Image of nine children sitting on the floor

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27 (NIV)

What types of adoptions does Wisotsky Law handle?

Our practice includes the following types of adoptions: domestic interstate adoptions, private adoptions, relative adoptions, step-parent adoptions, domestication of international adoptions, contested adoptions and DFCS (children in state custody).

Does Wisotsky Law handle international adoptions?

While we are able to domesticate your foreign adoption, no matter which country you adopted from, we are unable to assist you with legal issues in a foreign country. However, you may call or email the office with questions concerning international adoption and we may be able to make a referral to another attorney.

The reason to domesticate your foreign adoption is so that your child will have a birth certificate from the United States in English. This is very helpful later in your child’s life.

What about a homestudy? Why do we have to have one? What are the differences?

A home study or home evaluation is a method through which child placing agencies or the courts ensure that your home is a safe and healthy one in which to raise a child. While they can sometimes seem invasive, most social workers are very friendly and will work well with your family to do the home study quickly and efficiently.

Home studies generally involve filling out paperwork, home visits by a social worker, speaking with a social worker and showing documents such as marriage licenses, birth certificates and vaccinations of pets.

There are huge differences in the home studies necessary for international, in-state adoptions and inter-state adoptions, so you should make sure the home study you receive is the home study that you need for your situation. Home studies are generally good for one year after the home is approved. Home studies can be updated once they have been completed. If you are approaching the one year mark, it is suggested that you contact the home study agent or agency to discuss an update.

What about the federal tax credit for adoption?

Better answered by your accountant, but many families find their adoption expenses greatly offset by the federal tax credit. Here is a link with more information:

http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html

How long does the adoption process take?

Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question, as it depends on the individual circumstances of your adoption, particularly what type of adoption you are hoping to complete.

Once all the paperwork is completed for an adoption in Georgia, the time frame is generally 45 days. If there are still parties to be notified about the adoption (if the child is not legally free for adoption) then the process can take considerably longer. We would be happy to discuss your individual situation with you and give you an estimated time frame.

Should we use an adoption facilitator?

In a word, no.

Adoption facilitators are agencies or individuals who may offer to match you with a birth parent/adoptive parent or simply to “walk you through the process of adoption.” Facilitators are separate and different from adoption agencies in that they are not licensed by the State of Georgia. While it is perfectly fine to discuss your adoption plans with friends, co-workers, pastor, etc. and to discuss potential placement situations with them privately, it is when people start talking about charging you money to match you with a situation that the caution flags should go up.

Under Georgia law no one except a licensed child-placing agency is allowed to advertise that they will adopt children or arrange for children to be placed for adoption. It is also illegal in the State of Georgia to offer any monetary assistance to a birth parent (other than medical expenses) unless you are a licensed child-placing agency.

This is an emotionally charged time in your life, and sadly, there are unscrupulous people who will take advantage of this. Please discuss any prospective dealings with a facilitator with your attorney or your adoption agency prior to paying any money for these types of services. Your attorney or licensed child-placing agency should be able to answer your questions about the adoption process, and you should not have to pay a separate individual or company for this service.

My office is willing to answer any questions about the different types of adoptions, what is involved in a homestudy, and other questions you may have. Feel free to email or call with your questions.