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Who can adopt a child in Georgia?

There are some general requirements for those who want to adopt. First, any single person or married couple is typically eligible to adopt as long as the age restrictions and residency requirements are met. For instance, in Kentucky or New Jersey, you need to be 18 to adopt. In Colorado, you have to be 21. In other states, like Georgia, you have to be 25.

Is it fair to have to wait until you're 25 to adopt in Georgia, when you can do so earlier on in other states?

There are exceptions to the rules above, so all is not lost if you're not old enough by law in the state. For example, if you are only 16 and are the father of a child, then you could adopt that child and accept your paternal rights, or if you are married to an adult adoptive parent who is 26 while you're younger than 25, you could be allowed to adopt the child early as well. Each situation is different, but your attorney can help you navigate the adoption process and laws that apply to your case.

Do you have to be a resident to adopt?

You likely will need to be a resident of the state where you want to adopt; you may be able to adopt through an agency if you are not a resident of the state, though. Part of the reason residency is required before adoption is because it helps make sure the people adopting have a permanent residency and home where the child will live.

Source: FindLaw, "Who May Adopt: Overview," accessed June 02, 2016

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