Do you have to become a foster parent to adopt in Georgia?

| Feb 26, 2021 | Adoption |

Those hoping to adopt often have to think carefully about how they hope to connect with a child or multiple children to add to their family.

Some aspiring adoptive parents will place ads in community publications or on social media to attract the attention of expectant mothers unsure of how they will care for their unborn child. Other people will go through state agencies, which might mean becoming a foster parent in the hope of adopting a child placed in the home.

If you don’t have a direct connection to a specific mother or child, is becoming a foster parent the only way to adopt in Georgia?

Foster placements can be easier and faster for some families

There are requirements to be an adoptive parent in Georgia. These include passing a drug test and background check. You also have to be at least 25 years old and have a valid driver’s license. There will be home safety inspections, reference checks and mandatory training.

These requirements are almost a complete overlap with the state requirements to be a foster parent. Getting approval as a foster parent can mean having state documentation that you meet all of the criteria for adoption. It can also mean having the sudden opportunity to open your home to children when unexpected circumstances change their lives.

Emergency foster placement can let your family provide support for children going through a traumatic time. In some cases, those foster children might eventually be eligible for adoption and could become part of your family.

What alternatives are there to foster-based adoption?

Georgia laws recognize multiple legal ways for people to adopt and expand their families. Surrogacy is one such option. Adoption at birth through an agency can also work for some families. It may also be possible to adopt older children or even entire sibling groups in need of a home.

You do not need to be a foster parent to adopt in Georgia. What you do need is an open heart, the appropriate paperwork and the patience necessary to find the system that will work for your family. Aspiring parents often benefit from learning about all of their options before they commit to one approach for expanding their family.