Understanding the Cost and Process of Terminating Parental Rights for Grandparent Adoption in Georgia
How much does it cost to terminate parental rights in Georgia, particularly in the context of a grandparent adoption?
This question is common among grandparents considering adopting their grandchildren.
It’s crucial to understand that the costs can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case and legal fees.
Let’s take a closer look.
How Much Does It Cost to Terminate Parental Rights in GA?
The cost to terminate parental rights in Georgia specifically for a grandparent adoption can range widely.
Legal fees are the most significant portion of these costs, typically ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 (note – this does not include the other costs associated with legal fees and adoption. We also have a post on how much it costs to adopt your grandchild, here, for more information).
However, if the case becomes contested or particularly complex, these fees can escalate.
Complexities that can arise and increase costs are:
- You cannot locate one or both parents.
- More than one person comes forth as the child’s father – whether biological or legal.
- A biological father who is not the legal father files for legitimation (you then must fight the legitimation first).
- You had a voluntary surrender of parental rights, but the parent revoked the surrender during the 4-day window they have to do so.
How to Give Up Parental Rights and Not Pay Child Support in Georgia
In Georgia, a parent cannot simply give up their rights to avoid paying child support.
Courts prioritize the best interests of the child, and financial support is part of this consideration.
However, in cases of grandparent adoption, if the parent voluntarily terminates their rights, they may no longer be obligated to pay child support, provided the adoption goes through.
How to Voluntarily Terminate Parental Rights in Georgia
Voluntary termination of parental rights in a Georgia grandparent adoption requires a two-step process.
First, the parent must give written consent to the termination.
Second, the parent must not revoke their surrender within the 4 day window after signing.
If the parent does not revoke the surrender, then it is valid, and you can present it to the court to support your adoption petition.
Please note that the court must still decide whether it is in the best interest of the child for the adoption to be granted – it’s not enough that the parents have surrendered their rights.
Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights in Georgia Forms
The necessary forms for voluntary termination of parental rights include a notarized statement of surrender of rights and a petition for termination.
These forms should be filed with the local county court where the child resides.
Additionally, the forms can be found in OCGA § 19-8-26. Make sure you read and use the correct forms for the correct parents.
Petition to Terminate Parental Rights Georgia
A petition to terminate parental rights in Georgia is a formal request submitted to the court.
You would do this if you do not have a voluntary surrender of rights in your Georgia grandparent adoption.
It outlines the reasons for seeking termination and provides evidence supporting these reasons.
Paperwork to Terminate Parental Rights
The paperwork to terminate parental rights in Georgia includes the petition for termination, a statement of surrender of rights, and any supporting documentation, such as evidence of abuse or neglect.
Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights in Georgia
Grounds for termination of parental rights in Georgia include parental misconduct or inability, abandonment, failure to communicate, or abuse.
The court must find clear and convincing evidence of these grounds.
To read more on what these grounds are and how to prove them, check out our post “Grounds to Terminate Parental Rights”.
Estimated Cost for Terminating Parental Rights in a GA Grandparent Adoption
The estimated cost for terminating parental rights in a Georgia grandparent adoption, as we stated early, typically ranges from $2,500 to $5,000 but can increase if the case is contested or complex.
This estimate includes legal fees but does not cover additional costs like home studies or post-placement reports.
It also does not include the legal fees for the rest of the adoption case – which can go up to $15,000 or even more – but is just for the fees associated with terminating the parents’ rights.
Terminating parental rights in Georgia, particularly for a grandparent adoption, involves several steps and costs.
It’s advisable to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through the process and ensure the best possible outcome for the child.
If you’re in the North Georgia or Atlanta area, feel free to reach out to us here at Your Law Firm – we’d love to partner with you on your Georgia grandparent adoption case.