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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 88354
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I gave up my rights to my children 11 years ago and allowed ...

Customer Question

I gave up my rights to my children 11 years ago and allowed my mother to adopt them and now my oldest daughter is 19 years old and her 4 kids were taken by DFACS and are now being adopted, do I have any legal right to step in and adopt her children myself ?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
You can seek to adopt the children, but not as a grandparent since you gave up your parental rights 11 years ago. You could still seek to do a private adoption as though you were not related. You will do best to get an adoption attorney to assist you, but check the attorney out thoroughly through the state bar because there are many unscrupulous adoption attorneys out there. Also, you can get a free or low cost attorney through legal aid or your state bar association.

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Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 88354
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
Law Educator, Esq. and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to PaulMJD's Post: I am in the process of moving, will that affect me trying to adopt those children ? Also DFACS would not give me the time of day when I asked if I could have them. They chose who they wanted to adopt them. How long does it take for an adoption to be final in a case like this ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
It can take up to a year for an adoption to be final. You moving could affect the ability to adopt, especially if you are moving out of state. The best way to fight DFACS is with legal counsel, you will not be able to fight on your own. However, you will be treated just like anyother person seeking to adopt and DFACS has the final decision.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am not sure how to fight them. The judge told me that I would never get the children because I gave up my rights to my own children. There were notes in my daughters caseplan that stated I was a possible placement for the children, but they said that was a mistake. I don't know where to start, because I have spoken with 5 attorneys and 3 of them told me I could adopt them, and the other 2 said I don't stand a chance, because if they wanted me to have the children, then I would have gotten them. I feel they did my daughter wrong in alot of ways, but she made some mistakes too, and that cost her 4 beautiful children. She had completed 80% of her caseplan when her son was born and they let her bring him home, then took him 9 months later. She signed over her rights at the TPR hearing on April 15, 2008, because she said she could not care for them, but I just don't know what to do or say, or where to start, or should I even try, just based on what the judge has already told me.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You said that DFACS has the final decision, so if the judge told me from the beginning that I would never get the kids, then there is really nothing I can do, right ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
It will be a difficult battle, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to fight it. If you feel so strongly about getting custody, of the grandchildren, then you need to give it a try. Many things change in 11 years and people can certainly change. The judge may have been speaking based upon only preliminary information and if you challenge this with an attorney, then more detailed information can be introduced that can change the judge's mind.

As far as the DFACS record, mistake or not, the information is in the official file, so your attorney will use that to try to gain you an advantage.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 88354
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
Law Educator, Esq. and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I really appreciate everything you have done. I am not gonna give up, and I hope I still have time to do something. I have another question, I am married but my husband is not working right now, would my income be enough, and what would I need to do to make a stronger case for myself, and please could you point me in the right direction as to where I can find an attorney in my area that wont charge me an arm and a leg ? I live in Griffin GA, please, I need some help to get started. Thanks
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
It is not all about income. As long as you can demonstrate that you will not end up on public assistance and you will be able to provide for the child and the court believes it would be in the best interest of the child to be with you, then you could be ok. Again, do not give up on finding an attorney. The Georgia Bar Association would be a great place to start to get referrals for reduced rate and/or pro bono attorneys, the have a pro bono attorney program designed to help people like you. Also, you could try the Georgia Legal AId Society, but they sometimes have "funding issues."
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How can I go about finding out if the adoptive parents have already filed the petition, or if the adoption has been granted ? If the adoption is final, can I still challenge the decision ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Once the adoption is final there is very little that can be done to over turn it, especially by a third party, which is what you would be considered. The record of the docket record of adoption proceding should be public record, although the actual case files will most likely be sealed. Again, an attorney will be able to get you the information you need and can intervene if only a short time remains to file an action.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If the children have already been adopted, do the adoptive parents usually change the social security numbers, as well as the last names. What all can be legally changed when adopting ? Can birthdates be changed as well ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
They can apply for new social security numbers, but this is not usual, since once a social security number has been issued it is not changed unless there has been some identity fraud. They can only change the names of the children, usually only the last names, but I have seen both done for infants. Birthdates can never be changed.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I just found out where my grandchildren are living, and my question to you is, what would happen if I approached the house and asked them if I could see them ? Could I get in any kind of trouble for doing that ? I am just concerned that these people have been told lies about us from DFACS, and thats why we are not allowed to have anything to do with them, that and the fact that it is a closed adoption. When she signed over her rights, did she have the option to request for an open adoption before doing so ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
It is possible that they could call the police and charge you with trespassing.

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