My son's father passed away earlier this year and my husband would like to adopt him. We originally lived in FL and we spoke to our attorney there who said we would just need to fill out the forms and file the petition. However we've been unable to find forms in GA the way you find them in FL. (Additional info that might help: My husband has lived in GA over 10 years, we've been married over a year and my son and I were granted permission to move over six months ago to GA before his father passed away.)
Do you have to have an attorney in GA to file a petition for a stepchild adoption? I have all the other necessary paperwork.
There are no "standard forms" for adoptions in Georgia (the statutes specify some specific language for some parts of the case), and it is highly unlikely that a pro se litigant will get an adoption through. Indeed, because of the complexities of adoption law, probably less than 5% of lawyers in Georgia have the expertise to file, so be sure you hire someone with experience. The good news is that uncontested adoptions tend not to be hugely expensive, so call a lawyer in your area for help.
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If a court order has been entered in another state (FL perhaps), that state retains jurisdiction, and action must be taken to transfer it to GA.
If your child's biological father is deceased, an adoption proceeding is relatively simple. Even if there was a custodial order previously entered in Florida, if you have established residencey in Georgia (six months) you may file an uncontested adoption proceeding here notwithstanding any previous custody orders. There are no forms, but the Georgia Adoption Code states what should be contained in a stepparent adoption proceeding. I would recommend that you retain counsel to assist you, as the requirements are quite technical and can be confusing.
To handle this the best way I suggest you find an Adoption Attorney in Augusta to assist you. I would not recommend trying to do this on your own. Adoptions are technical and adoption attorneys know the law and can tend to all the specific details.
You will need an attorney experienced in adoption matters to assist you with this stepparent adoption. Since the child's father is deceased, it will not be a highly complicated process, however, since no adoption forms exist in Georgia, it is quite difficult to do this on your own.
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