Understanding the concept of termination of parental rights by adopting grandparent in the state of Georgia is crucial for families who are navigating this complex legal terrain of grandparent adoption.
If the parents are contesting the adoption, you must bring a petition to terminate the rights of your grandchild’s parents, and then you must argue why the rights should be terminated, based on the legal grounds to do so.
If the parents agree to you adopting your grandchild, then you need to obtain the correct forms of surrender of parental rights from the parents, and you must wait the four days allowed by law during which the parents can revoke their surrender of rights.
Once the parent’s rights have been terminated, then you can move forward with your adoption petition – but only after the rights are terminated.
Let’s take a closer look at this important part of Georgia grandparent adoption.
What is Termination of Parental Rights Georgia?
Termination of parental rights in Georgia refers to a legal process where a court ends the legal relationship between a parent and their child.
This termination can be either voluntary or involuntary, depending on the circumstances of the case.
After the termination, the parent loses all legal rights and responsibilities towards the child, including the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing and the obligation to provide financial support.
If an adoption petition is pending, like with a grandparent adoption, then the grandparents will be able to have their adoption hearing with the court, after the parent’s rights have been terminated.
If there is no adoption pending, then usually a child will go into foster care after the parent’s rights have been terminated.
Petition to Terminate Parental Rights Georgia
The process of termination begins with filing a petition to terminate parental rights in a Georgia court.
This petition can be initiated by a grandparent intending to adopt their grandchild, the Department of Family and Child Services (DFCS), or another party with a legitimate interest in the child’s welfare.
The petition must clearly articulate the reasons for seeking termination and provide evidence supporting these grounds.
Then, a court date must be set and the petition served on the parents along with notice of the court date.
Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights in Georgia
Georgia law outlines specific grounds for termination of parental rights.
These include, but are not limited to, abandonment, abuse, neglect, mental illness or deficiency of the parent, persistent conduct detrimental to the child’s well-being, or failure to comply with a court-ordered plan designed to reunite the parent and child.
How to Win a Termination of Parental Rights Case in Georgia
Winning a termination of parental rights case in Georgia requires demonstrating to the court that the grounds for termination exist by law by clear and convincing evidence, and that the termination is in the best interest of the child.
This often involves presenting compelling evidence of the grounds for termination and outlining a plan for the child’s future care and stability, such as adoption by a grandparent.
Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights in Georgia Forms
In cases where a parent voluntarily surrenders their rights, they must complete specific forms to formalize the voluntary termination of parental rights in Georgia.
These forms detail the parent’s understanding of the implications of termination and their willingness to relinquish their rights.
If you are working with a Georgia grandparent adoption attorney, like with us at Your Law Firm, we will prepare these forms for you, based on the requirements of Georgia law.
If you’re interested in learning more about the forms, they are found in OCGA § 19-8-26 “Forms”.
Cost to Sign Over Parental Rights in Georgia
The cost to sign over parental rights in Georgia can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether or not an attorney is involved.
Costs may include court filing fees, attorney’s fees, and costs associated with serving the other parent with notice of the petition.
However, the cost for a voluntary surrender of rights is much lower than if you must petition the court to terminate the parent’s rights.
In your Georgia grandparent adoption, we at Your Law Firm try to obtain voluntary surrenders if at all possible first, to help make the process go as smoothly and as cost-effective as possible.
Georgia DFCS Termination of Parental Rights
Georgia DFCS plays a crucial role in cases involving termination of parental rights, particularly when child abuse or neglect is involved.
The department may initiate termination proceedings if it believes that doing so will best protect the child’s welfare.
If you’re a grandparent in Georgia and your grandchildren’s parents are going through a termination of parental rights proceedings in DFCS, you may wish to be there to adopt your grandchildren if and when the rights are terminated.
To learn more about how to step in to be able to adopt after a DFCS termination of parental rights, feel free to reach out to us here at Your Law Firm. We’re here to serve.
The termination of parental rights by adopting grandparent in Georgia is a legal process designed to safeguard the child’s best interests and give them the best future possible.
Navigating this process requires a clear understanding of Georgia’s laws and procedures, and often the assistance of an experienced grandparent adoption attorney.
If you’re interested in this part of the grandparent adoption journey and wish to know more, contact us at Your Law Firm. We’ll be happy to help any way we can.