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How to Adopt a Child in Georgia [Infographic]

November 7, 2017

November is Adoption Awareness Month in Georgia.

Right now, there are about 13,500 children in Georgia foster care and 350 children available for adoption.

In 2016, we saw 1,034 children adopted from the State of Georgia — that’s 22.7% more adoptions than in 2015! Let’s continue the trend through 2017 and into the new year, finding “forever families” for every child in need.

“Every child deserves to grow up in a loving and nurturing family, with adults to help guide each child to a happy and productive life …”

Adoption Awareness Month Proclamation (PDF)

By providing children with safe and nurturing homes, we’re sure to see them grow to their full potential as the next generation of Georgia’s leaders.

How to Adopt a Child in Georgia

Adoption is the social and legal process that gives adopted children the same rights as those born into the family.

Are you considering adding to your family through adoption?

Check out our infographic for an overview of the process, or skip to the text version of this graphic.

Graphical representation of the text provided in this blog

With the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, the process may be quicker than you think; from inquiry to finalization, adopting a child from the state typically takes only 4-10 months!

Start

You’ve thought about adoption, talked about adoption, and now it’s time to get serious about adoption.

Step 1: Inquiry

The first step is simple. Just call 1-877-210-KIDS (5437) to get in touch with the Division of Family and Children Services. You’ll answer some basic questions, and they’ll set you in the right direction for Step 2.

Set Up

Next, you and the Division of Family and Children Services learn about each other and prepare for a successful experience.

Step 2: Info Session

Meet with the Division of Family and Children Services to:

  • Learn about the process
  • Learn about requirements
  • See photos of available children.

After the session, take some time to consider what you learned before moving to the next step.

Step 3: Training

Next, you’ll attend a total 24 hours of classes focused on “IMPACT”:

  • Initial interest
  • Mutual selection
  • Pre-service training
  • Assessment
  • Continuing development
  • Teamwork

This is a great time for you to learn about the experience of adopting a child and what that means for your family.

Step 4: Family Evaluation

A case manager evaluates your family by:

  • Visiting your home
  • Gathering information (from medical reports, criminal records checks, financial statements, etc.)
  • Speaking with you and your family

The case manager will submit the complete evaluation and you are approved.

And that’s it for official preparation!

Find Your Child

Now, it’s time to find your child.

Step 5: Pre-Placement

This is the waiting period between your approval and the union of you and your child. This time varies from one family to the next, but if you identify a child it can go faster. To take an active part in finding your child, you can review available children online and attend adoption parties and match meetings.

Step 6: Placement

Now, either you inquire about a child who you’re interested in, or you are selected for consideration. If everyone agrees that this might be a good match, you’ll learn more about the child, ask your questions, and then visit with the child several times.

If everything goes well, you’ll sign a placement agreement and the child will join your family!

Adopt

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Let’s make this official!

Step 7: Finalization

In this last step, you legally adopt your child in a court hearing. Congratulations!

Spread the Word this Adoption Awareness Month

Maybe adoption isn’t right for your family. We understand it’s not for everyone!

But if you want to change the life of even one child, please share this information with someone who might need it to move from contemplation to action. Adoption can look intimidating at the start, but there are plenty of resources just waiting to help and it’s well worth it.

Focusing on Older Children in Need of Forever Families

The theme for this month is “Teens Need Families, No Matter What.” Check out Director Bobby Cagle’s call to action video and learn more with the Division of Family and Children Service’s press release kicking off the month.

Resources

Division of Family and Children Service’s information on Adoption

Child Welfare Information Gateway’s Information on Adoption

Facts About Adoption [Infographic]

Rachel Hart

About the Author

Rachel Hart is the User Experience Designer for Digital Services Georgia. On Georgia.gov, she makes government material approachable with writing, infographics, videos, and other imagery.

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November is National Adoption Month – a time to raise awareness about the need for adoptive families for the children in Georgia’s care. There are an estimated 7,600 foster care children in Georgia that are in need of loving homes and families.

The decision to become an adoptive parent requires great consideration and a welcoming heart. These individuals desire to make a difference in someone’s life. There is a need for foster and adoptive parents for children of all ages; however, the greatest need in Georgia is for older children, sibling groups and the medically fragile.