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Who is eligible to adopt children in Georgia?

Raising children is an integral part of many people's lives. As a society, there is a necessity to nurture and socialize young people so that they are ready to become productive adults and continue to push for society's future progress. While not everyone chooses to have children, there are those who do, and for one or more of a myriad of reasons, are not capable of raising those offspring.

Conversely, there are people who wish to have their own children, but cannot. This is why, as part of the social and legal structure of our community, a framework has been put in place to find a way to meet the needs of both the children whose biological parents cannot raise them, and the wishes of those would-be parents who can't have their own children. This legal framework is that of adoption. Legal adoption is the process of creating a new family unit that is recognized by society and government.

In Georgia, there are a few foundational legal requirements that must be met before someone can be eligible to become an adoptive parent. The Georgia Division of Family and Children's Services' website sets out the basic eligibility qualifications for public adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents in Georgia must be at least 10 years older than the children they are adopting, and must either be married and living with their spouses, or single and at least 25 years old. Also, to file a petition for adoption in Georgia, one must have been a bona fide resident of the state for at least six months.

It is important to note that these are only minimum threshold requirements that qualify a person to attempt an adoption. There are many more factors that will be involved, as the state's purpose is to place children in stable, permanent homes where parents are committed to meeting all of the children's needs.

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