An adoption is considered a relative adoption under Georgia law if the child is the sibling, grandchild, great-grandchild, niece, nephew, great niece, or great nephew of the adoptive parent.
Relatives may adopt so long as each biological parent meets one of the following conditions:
- The parent is deceased
- The parent consents in writing to the adoption
- The parent has failed without justification to communicate with the child in a meaningful parental manner for at least a year before the adoption is filed
- The parent has failed without justification to provide support for the child for at least a year before the adoption is filed
- The parent has abandoned the child
- The parent has failed to exercise proper parental care and control of the child such that the child would be considered dependent under Georgia’s juvenile code.
No matter whether the parent consents or has his or her rights terminated:
- The Court will require that the relative complete a criminal history background check to the Court’s satisfaction
- The Court may appoint a neutral agent to investigate the adoption and make a recommendation as to whether the adoption is in the child’s best interest.
Finally, as with every adoption under Georgia law, the Court must find that the adoption is in the best interest of the child.