Georgia Adoption Law

By: Angelica Alvarez
By: Angelica Alvarez

Rep. Ron Sailor from Decatur County has introduced legislation protecting the rights of fathers when mothers choose to give up their children for adoption.

The CEO, Walter Gilbert, of Open Door Adoption in Thomasville believes in the current law.

He said, “Georgia law right now requires he establish his opportunity interest. Otherwise, if he's abandoned the mother the day he found out she was pregnant, hasn't supported her during her pregnancy, nor through labor and delivery, he can't just come in and say, ‘I want the baby.’"

Adoption officials claim Rep. Sailor is trying to put some gray area in the law, basically showing fathers can change.

Thomasville resident Brandon Sloan said, "People change everyday. People make new decisions about how they want to live their lives everyday, and the most important thing in life is having the opportunity to change."

Some residents say they like the law.

Idell Murphy said, "I think they should keep the law the way it is, because I think the woman should have the final say so."

However, when asked if it was their son trying to get a second chance, things weren't so black and white.

Murphy said, “So maybe that would be another thing, to look at the situation itself.”

Adoption officials say the law is pretty fair, but many residents we spoke with who agreed with the law, believe there should be some allowances, meaning some residents wouldn't mind if some exceptions were added to the law, giving men who want to change a second chance.

Florida law also requires the father to be involved. If he is not, the law says he's abandoned the child and given up all rights.


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