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HB 0913 - Domestic relations; protection of children; strengthen, clarify, and update provisions

Tracking Level: Monitor
Sponsor: Albert Reeves
Last Action: 3/12/2020 - Senate Read and Referred
House Committee: Juvenile Justice
Senate Committee: Judiciary
Assigned To:
12. All CourtsNext Bill
Domestic Relations Next Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

HB 913 amends Title 19 of the OCGA refine sections regarding statutory adoption provisions. The bill clarifies venue alternatives for children placed for adoption with an out-of-state resident. Exceptions are made for children placed in accordance with the Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children (ICPC) or when the petitioner resides internationally. The bill also reduces the age of eligibility to adopt a child from 25 to 21 years old. The deadline for a revocation submission must be delivered by registered mail or by statutory overnight delivery.

Furthermore, HB 913 authorizes the use of certified mail with return receipt to effect service upon a parent when state law does not require a surrender or termination of parental rights. The required search of the putative father registry may be performed after the adoption petition is filed. If a court fails to appoint an investigator, the bill requires the adoption petition request one to verify the allegations in the adoption petition. The bill allows a nonresident petitioner to appear for the final hearing via electronic means if the adoption petition is uncontested.

Lastly, the amendment creates a civil cause of action as a tort claim under Georgia law for victims of adoption scams in which an individual knowingly and falsely represent the existence of a pregnancy or the intention to place a child for adoption when the individual is not pregnant or has no intention of placing the child for adoption, causing another to spend substantial resources toward adoption of the child.

Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text