accomplishments

Mr. Hammond served in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he received 9 medals including a Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He has been practicing law since 1996 with an exclusive focus on military law, criminal law, and family law.

What is the process for a grandparent to adopt a grandchild?

Learn more about how a grandparent can adopt a grandchild in Georgia. Find out the requirements and steps to take.

There are many situations where a grandparent may raise a grandchild in Georgia. If the child's parents are not in the picture or otherwise unable to properly raise the child, the grandparent may decide to adopt him or her. Adoption is a commitment and requires the grandparent to assume legal responsibility until the child is 18 years old, just as a parent would. Sometimes, though, this is the only solution to ensure the well-being of a child.

Steps to take

If a grandparent wants to adopt a grandchild, Our Everyday Life explains he or she should begin with getting a lawyer. Having proper representation and someone to assist with the process will make things easier in the long run for everyone.

The next step is to get the consent of the parents if possible. Both parents must waive their parental rights for an adoption to occur. Sometimes, parents are not willing to do this, so the court may have to step in and make a ruling to terminate the rights.

Next, the grandparent needs to complete the proper paperwork and submit to home inspections and other requirements to begin the process. The court will gather all the needed information and documentation and make a final ruling.

Important information about grandparent adoption

Grandfamilies.org states that about 42,000 grandparents care for grandchildren without help from parents in Georgia. In addition, about 219,000 children live with grandparents with no parents present. Grandparents who choose to adopt a grandchild may have plenty of assistance. Financial benefits may be available. There are also numerous support groups to assist with emotional and psychological needs.

The Department of Human Services notes adoption creates a legal parent/child relationship, which gives the grandparent all rights to make decisions and raise the child. It ends the legal relationship with the parents.

Eligibility

If a person wants to adopt in Georgia, he or she must be at least 25 years old and 10 years older than the child, which should not be an issue in a grandparent adoption. He or she also must live in the state for at least the six months prior to the adoption and have the ability to care for the child's needs. Finally, if the grandparent is married, his or her spouse must also adopt the child.

If you are a grandparent who wants to adopt your grandchild, then you should contact an experienced attorney, such as Shawn P. Hammond and Associates. This first step can help you to get through the process easier.