Today Governor Deal signed House Bill 159, the comprehensive adoption law rewrite, into law. The bill which streamlines the adoption process and updates antiquated code, passed the House on February 1st unanimously and passed the Senate on February 5th with a vote of 53-2.
"With the signing of this bill into law, we are giving children, including the 13,500 children in foster care, renewed hope for a forever family," said Deal. “Many individuals played a role in this process and I appreciate the General Assembly’s focus on what truly matters: the well-being of our youngest citizens. I especially want to thank Rep. Bert Reeves for sponsoring this legislation and advocating for its passage throughout the legislative process."
Representative Reeves said "with HB 159 being signed into law, families across our entire state will enjoy a more efficient and dependable process of adoption. This will reverse the unfortunate trend that we have seen, adoptive parents going to other states to adopt" and that the signing of HB 159 into law is "the proudest moment of my professional career, and I know that literally the lives of thousands of Georgians will be positively impacted for decades to come."
Speaker Ralson remarked "moreover, HB 159 embraces everyone who is willing to open their homes and their hearts to a child in need."
The law goes into effect September 1, 2018.
Read Governor Deal's press release here.