2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 19 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
CHAPTER 8 - ADOPTION
ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 19-8-5 - Surrender or termination of parental or guardian's rights where child to be adopted by third party

O.C.G.A. 19-8-5 (2010)
19-8-5. Surrender or termination of parental or guardian's rights where child to be adopted by third party


(a) Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a child who has any living parent or guardian may be adopted by a third party who is neither the stepparent nor relative of that child, as described in subsection (a) of Code Sections 19-8-6 and 19-8-7, only if each such living parent and each such guardian has voluntarily and in writing surrendered all of his rights to the child to that third person for the purpose of enabling that person to adopt the child.

(b) In the case of a child 14 years of age or older, the written consent of the child to his adoption must be given and acknowledged in the presence of the court.

(c) The surrender specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (e) of this Code section shall be executed following the birth of the child, and the pre-birth surrender specified in paragraph (3) of subsection (e) of this Code section shall be executed prior to the birth of the child. Each surrender shall be executed in the presence of a notary. The name and address of each person to whom the child is surrendered may be omitted to protect confidentiality, provided the surrender sets forth the name and address of his agent for purposes of notice of withdrawal as provided for in subsection (d) of this Code section. A copy shall be delivered to the individual signing the surrender at the time of the execution thereof.

(d) A person signing a surrender pursuant to this Code section shall have the right to withdraw the surrender as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 19-8-9.
(e)(1) The surrender by a parent or guardian specified in subsection (a) of this Code section shall meet the requirements of subsection (c) of Code Section 19-8-26.

(2) The biological father who is not the legal father of a child may surrender all his rights to the child for purposes of an adoption pursuant to this Code section. That surrender shall meet the requirements of subsection (d) of Code Section 19-8-26.

(3) (A) The biological father who is not the legal father of a child may execute a surrender of his rights to the child prior to the birth of the child for the purpose of an adoption pursuant to this Code section. A pre-birth surrender, when signed under oath by the alleged biological father, shall serve to relinquish the alleged biological father's rights to the child and to waive the alleged biological father's right to notice of any proceeding with respect to the child's adoption, custody, or guardianship. The court in any adoption proceeding shall have jurisdiction to enter a final order of adoption of the child based upon the pre-birth surrender and in other proceedings to determine the child's legal custody or guardianship shall have jurisdiction to enter an order for those purposes.

(B) The responsibilities of an alleged biological father are permanently terminated only upon the entry of a final order of adoption. A person executing a pre-birth surrender pursuant to this Code section shall have the right to withdraw the surrender within ten days from the date of execution thereof, notwithstanding the date of birth of the child.

(C) If a final order of adoption is not entered after the execution of a pre-birth surrender and paternity is established by acknowledgment, by administrative order, or by judicial order, then the alleged biological father shall be responsible for child support or other financial obligations to the child or to the child's mother, or to both.

(D) The pre-birth surrender shall not be valid for use by a legal father as defined under paragraph (6) of Code Section 19-8-1 or for any man who has executed either a voluntary acknowledgment of legitimation pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (2) of subsection (g) of Code Section 19-7-22 or a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 19-7-46.1.

(E) The pre-birth surrender may be executed at any time after the biological mother executes a sworn statement identifying such person as an alleged biological father of the biological mother's unborn child.

(F) The pre-birth surrender shall meet the requirements of subsection (f) of Code Section 19-8-26.

(f) A surrender of rights shall be acknowledged by the person who surrenders those rights by also signing an acknowledgment meeting the requirements of subsection (g) of Code Section 19-8-26.

(g) Whenever the legal mother surrenders her parental rights pursuant to this Code section, she shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26.

(h) Whenever rights are surrendered pursuant to this Code section, the representative of each petitioner shall execute an affidavit meeting the requirements of subsection (k) of Code Section 19-8-26.

(i) A surrender pursuant to this Code section may be given by any parent or biological father who is not the legal father of the child sought to be adopted irrespective of whether such parent or biological father has arrived at the age of majority. The surrender given by any such minor shall be binding upon him as if the individual were in all respects sui juris.

(j) A copy of each surrender specified in subsection (a) of this Code section, together with a copy of the acknowledgment specified in subsection (f) of this Code section and a copy of the affidavits specified in subsections (g) and (h) of this Code section and the name and address of each person to whom the child is surrendered, shall be mailed, by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the



Office of Adoptions
Georgia Department of Human Services
Atlanta, Georgia


within 15 days from the execution thereof. Upon receipt of the copy the department may commence its investigation as required in Code Section 19-8-16.

(k) A petition for adoption pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall be filed within 60 days from the date of the surrender. If the petition is not filed within the time period specified by this subsection or if the proceedings resulting from the petition are not concluded with an order granting the petition, the surrender shall operate as follows according to the election made therein by the legal parent or guardian of the child:

(1) In favor of that legal parent or guardian, with the express stipulation that neither this nor any other provision of the surrender shall be deemed to impair the validity, absolute finality, or totality of the surrender under any other circumstance, once the revocation period has elapsed;

(2) In favor of the licensed child-placing agency designated in the surrender of rights, if any; or

(3) If the legal parent or guardian is not designated and no child-placing agency is designated in the surrender of rights, or if the designated child-placing agency declines to accept the child for placement for adoption, in favor of the department for placement for adoption pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-4. The court may waive the 60 day time period for filing the petition for excusable neglect.

(l) In any surrender pursuant to this Code section, the provisions of Chapter 4 of Title 39, relating to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, if applicable, shall be complied with.

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