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

For purposes of this article, the term:

(1) “Alaskan native” means a member of the Alaska Native Regional Corporations formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA).

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

(3) “Biological parent” means a biological mother or biological father.

(4) “Child” means an individual who is under 18 years of age and who is sought to be adopted.

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

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

(7) “Evaluator” means a person or agency that conducts a home study.  An evaluator shall be a 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 when none of the foregoing evaluators are available, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate to conduct a home study.

(8) “Guardian” means an individual appointed as a:

(A) Guardian or temporary guardian of a child as provided in Title 29;

(B) Guardian of a child pursuant to Code Section 15-11-13 ;  or

(C) Permanent guardian of a child as provided in Part 13 of Article 3 of Chapter 11 of Title 15.

(9) “Home study” means an evaluation by an evaluator of a petitioner's home environment for the purpose of determining the suitability of such environment as a prospective adoptive home for a child.  Such evaluation shall consider a 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.

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

(11) “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 of a court of competent jurisdiction;

(C) Married a 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 of a court of competent jurisdiction;  or

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

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

(13) “Native American heritage” means any individual who is:

(A) A member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe;  or

(B) An Alaskan native.

(14) “Out-of-state licensed agency” means an agency or entity that is licensed in another state or country to place children for adoption.

(15) “Parent” means a legal father or a legal mother of the child.

(16) “Petitioner” means an individual who petitions to adopt or terminate rights to a child pursuant to this article.

(17) “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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