2010 Georgia Code
O.C.G.A. 19-8-18 (2010)
TITLE 19 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
CHAPTER 8 - ADOPTION
ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 19-8-18 - Hearing and decree of adoption; district attorney to be directed to review inducement of violations; disposition of child on denial of petition
19-8-18. Hearing and decree of adoption; district attorney to be directed to review inducement of violations; disposition of child on denial of petition
(a)(1) Upon the date appointed by the court for a hearing of the petition for adoption or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached for a hearing, the court shall proceed to a full hearing on the petition and the examination of the parties at interest in chambers, under oath, with the right of continuing the hearing and examinations from time to time as the nature of the case may require. The court at such times shall give consideration to the investigation report to the court provided for in Code Section 19-8-16 and the recommendations contained therein.
(2) The court shall examine the petition for adoption and the affidavit specified in subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7, as appropriate, to determine whether Code Section 19-8-12 is applicable. If the court determines that Code Section 19-8-12 is applicable to the petition, it shall:
(A) Determine that an appropriate order has previously been entered;
(B) Enter an order consistent with Code Section 19-8-12; or
(C) Continue the hearing until Code Section 19-8-12 is complied with.
(3) If the adoption petition is filed pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-5, the court shall examine the financial disclosures required under subsections (c) and (d) of Code Section 19-8-13 and make such further examination of each petitioner and his attorney as the court deems appropriate in order to make a determination as to whether there is cause to believe that Code Section 19-8-24 has been violated with regard to the "inducement" of the placement of the child for adoption. Should the court determine that further inquiry is in order, the court shall direct the district attorney for the county to review the matter further and to take such appropriate action as the district attorney in his discretion deems appropriate.
(b) If the court is satisfied that each living parent or guardian of the child has surrendered or had terminated all his rights to the child in the manner provided by law prior to the filing of the petition for adoption or that each petitioner has satisfied his burden of proof under Code Section 19-8-10, that such petitioner is capable of assuming responsibility for the care, supervision, training, and education of the child, that the child is suitable for adoption in a private family home, and that the adoption requested is for the best interest of the child, it shall enter a decree of adoption, terminating all the rights of each parent and guardian to the child, granting the permanent custody of the child to each petitioner, naming the child as prayed for in the petition, and declaring the child to be the adopted child of each petitioner. In all cases wherein Code Section 19-8-10 is relied upon by any petitioner as a basis for the termination of parental rights, the court shall include in the decree of adoption appropriate findings of fact and conclusions of law relating to the applicability of Code Section 19-8-10.
(c) If the court determines that any petitioner has not complied with this chapter, it may dismiss the petition for adoption without prejudice or it may continue the case. Should the court find that any notice required to be given by any petitioner under this chapter has not been given or has not been properly given or that the petition has not been properly filed, the court is authorized to enter an order providing for corrective action and an additional hearing.
(d) If the court is not satisfied that the adoption is in the best interests of the child, it shall deny the petition. If the petition is denied because of such reason or for any other reason under law, the court shall commit the child to the custody of the department or to a child-placing agency, if the petition was filed pursuant to Code Section 19-8-4 or 19-8-5. If the petition was filed pursuant to Code Section 19-8-6, 19-8-7, or 19-8-8, the child shall remain in the custody of each petitioner if that petitioner is fit to have custody or the court may place the child with the department for the purpose of determining whether or not a petition should be initiated under Chapter 11 of Title 15.
(e) A decree of adoption issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section shall not be subject to any judicial challenge filed more than six months after the date of entry of such decree.
(f) Any decree of adoption issued prior to the effective date of this action shall not be subject to any judicial challenge more than six months after July 1, 1995.
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