Divorce Manual: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A. Definitions

Domestic violence includes beatings, threats, stalking, other forms of intimidation, harassment, neglect, and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Domestic violence may include any act by one family member that causes physical or emotional harm to another family member.

B. The Harmful Effects of Domestic Violence

In addition to the obvious immediate trauma caused by violence, domestic violence has long-term, far-reaching harmful effects on all members of the family. The lifetime harm to children is well-known.

Even when you decide to get help, being involved in domestic violence can make it harder for you to relate to your lawyer or others who might be able to help you. Domestic violence has long been considered a private matter, not to be discussed outside the family. Reluctance to talk about these problems is a direct result of the feelings of guilt and fear experienced by members of families marked by violence. It is ironic that even the victims of domestic violence, who have done nothing wrong, feel guilty about it.

In some states, domestic violence may be a ground of fault in the divorce proceeding. In others it affects only child custody and visitation.

The two most important points to remember about domestic violence are:

If you are committing it, stop!

If you are a victim of it, get help!

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Parties to Adoption in Georgia

Who May Adopt

Statute: § 19-8-3

  • Any adult person, including a foster parent, who:
    • Is at least 25 years old or married and living with his spouse
    • Is at least 10 years older than the child
    • Has been a resident at least 6 months
    • Is financially, physically and mentally able to have permanent custody of the child
    • Married persons must file a joint petition.
      • Any child
      • An adult who gives written consen
    • Who May Place a Child for Adoption

      Statute: § 19-8-4

      • The parent or guardian
      • The department
      • Any child placing-agency

SOURCE: Adoption.com 

Stepparent Adoption Factsheet for Families

Introduction

The most common form of adoption is that of children by stepparents. In these situations the adopting stepparent assumes financial and legal responsibility for his/her spouse’s child or children and releases the noncustodial parent of parental responsibilities, including child support.

This factsheet discusses legal issues in stepparent adoptions and how to proceed.

Legal Issues

State laws on stepparent adoptions vary. Most States have a streamlined process for adoptions by stepparents whereby the judge hearing the adoption petition has the ability to dispense with the requirement in State laws for an adoption home study. Some States, however, will not approve a stepparent adoption unless the custodial parent has been married to the stepparent for 1 year or longer.

When a stepparent wishes to adopt a stepchild, the child’s parents (the stepparent’s spouse and the noncustodial or absent parent) are usually both required to consent to that adoption. In consenting to an adoption, the noncustodial parent relinquishes all parental rights and responsibilities, including child support. If the noncustodial parent objects to the proposed adoption and refuses to consent to it, State laws may prevent the adoption from proceeding.

Some State adoption laws specify special circumstances under which the noncustodial parent’s consent is not required. Other States have made special provisions in their adoption laws to allow stepparent adoptions to occur, even over the objections of the noncustodial parent, in cases where the noncustodial parent has failed to maintain communication with the child for a specified period of time.

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IMMIGRANT VISAS ISSUED TO ORPHANS COMING TO THE U.S.

TOP COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN

FY2006 FY2005
1 6,493 – CHINA (Mainland) 7,906 – CHINA (Mainland)
2 4,135 -GUATEMALA 4,639 – RUSSIA
3 3,706 – RUSSIA 3,783 – GUATEMALA
4 1,376 – S. KOREA 1,630 – S. KOREA
5 732 – ETHIOPIA 821 – UKRAINE
6 587 – KAZAKHSTAN 755 – KAZAKHSTAN
7 460 – UKRAINE 441 – ETHIOPIA
8 353 – LIBERIA 323 – INDIA
9 344 – COLOMBIA 291 – COLOMBIA
10 320 – INDIA 271 – PHILIPPINES
11 309 – HAITI 234 – HAITI
12 245 – PHILIPPINES 183 – LIBERIA
13 187 – CHINA (Taiwan Born) 141 – CHINA (Taiwan Born)
14 163 – VIETNAM 88 – MEXICO
15 70 – MEXICO 73 – POLAND
16 67 – POLAND 72 – THAILAND
17 66 – BRAZIL 66 – BRAZIL
18 66 – NEPAL 65 – NIGERIA
19 62 – NIGERIA 63 – JAMAICA
20 56 – THAILAND 62 – NEPAL

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Adoption of Special Needs Children

WHO ARE "SPECIAL NEEDS" CHILDREN?

A child is considered to be "Special Needs" if he or she is in one of the following categories:

1. The child is of black heritage and 1 year or older;

2. The child is 8 years old or older and of any other ethnicity;

3. Any child with documented, physical, emotional or mental problems or limitations;

4. The child is one of a group of 2 siblings and at least one of the children meets the requirements of 1, 2 or 3 above; or

5. The child to be adopted is one of a group of 3 or more siblings (brothers and sisters) to be placed together.

IS THERE ANY TYPE OF ASSISTANCE FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?

Yes. Adoption assistance may be available for "special needs children" under certain circumstances. This assistance is provided through the local Department of Family & Children Services.

WHAT TYPE OF ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE?

There are four types of assistance:

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