IN GEORGIA YOU MAY ADOPT IF YOU ARE:

  • An adult over 25
  • An adult under 25 if you are married
  • At least 10 years older than the child you wish to adopt
  • A resident of Georgia for at least six months
  • Financially, physically and mentally able to have permanent custody of the child [o.c.g.a. §19-8-3]
  • Upper age limits are determined on a case by case basis for US adoptions and by country rules for international adoptions.

 WHAT DOES THE PROCESS OF ADOPTION INVOLVE?

TYPES: There are several different types of adoption but three major ways you can make a difference for an orphan are: agency adoptions, private adoptions, and state adoptions through the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS).

COSTS: In terms of cost, DFCS adoptions are generally paid for by the State and may involve monthly subsidies until the child is 18; private adoptions require attorneys’ fees and home-study fees, while agency adoptions also include agency fees. There are grants and fundraising opportunities for couples pursuing adoption.

LOCATION: DFCS adoptions can be in-state or interstate; private adoptions and agency adoptions can be in-state, interstate or even international.

LEGAL PROCESS: All adoptions will involve a termination of the rights of the biological parents to the child. Depending on which type of adoption you choose to pursue, your process may be different, but the end results is that you and your spouse will take the legal place of the child’s parents in the final order of the Court. Most adoptions will require you to have a background check and home-study by a social worker to determine simply if the child will be safe and cared for in your home.   Don’t be nervous! There are folks all along the way who will be happy to help you and answer questions.


TAX CREDIT INFORMATION:

STATE TAX CREDIT – $2000 per child per year beginning when adoption is final and continuing until age 18. Child must have been in foster care system. No expenses need be proven.

FEDERAL TAX CREDIT – For adoptions finalized in 2016, a credit of up to $13,460 per child is available; expenses must be shown unless you have a special needs child; cannot use for a step-parent adoption

DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR TAX CREDIT (not refund)

FAMILIES with special needs children may claim the entire credit regardless of qualified adoption expenses.

AMENDING RETURNS: If you adopted previously (within the past 5 years) you can amend your tax return and claim the credit if you have not claimed the entire amount previously


HELPFUL WEBSITES:

http://www.adoptuskids.org (foster kids in the U.S.)

http://www.nacac.org (tax credit & other great info)

http://itsmyturnnowga.com foster kids in Georgia)

http://www.speciallink.org (agency connections)

http://www.showhope.org (grants)

http://gacal.org/ (attorneys)

http://www.myadoptionagencies.com (agency listings in Georgia)

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