How Does Custody Work When a Child is Adopted?
If you are an adoptive parent facing child custody proceedings, it is important to be aware of your rights and common issues that will be addressed in your case.
For divorcing parents and those who are unmarried but living apart, child custody proceedings in Norcross can generate a lot of fear. In addition to ensuring your child’s health and safety, you want to be sure your rights as a parent and your relationship with them are protected. This is particularly true in cases involving adoptive parents. Provided your adoption was finalized and adhered to all relevant state laws, you have the same rights as natural parents in these proceedings.
Child Custody Proceedings in Cases of Adoption
According to figures from the State Policy Advocacy and Research Center (SPARC), close to 1,000 children are adopted from foster care in Georgia each year. This is in addition to the hundreds of other children who find forever homes through private adoption services. If you are an adoptive parent, you know that the bond between you is as close as that of a natural parent. However, you may still have some lingering doubts regarding your rights. This is particularly true in child custody cases. You do have the same rights in court as other parents. These include:
- The right to seek primary custody or to be included in child time sharing arrangements;
- The right to request extended visits over holidays, school breaks, birthdays, and other special occasions;
- The right to request being granted legal authority in making decisions impacting the child, such as in regards to their education, medical care, and religious upbringing.
The only problem that could arise is if your adoption was not handled properly to begin with. To protect yourself and your relationship with your child, carefully review all these documents with our experienced family law attorneys.
Factors That Influence Child Custody for Adoptive Parents
Provided there are no legal issues concerning the validity of your adoption, the same child custody laws apply to you as they would any parent. You and your child’s other parent may be able to reach mutual agreements regarding parenting plans or mediation may be required in more contentious cases. Under the Georgia Code, factors that a judge will consider before approving any final child custody order include:
- Each parent’s current relationship with the child and the prior role they played in their lives;
- Each parent’s proven ability to provide for the child and meet their needs;
- Each parent’s ability to cooperate with the other in carrying out child time sharing arrangements;
- Any factors that could put the child at risk, such as accusations of domestic violence or drug and alcohol abuse on the part of one of the parents.
Get the Legal Guidance You Need from Our Gwinnett County Child Custody Attorneys
At Zimmerman & Associates, we provide the trusted legal guidance you need to protect your child and your rights as a parent in Georgia child custody proceedings. To request a consultation, contact our Norcross child custody attorneys today.