Georgia Code Title 19. Domestic Relations § 19-8-1

For purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Biological father” means the male who impregnated the biological mother resulting in the birth of the child.

(2) “Child” means a person who is under 18 years of age and who is sought to be adopted.

(3) “Child-placing agency” means an agency licensed as a child-placing agency pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 49.

(4) “Department” means the Department of Human Services.

(4.1) “Evaluator” means the person or agency that conducts a home study.  An evaluator shall be a licensed child-placing agency, the department, or a licensed professional with at least two years of adoption related professional experience, including a licensed clinical social worker, licensed master social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, or licensed professional counselor;  provided, however, that where none of the foregoing evaluators are available, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate to conduct the home study.

(5) “Guardian” means a legal guardian of the person of a child.

(5.1) “Home study” means an evaluation by an evaluator of the petitioner's home environment for the purpose of determining the suitability of the environment as a prospective adoptive home for a child.  Such evaluation shall consider the petitioner's physical health, emotional maturity, financial circumstances, family, and social background and shall conform to the rules and regulations established by the department for child-placing agencies for adoption home studies.

(5.2) “Home study report” means the written report generated as a result of the home study.

(6) “Legal father” means a male who has not surrendered or had terminated his rights to a child and who:

(A) Has legally adopted such child;

(B) Was married to the biological mother of such child at the time such child was born or within the usual period of gestation, unless paternity was disproved by a final order pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 7 of this title;

(C) Married the legal mother of such child after such child was born and recognized such child as his own, unless paternity was disproved by a final order pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 7 of this title;  or

(D) Has legitimated such child by a final order pursuant to Code Section 19-7-22 .

(7) “Legal mother” means the female who is the biological or adoptive mother of the child and who has not surrendered or had terminated her rights to the child.

(8) “Parent” means either the legal father or the legal mother of the child.

(9) “Petitioner” means a person who petitions to adopt or terminate rights to a child pursuant to this chapter.

(10) “Putative father registry” means the registry established and maintained pursuant to subsections (d) and (e) of Code Section 19-11-9 .

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