Republic of Georgia - Process
Georgia's location at a major commercial crossroads and among several powerful neighbors has provided both advantages and disadvantages through some twenty-five centuries of history. Georgia is comprised of regions having distinctive traits. The ethnic, religious, and linguistic characteristics of the country as a unit coalesced to a greater degree than before under Russian rule in the nineteenth century. Then, beneath a veneer of centralized economic and political control imposed during seventy years of Soviet rule, Georgian cultural and social institutions survived, thanks in part to Georgia's relative distance from Moscow. There are many young children waiting for adoptive families in Georgia. AAI's coordinator in Georgia has been facilitating adoptions since 1995 and has developed a network of contacts and help. This includes a highly respected working relationship with the Georgian adoption agency which operates under the authority of the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia.
Very young children from age six months are available for adoption. Both boys and girls are available and children selected for adoption are typically moved to foster homes where they receive very good care. Children are Caucasian, primarily of Georgian, Russian-Georgian, or Armenian heritage. They vary from blond/blue eyed to darker hair and skin. Not many sibling groups are available but families can adopt unrelated children. The children tend to be very smart and FAS and FAE are extremely rare because Georgian women, as a rule, do not drink, especially during pregnancy.
Most children are given up for adoption because of some medical issue, but other reasons include poverty and the child being born out of wedlock. Some have medical issues that can be easily corrected in the West but not in Georgia. Other children have serious or permanent disabilities. We are in great need of families willing to accept such special needs children. The disabilities most commonly found in children waiting for adoption include: Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina bifida, Hydrocephalus, Microcephalus, and cleft lip. Please contact Kathyj@adoptionadvocates.org for more information about the waiting children.
Couples or single women, with at least one parent between the ages of 24-59 years of age. Single men are considered on case-by-case basis and must be willing to accept a special needs child. Expedited referrals are given to adoptive parents requesting a special needs child. There is no limit on time the couple must have been married or the number of children already residing in the household. All religions and ethnic backgrounds are welcome and previous divorces are accepted. There are no specific income requirements. History of certain physical and mental issues is acceptable and prospective parents should consult with AAI regarding the specific medical history.
AAI was granted Hague accreditation on February 29, 2008. Parents are required to complete 10 hours of training. This will include at least one of the two courses recommended by AAI, these courses are presented in DVD format and there is either a multiple choice test or discussion questions that must be completed. The DVD will be sent after AAI receives a family's application.
Photos, a translated medical file from the orphanage, and any medical information available from the foster family, are provided upon referral of the child. Short videos are available in some cases. A link on the website of waiting children is available after you send in your application.
Both parents, if applicable, must appear in court. After the court hearing, a decision letter can be issued immediately or after a 2-week wait. The time from issuance of the court letter to obtaining US visa for the child is 2-3 weeks. Parents may choose to leave Georgia and return when all the documents are ready. The child can also be escorted to US. The escort fee is $3,000.