Terminating parental rights is a serious legal action that permanently ends the legal relationship between a parent and child.
This process is governed by specific laws and rules, which vary from state to state.
In Georgia, there are certain grounds for termination of parental rights, and understanding these can be crucial for those involved in such cases.
If you’ve wondered what are the grounds to terminate parental rights, especially as it applies to your Georgia grandparent adoption, then we’ll look at this deeper here, in this article.
Let’s dive right in.
Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights in Georgia
In Georgia, the surrender of parental rights is not necessary for a grandparent to adopt a grandchild under OCGA 19-8-10.
However, it must be proven that either subsection (a) or (b) applies, as detailed below, in order for the Court to grant a termination of parental rights.
OCGA 19-8-10 Subsection (a) Requirements
Subsection (a) of OCGA 19-8-10 states that the surrender or termination of rights of a living parent is not required for a grandparent to adopt a grandchild if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that certain conditions apply.
- The child has been abandoned by the parent.
- The parent cannot be found after a diligent search.
- The parent is incapacitated, rendering them unable to surrender their rights.
- The child was conceived as a result of nonconsensual sexual intercourse with the biological mother, or when the biological mother is less than ten years of age.
- The parent has failed to exercise proper parental care or control due to misconduct or inability (based on standards set forth in the Georgia Juvenile Code).
- …and the court believes the adoption is in the best interests of the child, considering their physical, mental, emotional, and moral condition and needs, including the need for a secure and stable home.
In order to prove this, you must have evidence to support each reason.
OCGA 19-8-10 Subsection (b) Requirements
Subsection (b) of OCGA 19-8-10 states that a parent’s surrender of rights is not required for a grandparent to adopt a grandchild if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has significantly failed, without justifiable cause, for a period of one year or longer immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption, to:
- Communicate or make a meaningful, supportive, parental effort to communicate with the child.
- Provide for the care and support of the child as required by law or judicial decree.
Again, the court must deem the adoption in the best interests of the child, considering their physical, mental, emotional, and moral condition and needs, including the need for a secure and stable home.
If applicable, we at Your Law Firm will include multiple reasons for termination if we believe there is evidence to support the same.
These include reasons from both subsection (a) and (b).
Remember – in order to prove any of the reasons listed, you must show it by clear and convincing evidence.
We highly recommend you partner with an experienced GA grandparent adoption attorney to bring your termination of parental rights case, as they’ll be able to make sure your case is as sound as possible.
How to Win a Termination of Parental Rights Case
Winning a termination of parental rights case, specifically for a Georgia grandparent adoption, requires a thorough understanding of the laws and requirements outlined above.
It also necessitates strong legal representation, solid evidence supporting the grounds for termination, and a compelling argument that the adoption serves the child’s best interests.
It is highly recommended to seek professional legal advice to navigate this complex process and maximize the chances of a successful outcome.
If you’re in the North Georgia or Atlanta area and want to speak more with us at Your Law Firm about your case, give us a call. We’re here to serve and be an advocate fighting in your corner the whole way.
Understanding the specific grounds to terminate parental rights in Georgia and how to win a termination of parental rights case is critical for those involved in grandparent adoption cases.
The law under OCGA 19-8-10 provides stringent requirements that must be met to ensure the child’s best interests are at the forefront.
It’s a complex process that requires professional legal guidance.
By being informed and prepared, you can navigate this legal journey with confidence and clarity.
Remember, every case is unique and requires an individualized approach, and while this article provides a general overview, it should not substitute for personalized legal advice.