Elawyers Elawyers
Virginia| Change
Asked in Stockbridge, GA Nov. 21, 2011 ,  4 answers Visitors: 20
Adopting our 8 month old grandchild with mothers consent, father unknown
Tag:  Show more
Data From  AVVO

4 Answers

Anonymous
Reply

Posted on / Nov. 22, 2011 19:59:37

It sounds like you are trying to do this yourself, and even worse, trying to do it Henry County, which is very strict on paperwork. The paperwork needed must be exact and tailormade to the case, especially when seeking termination of a father's rights. It is not a do-it-yourself project. You really need to sit down with a lawyer rather than getting in the middle of a case and having it fall apart. You need FAR more than a mothers consent, affidavit and and petition. Feel free to call me to discuss details (404-768-3509).

Anonymous
Reply

Posted on / Nov. 21, 2011 20:02:10

It sounds as if you are trying to do the whole thing by yourself without an attorney.

I would advise against that.

I sympathize; but I still advise against it.

I predict that when you go to the clerk's office to file the petition, one or more people in the clerk's office will try to tell you you shouldn't do it on your own without an attorney. You may feel like that's alarmist falderol you needn't be concerned with because it is just part of the "machine" trying to suck you in. Then, when you finally get a hearing with the judge, the judge will also say you need an attorney and won't grant it as is. You may REALLY be angry at "THE SYSTEM" then, but you'll be stuck.

If you think "THE SYSTEM" is a big scam, think again. The reason for all this is that the law takes parental rights VERY seriously. (Even if the father himself arguably has not.) It takes a court order to alter parental rights to a child --- both terminating existing parental rights and granting new adoptive parental rights. The adoption horror stories that appear on TV mostly arise from people trying to terminate someone's parental rights without giving them enough notice, and courts making the mistake of going along with that. Then the "missing" parent shows up and demands a hearing --- the hearing that was not given before. It's a nightmare for everyone involved, but ESPECIALLY for the child. ESPECIALLY the child.

Or maybe you just fear the legal fees will be high --- and they are NOT minimal. Doing what you are trying to do is a bigger deal than it may seem.

I have been a lawyer since 1983. When I started doing just adoption in 2003, I had hopes of just advising people who wanted pretty much to do their own adoptions. If adoptions occurred frequently, maybe that would make sense. But they do not. And advising someone how to do such a deceptively complicated matter would take me longer than doing it myself. Also, if I give advice, and something goes wrong, guess whose malpractice insurance is going to be called on. Mine.

YOU cannot get insurance against doing something wrong. If something fouls up on you, you'll be stuck with the consequences. If you hire a lawyer, there will (most likely) be insurance to protect you from goofs. Mine would. Probably couldn't "fix" what's gone wrong, but at least it would compensate you.

I have answered many questions here, for free (and I mean in the hundreds). But your case is too complicated to direct you from this distance --- I see at least 3 things wrong that don't even have to do with your question. And if you DO allow a lawyer close enough to render real help, ... we cannot work for free (as opposed to just answering a question here or there for free). (And you should find a lawyer with adoption experience, not just any lawyer. Because it IS deceptively complex.)

You have a perfect right, BTW, to do it on your own without an attorney. You also have the right to put a new transmission in your car by yourself. If you have the time and tools necessary to do either, have at it. It could save you a bundle. (And with enough time and perseverance, you just might "get away with it." Fine.) Otherwise, neither is advisable, and it is too risky for a lawyer just to sing out a few tips from the sidelines. I cannot even begin to answer your question without telling you that you're probably taking a bigger risk than you think, and that it is probably a risk you shouldn't be taking at all.

I know that doesn't "answer" your question. Sorry. But advice is: Hire a lawyer. Your grandson deserves that. (And if you think THIS is too expensive, wait till he wants to drive!)

God Bless!

Anonymous
Reply

Posted on / Nov. 21, 2011 19:11:39

There are a number of documents that need to be filed in an adoption proceeding, either at the time of the initial petition or throughout the case. Without knowing all of what you have provided in, or attached to, the petition, it is not possible to tell you if you have everything "covered".

If you are not confident that you know precisely what you are doing, you should retain an attorney to assist you. Grandparent adoptions may be simple, but they are also extremely specific. Proceeding incorrectly (leaving out any of the required information) could cause your request to be denied. Proceeding pro se (without an attorney) increases the possibility that something will be left out. Attorney's fees for these type of adoptions are usually fairly low. However, ff you do not feel that you can afford an attorney, you could contact the Atlanta Legal Aid Grandparent Adoption area to see if you qualify for legal assistance.

Anonymous
Reply

Posted on / Nov. 21, 2011 19:10:41

It is difficult to provide an accurate answer to your question without far more detailed information, and I recommend that you consult with an attorney to make sure everything is handled correctly. Adoption is not generally a matter where it is appropriate (or easy) for people to represent themselves.

As an initial matter, you need to be certain that you are using the correct surrender form and all of the required accompanying forms. Georgia has several versions of the surrender tailored to the particular type of adoption and also requires the execution of an acknowledgement of surrender, a mother's affidavit, and an affidavit of petitioner's representative, all of which must comply with statutory requirements. You also have to publish very specific notice that complies with our adoption law in the appropriate counties and for the appropriate period of time. Additionally, you may need to provide additional documentation if the child was born out of state, has Native American heritage, or is special needs. There are other requirements related to searching the Putative Father Registry and completing a court report and background check that may be applicable in your case, as well.

Again, I encourage you to consult with an attorney. I offer free initial consultations to potential adoption clients and would be happy to meet with you. You can find a list of other qualified adoption attorneys at the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers website. If cost is an issue, I highly recommend the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, which has an adoption program to assist relatives with adopting children in their care at the Downtown office.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.
Ask a Question

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.
Ask a Question
Search for lawyers by practice areas.
Find a Lawyer