Georgia Adoption Laws

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Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-23

Information may be accessed by:
  • The adult adoptee
  • The birth parents
  • Adult birth siblings
  • The child of the adoptee, if the adoptee is deceased
  • The adoptive parents
The adoptive parents may access only nonidentifying information.

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-23

Upon the written request of an adoptee age 18 or older or an adoptive parent on behalf of an adoptee, nonidentifying information shall be released regarding the birth parents and the adoptee's birth, including the date and place of the adoptee's birth and the genetic, social, and health history of the birth parents.


Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-23

Upon written request of an adoptee age 21 or older, the name of the birth parents shall be released if the birth parent has submitted an unrevoked written consent. If a birth parent has not filed an unrevoked written consent, the department shall, within 6 months of receipt of the written request, make a diligent effort to notify each birth parent, by personal and confidential contact, that a request for information has been made. The birth parent may then file an affidavit consenting or objecting to disclosure.

The adoptee also may petition the court to seek the release of information. The court shall grant the petition if it finds that failure to release the identity of each parent would have an adverse impact upon the physical, mental, or emotional health of the adoptee.

Birth parents and adult birth siblings also may access information about an adoptee using the same procedure. If the adoptee is deceased and leaves a child, such child, upon reaching age 21, may seek the name and other identifying information concerning his or her grandparents in the same manner as the deceased adoptee and subject to the same procedures.

The Office of Adoptions within the department shall maintain a registry for the recording of requests by adoptees for the name of any birth parent, the written consent or the written objections of any birth parent to the release of that parent's identity to an adoptee, and for nonidentifying information regarding any birth parent.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Code § 31-10-14

The original birth certificate is accessible only by order of the court or as provided by statute.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry, Georgia Department of Human Resources


Contact:

Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry
Families First/Office of Adoptions
2 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Suite # 323
Atlanta, GA 30303-3142
(404) 657-3555
(888) 328-0055


Emergency Situations: In emergency medical situations, the Office of Adoptions or the agency may release requested medical information to parties of interest in the adoption, without having to go to court first to obtain permission to access its own records for the information.

Submitting Medical Information:

Anyone having documented medical information relevant to an adoptee may submit that information to the Office of Adoptions or child-placing agency. Upon receipt, the Office of Adoptions or the agency "shall use reasonable efforts" to "contact" the adoptive parents of the adoptee, or the adoptee if he or she is 18 years of age or older and provide such documented medical information to the adoptive parents or the adoptee. There will be a reimbursement of the "reasonable costs" associated with this, paid by the submitting party, but those costs have been defined as only the postage and photocopying incurred in the delivery of the documents and not for the attempt to contact.

Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)

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