to the child herein named, it being my wish, intent, and purpose to relinquish absolutely all parental control over the child.
Furthermore, I hereby agree that (insert name of each person to whom surrender is made) may initiate legal proceedings for the legal adoption of the child without further notice to me. I do, furthermore, expressly waive any other notice or service in any of the legal proceedings for the adoption of the child.
Furthermore, I understand that under Georgia law the Department of Human Resources may be required to conduct an investigation and render a report to the court in connection with the legal proceeding for the legal adoption of the child and I hereby agree to cooperate fully with the department in the conduct of its investigation.
Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have received a copy of this document and that I understand I may only withdraw this surrender by giving written notice, delivered in person or mailed by registered mail or statutory overnight delivery, to (insert name and address of each person to whom surrender is made) within ten days from the date hereof; that the ten days shall be counted consecutively beginning with the day immediately following the date hereof; however, if the tenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday then the last day on which the surrender may be withdrawn shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday; and I understand it may NOT be withdrawn thereafter.
Furthermore, I hereby certify that I have not been subjected to any duress or undue pressure in the execution of this surrender document and do so freely and voluntarily.
Witness my hand and seal this ______ day of ___________, ____.

______________(SEAL)
(Parent or guardian)
__________________
Unofficial witness
_____________
Notary public
(f) Reserved.
(g) The acknowledgment of surrender of rights pursuant to subsection (f) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 shall conform substantially to the following form:


ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SURRENDER
OF RIGHTS

By execution of this paragraph, the undersigned expressly acknowledges:
(A) That I have read the accompanying SURRENDER OF RIGHTS/FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION relating to said minor child born (insert name of child), a (male) (female) on (insert birthdate of child);
(B) That I understand that this is a full, final, and complete surrender, release, and termination of all of my rights to the child;
(C) That I have the unconditional right to revoke the surrender by giving written notice, delivered in person or mailed by registered mail or statutory overnight delivery, to (insert name and address of each person or entity to whom surrender is made) not later than ten days from the date of the surrender and that after such ten-day period I shall have no right to revoke the surrender;
(D) That the ten days shall be counted consecutively beginning with the day immediately following the date the surrender is executed; however, if the tenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday then the last day on which the surrender may be withdrawn shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday;
(E) That I have read the accompanying surrender and received a copy thereof;
(F) That any and all questions regarding the effect of said surrender and its provisions have been satisfactorily explained to me;
(G) That I have been afforded an opportunity to consult with counsel of my choice prior to execution of the surrender; and
(H) That the surrender of my rights has been knowingly, intentionally, freely, and voluntarily made by me.
Witness my hand and seal this ______ day of ___________, ____.

_______________(SEAL)
(Parent, guardian,
or biological father)
__________________
Unofficial witness
__________________
Notary public
(h) The affidavit of a legal mother required by subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 shall meet the following requirements:
(1) The affidavit shall set forth:
(A) Her name;
(B) Her relationship to the child;
(C) Her age;
(D) Her marital status;
(E) The identity and last known address of any spouse or former spouse;
(F) The identity, last known address, and relationship to the mother of the biological father of her child, provided that the mother shall have the right not to disclose the name and address of the biological father of her child should she so desire;
(G) Whether or not the biological father of the child has lived with the child, contributed to its support, provided for the mother´s support or medical care during her pregnancy or during her hospitalization for the birth of the child, or made an attempt to legitimate the child; and
(H) All financial assistance received by or promised her either directly or indirectly, from whatever source, in connection with her pregnancy, the birth of the child, or the placement or arranging for the placement of the child for adoption (including the date, amount or value, description, payor, and payee), provided that financial assistance provided directly by the mother´s husband, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandfather, or grandmother need not be detailed and instead the mother need only state the nature of the assistance received; and
(2) The affidavit shall conform substantially to the following form:

MOTHER´S AFFIDAVIT

NOTICE TO MOTHER:

This is an important legal document which deals with your child´s right to have its father´s rights properly determined. If you decline to disclose the name and address of the biological father of your child, understand that you may be required to appear in court to explain your refusal and that your name may be used in connection with the publication of notice to the biological father. Understand that you are providing this affidavit under oath and that the information provided will be held in strict confidence and will be used only in connection with the adoption of your child.

STATE OF GEORGIA
COUNTY OF ________

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned officer duly authorized to administer oaths, _______________________, who, after having been sworn, deposes and says as follows:
That my name is _______________________.
That I am the mother of a (male) (female) child born (insert name of child) in the State of __________, County of ________ on (insert birthdate of child).
That I am ________ years of age, having been born in the State of ________, County of ________ on ______________.
That my social security account number is ________________.
That my marital status at the time of the conception of my child was (check the status and complete the appropriate information):
( ) Single, never having been married.
( ) Separated but not legally divorced; the name of my spouse is _______________________; his last known address is _______________________; we were married in the State of ________, County of ________ on ________; we have been separated since ______________; we last had sexual relations on __________.

( ) Divorced; the name of my previous spouse is _______________________; we were married in the State of ________, County of ________ on ________; his last known address is ______________; divorce granted in the State of _______, County of ________ on ______________.
( ) Legally married; the name of my spouse (was)(is) ______________; we were married in the State of ________, County of ________ on ______________; and his last known address is ______________.
( ) Married through common-law marriage relationship prior to January 1, 1997; the name of my spouse (was) (is) _______________; his last known address is ______________; our relationship began in the State of _______, County of _______ on _______.
( ) Widowed; the name of my deceased spouse was _______________________; we were married in the State of ________, County of ________ on ________; and he died on ________ in the County of ________, State of ________.
That my name and marital status at the time of the birth of my child was (check the status and complete the appropriate information):
Name ________________________________________
( ) Single, never having been married.
( ) Separated, but not legally divorced; the name of my spouse (was) (is) ____________________; his last known address is ___________________________; we were married in the State of ________________, County of ______________ on ______________________; we have been separated since ____________________; we last had sexual relations on ______________.
( ) Divorced; the name of my former spouse is ___________; we were married in the State of ____________________, County of ______________ on ______________; his last known address is __________________________; divorce granted in the State of ________________, County of ______________.
( ) Legally Married; the name of my spouse (was) (is) ___________________; we were married in the State of ____________________, County of ______________ on _________________ on _________________; and his last known address is __________________________.
( ) Married through common-law relationship prior to January 1, 1997; the name of my spouse (was)(is) ______________; his last known address is ______________; our relationship began in the State of ______________, County of ______________ on ______________.
( ) Widowed; the name of my deceased spouse was ___________; we were married in the State of ________, County of ______________ on ______________; and he died on ______________ in the County of ______________, State of ______________.
That the name of the biological father of my child is (complete appropriate response):
Known to me and is (_________________________);
Known to me but I expressly decline to identify him because ________________________________; or
Unknown to me because
___________________________________________
___________________________________________
That the last known address of the biological father of my child is (complete appropriate response):
Known to me and is ________________________________;
Known to me but I expressly decline to provide his address because ________________________________; or
Unknown to me because
___________________________________________
___________________________________________ .
That, to the best of my knowledge, I (am) (am not) of American Indian heritage. If so:
(A) The name of my American Indian tribe is ______________ and the percentage of my American Indian blood is ______ percent.
(B) My relatives with American Indian blood are:
___________________________________________
___________________________________________
(C) I (am) (am not) a member of an American Indian tribe. If so, the name of the tribe is ____________________.
(D) I (am) (am not) registered with an American Indian tribal registry. If so, the American Indian tribal registry is: _______________________ and my registration or identification number is: ____________________________.
(E) A member of my family (is) (is not) a member of an American Indian tribe. If so, the name of each such family member is: ___________________ and the name of the corresponding American Indian tribe is: ____________________________.
(F) A member of my family (is) (is not) registered with an American Indian tribal registry. If so, the name of each such family member is: ___________________________________________ and the name of the corresponding American Indian tribal registry is: __________________________ and their corresponding registration or identification numbers are:____________________.
That to the best of my knowledge, the biological father (is) (is not) of American Indian heritage. If so:
(A) The name of his American Indian tribe is ______________ and the percentage of his American Indian blood is ______ percent.
(B) His relatives with American Indian blood are:
___________________________________________
___________________________________________
___________________________________________
(C) He (is) (is not) a member of an American Indian tribe. If so, the name of the tribe is:______________________________.
(D) He (is) (is not) registered with an American Indian tribal registry. If so, the American Indian tribal registry is: ___________________________ and his registration or identification number is: ___________________________.
That the date of birth of the biological father (was __________, ____) or (is not known to me).
That the biological father (is) (is not) on active duty in a branch of the United States armed forces. If so:
(A) The branch of his service is (Army) (Navy) (Marine) (Air Force) (Coast Guard).
(B) His rank is __________.
(C) His duty station is ____________________.
If applicable, please provide any additional available information regarding his military service.
___________________________________________
___________________________________________
___________________________________________ .
That the biological father of my child, whether or not identified herein (strike each inappropriate phrase):
(Was) (Was not) married to me at the time this child was conceived;
(Was) (Was not) married to me at any time during my pregnancy with this child;
(Was) (Was not) married to me at the time that this child was born;
(Did) (Did not) marry me after the child was born and recognize the child as his own;
(Has) (Has not) been determined to be the child´s father by a final paternity order of a court;
(Has) (Has not) legitimated the child by a final court order;
(Has) (Has not) lived with the child;
(Has) (Has not) contributed to its support;
(Has) (Has not) provided for my support during my pregnancy or hospitalization for the birth of the child;
(Has) (Has not) provided for my medical care during my pregnancy or hospitalization for the birth of the child; and
(Has) (Has not) made any attempt to legitimate the child.
That I have received or been promised the following financial assistance, either directly or indirectly, from whatever source, in connection with my pregnancy, the birth of my child, and its placement for adoption: ____________________________.
That I recognize that if I knowingly and willfully make a false statement in this affidavit, I will be guilty of the crime of false swearing.

_________________________
(Biological mother´s signature)
Sworn to and subscribed
before me this ________
day of ______________, ____.
___________________________
Notary public (SEAL)
My Commission Expires _____________.
(i) The affidavit of an adoptive mother required by subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-9 for the surrender of her rights shall meet the following requirements:
(1) The affidavit shall set forth:
(A) Her name;
(B) Her relationship to the child;
(C) Her age;
(D) Her marital status;
(E) The name and last known address of any spouse at the time the child was adopted and whether any such spouse also adopted the child or was the biological father of the child;
(F) The circumstances surrounding her adoption of her child, including the date the adoption was finalized, the state and county where finalized, and the name and address of the adoption agency, if any; and
(G) All financial assistance received by or promised her either directly or indirectly, from whatever source, in connection with the placement or arranging for the placement of her child for adoption (including the date, amount or value, description, payor, and payee), provided that financial assistance provided directly by the adoptive mother´s husband, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandfather, or grandmother need not be detailed and instead the adoptive mother need only state the nature of the assistance received.
(2) The affidavit shall be in substantially the following form:

ADOPTIVE MOTHER´S AFFIDAVIT

NOTICE TO MOTHER:

This is an important legal document which deals with your child´s right to have its legal father´s rights properly terminated. Understand that you are providing this affidavit under oath and that the information provided will be held in strict confidence and will be used only in connection with the adoption of your child.

STATE OF GEORGIA COUNTY OF ________

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned officer duly authorized to administer oaths, ______________, who, after having been sworn, deposes and says as follows:
That my name is ___________________________________________ .
That I am the adoptive mother of a (male) (female) child born (insert name of child) in the State of ________, County of ________ on (insert birthdate of child).
That I am ________ years of age, having been born in the State of ________, County of __________ on ______________.
That my marital status is (check the status and complete the appropriate information):
( ) Single, never having been married.
( ) Separated but not legally divorced; the name of my spouse is ______________; his last known address is ______________; we were married in the State of ________, County of __________ on ______________; we have been separated since ______________; my spouse (did) (did not) also adopt said child; my spouse (is) (is not) the biological father of said child.
( ) Divorced; the name of my previous spouse is ______________; we were married in the State of ________, County of __________ on ______________; his last known address is ______________; divorce granted in the State of ________, County of __________ on ______________; my previous spouse (did) (did not) also adopt said child; my previous spouse (is) (is not) the biological father of said child.
( ) Legally married; the name of my spouse is ______________; we were married in the State of ________, County of ________ on ______________; his last known address is ______________; my spouse (did) (did not) also adopt said child; my spouse (is) (is not) the biological father of said child.
( ) Married through common-law marriage relationship; the name of my spouse is ______________; his address is ______________; the date and place our relationship began is (date, county, state); my spouse (did) (did not) also adopt said child; my spouse (is) (is not) the biological father of said child.
( ) Widowed; the name of my deceased spouse is ______________; we were married in the State of ________, County of __________ on ________; he died on ______________ in the County of __________, State of ________; he (did) (did not) also adopt said child; and he (was) (was not) the biological father of said child.
That I adopted my child in the State of ________, County of __________;
That the final order of adoption was entered on ______________;
That there (was) (was not) an adoption agency involved in the placement of my child with me for adoption; and if so its name was _______________________, and its address is _______________________.
That I have received or been promised the following financial assistance, either directly or indirectly, from whatever source, in connection with my child´s placement for adoption: ______________.
That I recognize that if I knowingly and willfully make a false statement in this affidavit, I will be guilty of the crime of false swearing.

_________________
(Adoptive mother)
Sworn to and subscribed
before me this ________
day of __________, ____.
_____________
Notary public
(j) The affidavit of an agency or department representative required by subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-4 shall conform substantially to the following form:

AFFIDAVIT OF AGENCY OR
DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVE

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned officer duly authorized to administer oaths, _______________________, who, after having been sworn, deposes and says as follows:
That I am (position) of (department or agency).
That prior to the execution of the accompanying SURRENDER OF RIGHTS/FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION by __________________________, releasing and surrendering all of (his) (her) rights in a (male) (female) minor child born (insert name of child) on (insert birthdate of child), I reviewed with and explained to said individual all of the provisions of the surrender, and particularly the provisions which provide that the surrender is a full surrender of all rights to the child.
That based on my review and explanation to said individual, it is my opinion that said individual knowingly, intentionally, freely, and voluntarily executed the SURRENDER OF RIGHTS/FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION.

_______________________
(Agency representative)
Sworn to and subscribed
before me this ______ day
of ______________, ____.
_____________
Notary public
(k) The affidavit of a petitioner´s representative required by subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 shall conform substantially to the following form:

AFFIDAVIT OF PETITIONER´S REPRESENTATIVE

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned officer duly authorized to administer oaths, _______________________, who, after having been sworn, deposes and says as follows:
That my name is ________________________.
That my address is _______________________.
That prior to the execution of the accompanying SURRENDER OF RIGHTS/FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION by __________________________, releasing and surrendering all of (his) (her) rights in a (male) (female) minor child born (insert name of child) on (insert birthdate of child), I reviewed with and explained to said individual all of the provisions of the surrender, and particularly the provisions which provide that the surrender is a full surrender of all rights to the child.
That based on my review and explanation to said individual, it is my opinion that said individual knowingly, intentionally, freely, and voluntarily executed the SURRENDER OF RIGHTS/FINAL RELEASE FOR ADOPTION.

_____________________________
(Petitioner´s representative)
Sworn to and subscribed
before me this ______ day
of ______________, ____.
_____________
Notary public
(l) The parental consent to a stepparent adoption required by subsection (j) of Code Section 19-8-6 shall conform substantially to the following form:

PARENTAL CONSENT TO STEPPARENT ADOPTION

I, the undersigned, hereby consent that my spouse (insert name of spouse) adopt my (son) (daughter), (insert name of child), whose date of birth is ______________, and in so doing I in no way relinquish or surrender my parental rights to the child.
I further acknowledge service of a copy of the petition for adoption of the child as filed on behalf of my spouse, and I hereby consent to the granting of the prayers of the petition. I also waive all other and further service and notice of any kind and nature in connection with the proceedings.
This ______ day of ______________, ____.

_______________
(Parent)
__________________
Unofficial witness
_____________
Notary public

§ 19-8-27.  Postadoption contact agreements; definitions; procedure; jurisdiction; warnings; enforcement or termination; modification; costs and expenses of mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation

   (a) As used in this Code section, the term "birth relative" means:

   (1) A parent, biological father who is not the legal father, grandparent, brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister who is related by blood or marriage to a child who is being adopted or who has been adopted; or

   (2) A grandparent, brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister who is related by adoption to a child who is being adopted or who has been adopted.

(b) (1) An adopting parent or parents and birth relatives or an adopting parent or parents, birth relatives, and a child who is 14 years of age or older who is being adopted or who has been adopted may voluntarily enter into a written postadoption contact agreement to permit continuing contact between such birth relatives and such child. A child who is 14 years of age or older shall be considered a party to a postadoption contact agreement.

   (2) A postadoption contact agreement may provide for privileges regarding a child who is being adopted or who has been adopted, including, but not limited to, visitation with such child, contact with such child, sharing of information about such child, or sharing of information about birth relatives.

   (3) In order to be an enforceable postadoption contact agreement, such agreement shall be in writing and signed by all of the parties to such agreement acknowledging their consent to its terms and conditions.

   (4) Enforcement, modification, or termination of a postadoption contact agreement shall be under the continuing jurisdiction of the court that granted the petition of adoption; provided, however, that the parties to a postadoption contact agreement may expressly waive the right to enforce, modify, or terminate such agreement under this Code section.

   (5) Any party to the postadoption contact agreement may, at any time, file the original postadoption contact agreement with the court that has or had jurisdiction over the adoption if such agreement provides for the court to enforce such agreement or such agreement is silent as to the issue of enforcement.

(c) A postadoption contact agreement shall contain the following warnings in at least 14 point boldface type:

   (1) After the entry of a decree for adoption, an adoption cannot be set aside due to the failure of an adopting parent, a birth parent, a birth relative, or the child to follow the terms of this agreement or a later change to this agreement; and

   (2) A disagreement between the parties or litigation brought to enforce, terminate, or modify this agreement shall not affect the validity of the adoption and shall not serve as a basis for orders affecting the custody of the child.

(d) (1) As used in this subsection, the term "parties" means the individuals who signed the postadoption contact agreement currently in effect, including the child if he or she is 14 years of age or older at the time of the action regarding such agreement, but such term shall exclude any third-party beneficiary to such agreement.

   (2) A postadoption contact agreement may always be modified or terminated if the parties have voluntarily signed a written modified postadoption contact agreement or termination of a postadoption contact agreement. A modified postadoption contact agreement may be filed with the court if such agreement provides for the court to enforce such agreement or such agreement is silent as to the issue of enforcement.

(e) With respect to postadoption contact agreements that provide for court enforcement or termination or are silent as to such matters, any party, as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (d) of this Code section, may file a petition to enforce or terminate such agreement with the court that granted the petition of adoption, and the court shall enforce the terms of such agreement or terminate such agreement if such court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the enforcement or termination is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.

(f) With respect to postadoption contact agreements that provide for court modification or are silent as to modification, only the adopting parent or parents may file a petition seeking modification. Such petition shall be filed with the court that granted the petition of adoption, and the court shall modify such agreement if such court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child and there has been a material change of circumstances since the current postadoption contact agreement was executed.

(g) A court may require the party seeking modification, termination, or enforcement of a postadoption contact agreement to participate in mediation or other appropriate alternative dispute resolution.

(h) All reasonable costs and expenses of mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation shall be borne by the party, other than the child, filing the action to enforce, modify, or terminate a postadoption contact agreement when no party has been found by the court as failing to comply with an existing postadoption contact agreement. Otherwise, a party, other than the child, found by the court as failing to comply without good cause with an existing postadoption contact agreement shall bear all the costs and expenses of mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation of the other party.

(i) A court shall not set aside a decree of adoption, rescind a surrender, or modify an order to terminate parental rights or any other prior court order because of the failure of an adoptive parent, a birth relative, or the child to comply with any or all of the original terms of, or subsequent modifications to, a postadoption contact agreement.

 

§ 19-8-40.  Definitions

   As used in this article, the term:

   (1) "Embryo" or "human embryo" means an individual fertilized ovum of the human species from the single-cell stage to eight-week development.

   (2) "Embryo relinquishment" or "legal transfer of rights to an embryo" means the relinquishment of rights and responsibilities by the person or persons who hold the legal rights and responsibilities for an embryo and the acceptance of such rights and responsibilities by a recipient intended parent.

   (3) "Embryo transfer" means the medical procedure of physically placing an embryo into the uterus of a female.

   (4) "Legal embryo custodian" means the person or persons who hold the legal rights and responsibilities for a human embryo and who relinquishes said embryo to another person or persons.

   (5) "Recipient intended parent" means a person or persons who receive a relinquished embryo and who accepts full legal rights and responsibilities for such embryo and any child that may be born as a result of embryo transfer.

§ 19-8-41.  Release of responsibility by legal embryo custodian; procedures; presumption of parentage

   (a) A legal embryo custodian may relinquish all rights and responsibilities for an embryo to a recipient intended parent prior to embryo transfer. A written contract shall be entered into between each legal embryo custodian and each recipient intended parent prior to embryo transfer for the legal transfer of rights to an embryo and to any child that may result from the embryo transfer. The contract shall be signed by each legal embryo custodian for such embryo and by each recipient intended parent in the presence of a notary public and a witness. Initials or other designations may be used if the parties desire anonymity. The contract may include a written waiver by the legal embryo custodian of notice and service in any legal adoption or other parentage proceeding which may follow.

(b) If the embryo was created using donor gametes, the sperm or oocyte donors who irrevocably relinquished their rights in connection with in vitro fertilization shall not be entitled to any notice of the embryo relinquishment, nor shall their consent to the embryo relinquishment be required.

(c) Upon embryo relinquishment by each legal embryo custodian pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, the legal transfer of rights to an embryo shall be considered complete, and the embryo transfer shall be authorized.

(d) A child born to a recipient intended parent as the result of embryo relinquishment pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall be presumed to be the legal child of the recipient intended parent; provided that each legal embryo custodian and each recipient intended parent has entered into a written contract.

§ 19-8-42.  Petition for expedited order of adoption or parentage; notice; waiver of technical requirements

   (a) Prior to the birth of a child or following the birth of a child, a recipient intended parent may petition the superior court for an expedited order of adoption or parentage. In such cases, the written contract between each legal embryo custodian and each recipient intended parent shall be acceptable in lieu of a surrender of rights.

(b) All petitions under this article shall be filed in the county in which any petitioner or any respondent resides.

(c) The court shall give effect to any written waiver of notice and service in the legal proceeding for adoption or parentage.

(d) In the interest of justice, to promote the stability of embryo transfers, and to promote the interests of children who may be born following such embryo transfers, the court in its discretion may waive such technical requirements as the court deems just and proper.

§ 19-8-43.  Finality of orders of adoption or parentage

   Upon a filing of a petition for adoption or parentage and the court finding that such petition meets the criteria required by this article, an expedited order of adoption or parentage shall be issued and shall be a final order. Such order shall terminate any future parental rights and responsibilities of any past or present legal embryo custodian or gamete donor in a child which results from the embryo transfer and shall vest such rights and responsibilities in the recipient intended parent.

 

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Cities in 

Georgia
A
Acworth Adairsville Adel Albany Alma Alpharetta Americus Ashburn Athens Atlanta Augusta Austell
B
Bainbridge Barnesville Baxley Blackshear Blairsville Blakely Blue Ridge Bogart Bremen Brunswick Buford Byron
C
Cairo Calhoun Camilla Canton Carrollton Cartersville Cedartown Chatsworth Chickamauga Clarkesville Clarkston Claxton Clayton Cleveland Cochran Colquitt Columbus Commerce Conyers Cordele Cornelia Covington Cumming
D
Dacula Dahlonega Dallas Dalton Darien Dawson Dawsonville Decatur Donalsonville Douglas Douglasville Dublin Duluth
E
Eastman Eatonton Elberton Ellijay Evans
F
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G
Gainesville Glennville Gray Greensboro Griffin Grovetown
H
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J
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K
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L
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M
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N
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P
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Q
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R
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S
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T
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U
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V
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W
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