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
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.
GALAA member agencies are all licensed child placing adoption agencies and can provide Home Study services. Please be mindful that specific requirements and fees may vary based upon the evaluator and type of adoption i.e. Special Needs, Domestic, or International.
You can contact any of the listed agencies who can provide information about the type(s) of adoption they facilitate and any specific requirement.
Your agency or attorney will guide you as to the specific basic requirements they have for adoption. Here are the ones required by the State of Georgia when adopting through foster care system.
All prospective caregivers must complete the 23 hour IMPACT-FCP course to become approved caregivers here in the state of Georgia. IMPACT FCP is a pre-service training program used to prepare prospective foster and adoptive families for their role and to expose them to the basic skills and competencies needed to begin providing foster and adoptive care. IMPACT FCP involves an instructive approach to preparing families. The curriculum includes an assortment of visual aids, audio-visuals, role-play, and vignettes, to support the acquisition of skills and competencies. Woven throughout the training will be applicable references to cultural and disciplinary issues related to caring for children in placement. Upon completion, participants must demonstrate at least minimal mastery and internalization of the skills and competencies presented.
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.
Currently the state of Georgia does not have a centralized Child Abuse Registry. This is an ongoing process in which the State is working to create a concise system for record checks.