Georgia Code Title 19. Domestic Relations § 19-8-10

(a) Surrender or termination of rights of a parent pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-4 , 19-8-5 , 19-8-6 , or 19-8-7 shall not be required as a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for adoption of a child of that parent pursuant to Code Section 19-8-13 when the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the:

(1) Child has been abandoned by that parent;

(2) Parent cannot be found after a diligent search has been made;

(3) Parent is insane or otherwise incapacitated from surrendering such rights;

(4) Parent caused his child to be conceived as a result of having nonconsensual sexual intercourse with the mother of his child or when the mother is less than ten years of age;  or

(5) Parent has failed to exercise proper parental care or control due to misconduct or inability, as set out in paragraph (3), (4), or (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 15-11-310 ,

and the court is of the opinion that the adoption is in the best interests of that child, after considering the physical, mental, emotional, and moral condition and needs of the child who is the subject of the proceeding, including the need for a secure and stable home.

(b) Surrender of rights of a parent pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-6 or 19-8-7 shall not be required as a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for adoption of a child of that parent pursuant to Code Section 19-8-13 , if that parent, for a period of one year or longer immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption, without justifiable cause, has significantly failed:

(1) To communicate or to make a bona fide attempt to communicate with that child in a meaningful, supportive, parental manner; or

(2) To provide for the care and support of that child as required by law or judicial decree,

and the court is of the opinion that the adoption is for the best interests of that child.

(c) Whenever it is alleged by any petitioner that surrender or termination of rights of a parent is not a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for adoption of a child of that parent in accordance with subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section, that parent shall be personally served with a conformed copy of the adoption petition, together with a copy of the court's order thereon specified in Code Section 19-8-14 , or, if personal service cannot be perfected, by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, at his last known address. If service cannot be made by either of these methods that parent shall be given notice by publication once a week for three weeks in the official organ of the county where the petition has been filed and of the county of his last known address. A parent who receives notification pursuant to this paragraph may appear in the pending adoption action and show cause why such parent's rights to the child sought to be adopted in that action should not be terminated by that adoption. Notice shall be deemed to have been received the date:

(1) Personal service is perfected;

(2) Of delivery shown on the return receipt of registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery; or

(3) Of the last publication.


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