Gov. Kemp signs off on adoption, foster care reform bills

Georgia

ATLANTA (WSAV) – Gov. Brian Kemp signed off on a series of bills Monday aimed at reforming adoption and foster care in Georgia.

The governor says there are 11,000 children in the state’s care — the lowest total since 2015. Last year, 1,429 children were adopted in Georgia, which is a 17% increase from 2018.

“While these statistics are promising, there’s still more work to be done to improve the lives of children in our state,” Kemp said. “And I’m proud to say the legislation I will sign today received broad bipartisan support.”

The legislation — HB 154SB 28SB 107HB 562SB 20HB 548 — targets “burdensome regulations” on state adoptions and the foster care system.

One bill lowers the required age to adopt, which will, in turn, make it easier for close relatives to adopt children out of foster care. Another expands resources available to juvenile courts.

The legislation would also grant tuition and fee waivers in higher education for eligible foster and adopted students.

“By making it affordable to adopt, reduce bureaucratic red tape, and championing the safety of our state, we can ensure that Georgia’s children are in safer and secure future for generations to come,” Kemp said.

Earlier this year, the governor signed bills that increased incentives for adoption and tripled tax credits.

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