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Requirements to begin a Georgia stepparent adoption

People go through many changes throughout their lives. This is no different for parents. Sometimes, parents get divorced or were never married and split up. After, life does not end for the parents and many find new partners later down the road. Some will even remarry. Usually in these circumstances, the children will form bonds with stepparents over time, as they can be a big part of their lives.

The stepparent may even eventually start to take over the role of parent, if the biological or legal parent is not a big part of the child's life. The parents and the child may want the stepparent to adopt the child, which would terminate the biological or legal parent's rights to the child. But, for the adoption to happen, the other parent must consent and sign the appropriate paperwork. In addition, if the child is 14 or older, the child must also consent.

If the parent does not consent to the adoption, there is still a way that the adoption can occur. Consent is not necessary in certain situations. These circumstances include if a parent abandoned the child, cannot be located, is insane or incapacitated or for a period of one year prior to filing the petition: has not made any attempts to contact the child, has not provided the care and support required by an order and the judge believes it is in the best interest of the child to be adopted.

Many children find themselves in different familial situations in Georgia. Sometimes, a stepparent is closer to the child and provides more care than their biological or legal parent. In these situations, a stepparent adoption may be appropriate. This can be a complicated process and utilizing experienced attorneys may be an option.

Source:, "Georgia Code Title 19. Domestic Relations § 19-8-10," accessed on June 12, 2017

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