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

(a) Surrender or termination of rights of a living parent pursuant to Code Section 19-8-4 , 19-8-5 , 19-8-6 , or 19-8-7 shall not be required as a prerequisite to the granting of a petition for adoption of a child of such living 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 biological mother of his child or when the biological mother is less than ten years of age;  or

(5) Parent, without justifiable cause, 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) A surrender of rights of a living parent pursuant to Code Section 19-8-6 or 19-8-7 shall not be required as a prerequisite to the granting of a petition for adoption of a child of such living parent pursuant to Code Section 19-8-13 , when the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the 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 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.

(c)(1) Whenever it is alleged by any petitioner that surrender or termination of rights of a living parent is not a prerequisite to the granting of a petition for adoption of a child of such parent in accordance with subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section, such 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, notwithstanding subsection (a) of Code Section 9-10-12 which authorizes the use of certified mail, by registered mail, return receipt requested, or statutory overnight delivery, one-day service not required, at his or her last known address.  If service cannot be made by these methods, such parent shall be given notice by publication once a week for three weeks in the official organ of the county where such petition has been filed and of the county of his or her last known address.  In the interest of time, publication may be initiated simultaneously with efforts to perfect service personally, by registered mail, or by statutory overnight delivery.  The court shall continue to have the inherent authority to determine the sufficiency of service.  A parent who receives notification pursuant to this paragraph shall not be a party to the adoption and shall have no obligation to file an answer, but shall have the right to appear in the pending adoption proceeding and show cause why such parent's rights to the child who is the subject of the proceeding should not be terminated by that adoption.  Notice shall be deemed to have been received on the earliest date:

(A) Personal service is perfected;

(B) Of delivery shown on the return receipt of registered mail or proof of delivery by statutory overnight delivery;  or

(C) Of the last publication.

(2) No prior order of court shall be required to publish notice pursuant to this Code section;  provided, however, that before publication may be relied upon as a means of service, it shall be averred that, after diligent efforts, service could not be perfected personally, by registered mail, or by statutory overnight delivery.

(d) Consistent with the requirement of paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Code Section 19-8-13 , when the petitioner is seeking to involuntarily terminate the rights of a parent as a prerequisite to the granting of the petition for adoption, the petitioner shall, in lieu of obtaining and attaching those otherwise required surrenders of rights, acknowledgments, and affidavits, allege facts in the petition seeking to involuntarily terminate parental rights that demonstrate the applicability of the grounds set forth in subsection (a) or (b), or both, of this Code section and shall also allege compliance with subsection (c) of this Code section.


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