2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 19 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
CHAPTER 8 - ADOPTION
ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 19-8-16 - Investigation by child-placing agency or other agent

O.C.G.A. 19-8-16 (2010)
19-8-16. Investigation by child-placing agency or other agent


(a) Prior to the date set by the court for a hearing on the petition for adoption, it shall be the duty of a child-placing agency appointed by the court or any other independent agent appointed by the court to verify the allegations in the petition for adoption, to make a complete and thorough investigation of the entire matter, including a criminal records check of each petitioner, and to report its findings and recommendations in writing to the court where the petition for adoption was filed. The department, child-placing agency, or other independent agent appointed by the court shall also provide the attorney for petitioner with a copy of the report to the court. If for any reason the child-placing agency or other agent finds itself unable to make or arrange for the proper investigation and report, it shall be the duty of the agency or agent to notify the court immediately, or at least within 20 days after receipt of the request for investigation service, that it is unable to make the report and investigation, so that the court may take such other steps as in its discretion are necessary to have the entire matter investigated.

(b) If the petition has been filed pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-6 or 19-8-7, the court is authorized but not required to appoint a child-placing agency or other independent agent to make an investigation in whatever form the court specifies.

(c) If the petition has been filed pursuant to Code Section 19-8-8, or if the department has conducted an investigation and has consented to the adoption, an investigation shall not be required.

(d) The court shall require the petitioner submit to a criminal history records check. The petitioner shall submit his or her fingerprints to the Georgia Crime Information Center with the appropriate fee. The center shall promptly transmit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a search of bureau records and shall obtain an appropriate report. The Georgia Crime Information Center shall also promptly conduct a search of its records and any records to which it has access. The center shall notify the court in writing of the presence or absence of any derogatory finding, including but not limited to any conviction data, regarding the fingerprint records check.

(e) The court may appoint the department to serve as its agent to conduct the investigation required by this Code section if an appropriate child-placing agency or independent agent is not available. If for any reason the department finds itself unable to make or arrange for the proper investigation and report, it shall be the duty of the commissioner of human services to notify the court immediately, or at least within 20 days after receipt of the request for investigation service, that it is unable to make the report and investigation, so that the court may take such other steps as in its discretion are necessary to have the entire matter investigated.

(f) The court shall require the petitioner to reimburse the child-placing agency or other independent agent, including the department, for the full cost of conducting the investigation and preparing the report. Such cost shall not exceed $250.00 unless specifically authorized by the court.

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