Skip to main content
Sherry Virginia Neal

Sherry Neal’s Answers

134 total


  • What is the process for step-parent adoption? My son is now 7 years old and his sperm donor is not involved in any way.

    Sherry’s Answer

    I recommend that you visit the website for the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers to find an experienced adoption attorney in your area to assist you with a stepparent adoption. It sounds like the adoption may be contested, but that does not mean you cannot accomplish your goals. An adoption attorney can assess the issues in your case to help you identify the steps you'll need to take and determine whether to move forward. You can visit the GCAL directory at www.gacal.org.

    See question 
  • Process for adoption of an adult.

    Sherry’s Answer

    The attorney you consulted was not correct. In Georgia, to complete an adult adoption requires the consent of the adult being adopted and the adult adopting to become the parent. I encourage you to visit www.gacal.org and find an experienced adoption attorney who can assist you with the process through the directory for the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers.

    See question 
  • Ccheapest way to do no contested independent adoption?

    Sherry’s Answer

    I recommend that you contact an experienced adoption attorney about the legal fees and costs specific to your case. The cost may not be as high as you are anticipating, and there are financial resources for adoptive families, including the federal adoption tax credit. You can find an experienced adoption attorney in your area using the directory on the website for the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers at www.gacal.org. I would not try to do an adoption on the cheap or with an attorney inexperienced in adoption.

    See question 
  • Can I change my birth certificate to put me biological father back on and take my adoptive one off ?

    Sherry’s Answer

    The only way to do this is for your biological father to adopt you. You do not indicate your current age, but if you are adult, this can be done with your consent and his. I assist with adult adoptions, and you can find other experienced adoption attorneys on the website directory for the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers (www.gacal.org).

    See question 
  • Can adult adoptions be undone in Georgia? If so, how?

    Sherry’s Answer

    An adult adoption does not require notice to the birth parents, only the consent of the person being adopted and of the person adopting, so it is common for the birth parents not to have knowledge of the proceeding. The only way to "undo" an adoption would be for the biological parent to adopt their adult (biological) child and restore the legal relationship. You can find an attorney to assist with this process in your area using the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers directory: www.gacal.org.

    See question 
  • Does the father have more rights if their last name is given to the baby on the birth certificate?

    Sherry’s Answer

    I would encourage you to discuss this with a family law attorney in your area, but, generally, where the father is not married to the mother, simply having his name on the birth certificate does not confer custodial or visitation rights. He does have a child support obligation, and you should make sure that your child's right to that support is protected. You may wish to contact your local Bar association or the local office of the Georgia Legal Services Program to get advice specific to your case.

    See question 
  • Can I file papers myself through the court in Ga to adopt my adult step child? If so where do I start?

    Sherry’s Answer

    I agree with Barbara that the process will be smoother with an attorney. I always enjoy handling adult adoptions and would be happy to chat with you about the process and my fee. You can also find a list of well-qualified attorneys using the directory on the website for the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers at www.gacal.org.

    See question 
  • My step daughters bio mom wants to relinquish her rights to her, I want to adopt her.

    Sherry’s Answer

    You can definitely proceed in Georgia. Tom Tebeau is an experienced adoption attorney in your area. You can view a directory on the website for the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers at www.gacal.org. His information, as well as that of other Georgia attorneys with extensive adoption experience, is listed there. Best of luck!

    See question 
  • Is it possible for a biological father to give up parental rights without being named on the birth certificate?

    Sherry’s Answer

    In Georgia, biological father's rights are not dependent on being on the birth certificate. So biological fathers who are not on the birth certificate may consent to an adoption and may be entitled to notice of an adoption and proposed termination of rights if they do not sign consent paperwork. If you are married to someone else, your new spouse may be able to proceed with a stepparent adoption. There is no process for surrender of rights outside of an adoption. You may wish to consult with an attorney about your options. A fellow of the Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers may be able to advise you. GCAL has a directory at www.gacal.org.

    See question 
  • My spouse and I want to adopt a family member from NY.

    Sherry’s Answer

    Because this is an interstate matter, may you may need assistance from attorneys in NY and GA. In some cases, there is an interstate approval process, but that requirement does not apply with certain familial relationships. An attorney can evaluate that. Even if interstate approval does not apply, having an attorney in the state where the mother will sign documents can make the process logistically easier. You can find directories for attorneys here:

    GA: Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers - www.gacal.org
    National: Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys - www.adoptionart.org

    See question