What's New in Adoption and Foster Care in 2019

What's New in Adoption and Foster Care

A major overhaul of Georgia’s adoption law went into effect in September 2018. The new law reduces the revocation period for a birth mother’s consent, as well as the Georgia residency requirements. Specifically, the law shortens the time allowed for a birth mother to revoke her consent to the adoption from ten (10) days to four (4) days. In addition, birth mothers are now allowed to seek reimbursement from adoptive parents for basic living expenses in both private and agency adoptions. The new law also eliminates a requirement that individuals in Georgia must be residents for six months prior to adopting. These laws, which had not been updated since 1990, are now more similar to laws in multiple other states.

Family Match is a new website that uses algorithms and compatibility technology to match adoptive parents and foster children. There are nearly a half million children in the U.S. foster system, with a quarter of them freed for adoption without connections to families in waiting. This program, launched in 2018 by Adoption Share, is bringing children and adoptive parents together. Currently, Florida and Virginia participate in the program and Tennessee and Kentucky are expected to come on board soon. We will keep you posted as we make progress on getting New York to follow suit.

Hoosiers are the beneficiary of a new Indiana law that went into effect in 2018. Birth records of adoptees, adopted prior to 1994 are now afforded the same rights as those adopted since 1994, which means they are able to obtain information about their original birth certificates, biological parents and medical histories unless a biological parent has requested the file remain closed. The adoptee must be at least 18 years of age. The new law is estimated to affect more than 40,000 individuals adopted in the state.