Identified or Designated Adoption: Using Services of a Licensed Georgia Adoption Agency
An identified adoption (also known as a designated adoption) is an adoption in which the prospective adoptive family locates a biological mother. Adoptive families may identify a birth mother or child available for adoption through their own personal contacts. After identifying the birth mother, the adoptive family may decide that an adoption agency should be involved in the adoption placement process based on the applicable laws or needs of a birth mother.
Adoption lawyer Ronnie Fishbein has over 30 years of experience in handling identified adoptions and facilitating such placements.
Licensed Child-Placing Agencies
Examples of the situations in which a licensed child-placing agency can assist with an identified or designated adoption are:
- If a prospective adoptive family resides in Georgia and the birth mother also resides in Georgia, Georgia law requires that a licensed adoption agency be involved in the adoption if the birth mother needs assistance with reasonable living expenses or the birth mother requests counseling services and wishes an agency to handle the placement.
- If an out-of-state prospective adoptive family identifies a birth mother from Georgia, the agency can assist with the adoption process and provide a full range of services to the birth mother and adoptive family, if the family determines that the adoption should be handled as an agency placement based on the applicable laws.
- If a Georgia prospective adoptive family identifies a birth mother from another state and the other state’s laws require that an agency handle the adoption, a licensed adoption agency can act as the placing agency and hold legal custody of the child until finalization.
A Georgia licensed child-placing agency can provide the following services:
- Home study services for Georgia prospective adoptive parents;
- Counseling to the biological parents both before the child is born and after delivery;
- Emotional support to the prospective adoptive parents;
- Assistance in locating an obstetrician to provide prenatal care;
- Coordination with the hospital social work or case management department, including developing a hospital plan and handling the discharge of the baby and biological mother;
- Signing of the adoption surrender documents by the biological mother and biological father, if he is available, in compliance with all applicable laws;
- Termination of the biological father’s rights to the child through a court proceeding if he does not sign adoption surrender documents;
- Obtaining approval through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children process for an interstate adoption;
- Assistance in the finalization process by providing documents to attorneys required for finalization; and facilitate payment of reasonable living expenses and of medical expenses, if approved by adoptive family.
Adoption agencies do not generally charge traditional placement fees for identified adoptions. Because adoptive families have located birth mothers through their own efforts, most adoption agencies charge fees based on the services that they will provide. The fees associated with an identified adoption will vary based on the actual services that are needed. The factors that may affect the fees include where the birth mother lives, at what hospital she will deliver, when she is due, the services that she needs, and whether the biological father supports the adoption.
Contact Georgia Interstate Adoption Attorney Rhonda Fishbein
If you wish to explore using a Georgia licensed child-placing agency to assist you in your adoption process when you have identified a possible biological mother or child to adopt, please contact Rhonda Fishbein.