Adoption Requirements

FOSTER CARE ADOPTIONS

Decide whether you wish to adopt through DFCS directly or with the assistance of a Child Placing Agency

Complete Georgia's state-required IMPACT training, which prepares you for foster care adoption

Complete home study

Complete any agency-required training

You are matched to a child, and then can meet him or her to decide whether you and the child feel comfortable with the match

A visitation period allows you to get to know the child 

After a six month placement period you can finalize your adoption

HOME STUDY

To adopt a child from the foster care system in the state of Georgia, you must be:

  • At least 25 years of age, if single and ten years older than the child to be placed

  • Married and living with spouse and ten years older than the child to be placed

  • A bona fide resident for 6 months prior to filing petition

 

Senate Bill 172 requires an Adoption Home Study be completed for all prospective adoptive families prior to a child(ren) joining their family. The purpose of the Home Study is to educate, assess/evaluate the family’s capacity and suitability to meet the needs of a child ren), as well as guide families with making an informed decision regarding current family dynamics and readiness to expand their family through adoption. The home study evaluator can be a licensed child placing agency, the Department of Family and Children Services, or a licensed professional.

​DOMESTIC ADOPTIONS

  • Domestic adoptions include private and open adoptions. 

  • Determine whether you need a private attorney or an adoption agency

  • Speak with an adoption counselor to clarify your desires and eligibility

  • Determine your desired level of openness with the birth family

  • Complete a home study

  • Complete any agency-required training

  • If you are chosen by a birth mother, you may get to know her or may not

  • Meet your child (Placement)

  • Complete post-placement reports with your agency

  • Your adoption is finalized in court

BACKGROUND CHECKS

The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 requires criminal record checks of any prospective foster or adoptive parent. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 requires a fingerprint-based check of a national crime information database before any prospective foster or adoptive parent may be approved for placement of a child. These checks must be conducted in every State in which each individual lived during the previous five years. Additionally the State of Georgia conducts a Child Protective Services screening to ensure the applicant does not have a record of child abuse or neglect.

There are additional criminal background checks that are conducted upon a person’s application to become a foster or adoptive parent. These background checks include searches of the: National Sex Offender Public Website, Georgia Sex Offender Registry, Georgia Department of Corrections, and Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. These checks are also run for each state in which an individual has lived within the previous five years. All background checks are required for any adult living in the home.

*Please be mindful that specific requirements and fees may vary based upon the evaluator and type of adoption i.e. Special Needs, or Domestic.