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What to expect from the adoption process

If you've decided it's time to expand your family, you may be interested in learning about the process for adoption. Not all adoptions are the same, but many follow this process when they're done through the Department of Human Resources.

Adoption laws vary depending on where you are, but Georgia allows for any child at least 10 years younger than the adopter to be adopted. Georgia also does not require home residency before the adoption can be finalized, making it easier for potential adopters to adopt or foster children.

Adoptions have seven steps overall, which can be broken down into a number of activities. The first, inquiry, is where you start the adoption process by contacting the Department of Human Services. You'll need to attend an interview with the case manager, where you'll discuss your interest in being an adoptive parent.

Next, you'll be shown more about the adoption process at orientation. You will be shown some photos of available children to review and learn the requirements you'll need to meet to adopt.

You are required to have 20 hours of classroom training through the IMPACT program before you can adopt. Following this program, you'll be able to be evaluated by the DHS and find out if your family can legally adopt.

After this, pre-placement and placement take place. In pre-placement situations, you can spend time with the child early before a full placement. Finally, if placement works well for your situation, the adoption can be finalized. All contracts are legally binding, so remember that you do have a right to have an attorney review any documents you're signing.

Source: FindLaw, "Georgia Adoption Laws," accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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