Testimonials

Over 600 adoptions finalized.

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Member Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorney  (https://adoptionart.org/) and (gcal.org) Georgia Council of Adoption Lawyers

A great testimonial from a recent adoption client. North Georgia Adoption Law represents adoptive families in contested adoptions, step parent adoptions, relative adoptions, private independent adoptions and agency or DFCS adoptions. Finalizing nearly 700 adoptions over nearly 24 years, Judy Sartain is well versed in the recent changes to the adoption laws and is considered to be the “go to” attorney when any adoption is anticipated.

Our journey started in July of 2014. We got a call one night to come and pick up our three grandchildren and we did. We had to fight a lot of obstacles and legal battles in order to keep the children with us. We had started talking about adopting the kids in 2016 when the children told us they did not want to return to the life they were leading before us. We were told by our lawyer at the time that we had to wait. Trusting this lawyer was a grave mistake on our part and it wasn’t until about 20,000.00 later and a contempt charge did we realise that. Several things happened and we ended up having to take the two youngest girls back to the psychologist for more testing and it was at that interview that I was asked why we hadn’t adopted. When I told the Psychologist that we had been told we couldn’t yet she informed me that this wasn’t true. I came home and spoke with my husband and we made the decision to try to adopt. I looked on the lawyers website that gave reviews and Judy Sartain’s name was at the top of that list.
I contacted Judy and she informed me that someone had definitely mislead us and that she would talk with us about the case. I told Judy that she would have her work cut out for her and after hearing the details surrounding our case she agreed to take us on. Judy had 3 years  of material to wade through and a lot of questions! Judy told us exactly what she was going to do and when she was going to do it. Her honesty was refreshing. She promised us that when she was through the children would be ours and there would be no more interference from people who did not have the children’s best interest at heart. Judy kept us informed of every thing that was happening and did just exactly what she said she was going to do! Judy did not fight for us she fought for our grandchildren and what was best for them she always had their best interest in the forefront.
Trust was not easy after two other lawyers, a lot of broken promises and a lot of money but for once I went with my gut and I will be forever grateful for Judy Sartain! There were no extensions, no promises of “oh things will be fine” she did what she said she was going to do when she said she was going to do it.
Our lives have been so much better since the adoption, the children are in a good place mentally and they are excelling in school. Not having the threat of having to return to a place they didn’t want to go has done wonders for them. We are no longer stressed,always having to look over our shoulder for the next thing coming at us. I told Judy that I wished that I had found her first because I think our lives would have been a lot better a lot sooner! If you need a lawyer then Judy Sartain is the one! She knows what she’s doing and it shows! She knows the laws involving adoptions and will be honest and upfront from the start. No matter how hard you think your case may be Judy Sartain will be the one to get you results!
Lisa Hadley and family

 

 

Our adoption stories are unique. Both of our adoptions were interstate (we live in Ohio, our Birth Family lives in Georgia) and each had some nuances that turned the processes complex.

Adoption #1

In late October of 2012, I received a Facebook friend request from a person I attended high school with in the 1980s. I accepted the request and about a week later I received a lengthy email through Facebook telling of her step-daughter, Rachel. My friend from high school recalled that I had a Hysterectomy in 1983 (my Junior year of High School) and that I could not have children. She had heard through mutual friends from High School that we had attempted adoption several times to no avail that resulted in broken hearts. Rachel at that time was pregnant with a child that she needed to place into an adoptive family. After some amazing communications and a couple of quick visits to Georgia, our plan was developed that we would have an Open Adoption with Rachel and Brian Orr. We immediately retained a local attorney who in turn went in search of an attorney in Georgia. Our Birth Family lived in Hall County, Georgia, and so our attorney contacted the court in Hall County and the Bar Association and we were given the name of Judy Davenport Sartain and luckily, she agreed to allow us to retain her services.

Judy was a terrific advocate for both us and our Birth Family. She took care of all of our needs and questions. She counseled our Birth Family and served as an advocate and support system for them. Our beautiful Jonathon was bmn on June 15, 2013, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia. We were there for the birth and celebrated with the Birth Family as we started om· official journey together. We truly were blessed by a newborn but also an extended Birth Family that honestly is just part of our family as well. As we were released, Judy arrived to the hospital as expected and took matters into her control of releasing our beautiful Birth Family and us. Judy discretely managed a Charge Nurse bent on creating some drama. Judy made it so that we did not have to hand the baby off away from hospital grounds in some quasi shifty exchange of goods. She also made it clear that both parties were to be treated with respect. It was amazing to watch her work her magic.

Judy was VERY efficient in managing all of the paperwork and post birth items. Our dossier of inf01mation went to Atlanta in a timely fashion. It traveled onto Ohio quickly and there it stalled out. Om· dossier was on the desk of a person at Ohio ICPC that was on vacation. Thanks to Judy’s knowledge of the process, she was able to point us toward the correct agency and ultimately a Supervisor who must have heard the angst and anger in this homesick, adoptive Mom’s voice and got us released to return home to Ohio with our newborn miracle.

Judy continued to be an asset to us and om· Bi1th Family, answered all of om· questions along the way, and there were MANY questions. In Ohio, once an infant is placed into an adoptive family, they go into Guardian Ad Litem status and that period lasts for 6 months. During that time, the Social Worker makes monthly visits to the home and sends a report to the Juvenile Court in the county of residence. My family had a personal friendship with the Juvenile Judge in Union County, Ohio, and thus we had made request for an interim Judge to hear our case. In our fourth month of Guardian Ad Litem October 2013), our interim Judge suffered a significant health issue and had to excuse himself from the case. Thus we had to request a second interim Judge who joined our case late November and he was not comfo1table with processes that had been in place and introduced a whole new set of processes we needed to follow.

On Thanksgiving Eve 2013, I phoned Judy in distress because many of the items we were asked to do were just repetitive and some were rather expensive. She counseled me through steps we could take and then shared that she would get back to me in a few days because she was at the hospital with her son, Sam. After a couple of questions, I learned of the tragedy of Sam’s accident, yet, Judy being the professional she is, continued to help me with my child and our needs as her own family faced a horrific moment in time.

After much communication it was clear that our interim Judge simply had not been properly prepared by our Ohio attorney and it was clear that we needed help. So I once again phoned Judy and asked for guidance. She connected us through the Georgia Supreme Comt to an Ohio based adoption att01ney that was able to consult with our retained attorney to get our process completed and finalize Jonathon’s adoption. Our adoption could have closed in December of 2013. It finalized March 4, 2014. It would have drug on further and cost thousands of dollars more if not for the professional prowess and commitment to humanity of Judy Davenport Sartain. We simply adore her!

 

Adoption#2

We were very busy loving on our amazing Jonathon when my phone rang on August 21, 2014, as I was driving home from the first day of school.  It was our Birth Mom, Rachel On-. It was ve1y common that we communicated every day or so (still do) via text, email, or phone call.  But this call was different.  Rachel asked if I was driving. I answered yes. She asked me to pull over, so I did.  And then she said that they were pregnant again and hoped that we would adopt this baby as well. And our response was of course a resounding yes!

So, we started the process to adopt Baby number 2. We retained an Ohio adoption att01ney, Susan Gainer Eisenman, the woman who had consulted on Jonathon’s adoption. We called our Social Work to update our Home Study.  And we retained the services of Judy Davenport Sartain as our Georgia Attorney.

We learned so much during our first adoption, that the second adoption went off like clockwork. Judy took care of all things with the Birth Family, communicated with our Ohio attorney, and awaited the arrival of our second miracle.  On April 25, 2015, we welcomed the adorable Noah into the world at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia. As before, Judy arrived at the hospital the day of release, managed all parties, completed all paperwork, and got us headed to the hotel for our waiting period. In addition, Judy efficiently completed all pape1work, got it submitted to Atlanta, tracked it as it processed to Ohio, and waited with us for our release to come home.

On the second day our pape1work was in Ohio, there was a discovery that there could have been some Cherokee Indian heritage in little Noah’s background. We began to worry thinking that this could become a huge barrier to our adoption. He was so little, and we already adored him. We could not imagine there would be any barrier to him joining our family. I am sure that Judy sensed the worry in my voice and she continually reassured us that there was a safety process in place and she collaborated with our Ohio attorney to get us through that scary bump. She comforted our Birth Family through the process and she made it ok for all of us to feel the way we did. Most importantly she was the voice of reason that guided us through it. So a couple of days later we were released to retrun to Ohio. Our process concluded in exactly 6 months.

Connie Strebe

 

 

Judy was referred to me by a friend that works within the Dawson County Court System.
I reached out to her and she let me know that almost everything could be completed via e-mail, which was very convenient with my hectic schedule, and made the process run smoothly.
She was very affordable, dependable and offered prompt responses to any questions that I threw her way.
The adoption was seamless, and we couldn’t be happier with such a pleasant experience.
Judy comes highly recommended from myself and my family.
Kaitlin Gillespe
Adam(my husband) and I decided to adopt in November 2016.  We knew we wanted to self-match, but had no idea where to go from that point. I called several adoption lawyers in Georgia, and they either were unhelpful or said they were too far to travel to us. One actually referred us to an adoption lawyer in Chattanooga, TN (45 minutes from us but out of state), and he was unable to help us either.  I felt like we had hit a dead end road with finding a good legal resource. We then started calling local attorneys in our county. None of them had much adoption experience; however they did take our calls and were willing to represent us, but that was about it. I quickly realized they were completely unable to answer any of our adoption related questions; which made me feel uneasy about the process, especially legally speaking.  Not to mention, one local lawyer required we pay a hefty retainer fee during the first call,  plus the entire adoption legal cost with her was going to be around 5-7k, which was unreasonable.
At that point, I typed in “adoption lawyer Georgia” in my facebook search bar.  Judy Sartain’s name came up. I saw she was from Gainesville, and assumed she would be too far to help us but I emailed her anyway. To my surprise, I didn’t get an automated/canned email response. I immediately felt I was being connected with a real life person, and she immediately agreed to help us.  She was an answered prayer. She answered so many of our questions and concerns related to adoption, well beyond the legal aspect. It was so helpful that she has adopted children of her own, so she was able to guide us from her personal experience. We matched with an expectant mother in September of 2017.  Judy helped us and guided us through the process of open adoption, communicating with the expectant mother, and other aspects of the process. I can never thank Judy enough for all she did for us.  Our daughter’s birth mother shared with us, that she felt Judy was very personable and approachable, and had helped her with her own questions and concerns.  A few weeks before our daughter was born, Judy stayed in close contact with us. We felt like we knew exactly what steps to take, before, during and after the birth of our daughter. It is a very emotional, and sometimes uncomfortable process, and Judy helped my husband and I throughout it all. I know not all situations are the same but I called Judy shortly after our daughter was born. Judy arrived at the hospital the next day, walked us and our daughter’s birth mother through the open adoption and discharge process, and we were in the comfort of our own home, with our sweet baby girl less than 48 hours after she was born.
Judy is one of a kind. She is a real person, easy to talk to, honest and genuine. Looking back, We can’t imagine going through the adoption process with another other than Judy. We didn’t realize how important it is to partner with the right attorney during an adoption. It was just one more prayer God answered for us! We are so thankful for Judy, and all her help from the beginning our of journey all the way to bringing home our precious daughter.
 Adam & Jessica Linn

 

 

Anne Zutaut Petitt reviewed North Georgia Adoption Law — 5 star

July 24, 2017 ·

We are very grateful for Ms Judy for helping us to re-adopt thru the American court system our little guy from Russia. She made things very very easy. She was very reasonable in her fees. We trusted she had our best interest at heart. We definitely have a heart for adoption and love adding to our family. In every sense of the word. Our home is always open and welcoming of another precious one. Our motto is there is One Race and that is the Human Race. Red, black, white, green, purple is of no weighing factor in those children whom the Lord sends to our home. We love them all. Our home is always open and we see Value in every child and little baby and we love them dearly. We are very thankful for like mindedness working with Ms Judy in her practice. She not only practices what she preaches and lives it but she also has a passion for Adoption as well. We pray that one day the Lord will open our home up to more babies in the future. Using her would be a pleasure to go through that process again. Thank you Ms Judy Sartain. The Petitts.

 

Ryan Scott Bomberger reviewed North Georgia Adoption Law — 5 star

March 15 at 6:34pm ·

Judy changed our lives!!! We had “high-powered attorneys” in the ATL constantly tell us “we couldn’t do this” and “we couldn’t do that”, making us feel helpless in our step-parent adoption. She guided us with compassion and complete competence, turning a years-long ordeal into hope in the shortest time…both with our step-parent adoption and newborn adoption. We felt unimportant to the firm we had hired, just another client to bill. Judy was always immediately responsive and never had a defeatist mentality. She cared, and it showed. Our two adoptions happened on the same day, about a half hour apart, in the ATL at Fulton County Superior Court. It was nothing short of a miracle. Our family has been forever beautifully impacted by Judy Sartain!

 

Shane Hankinson – older child, private adoption

Shane Hankinson

 · December 28, 2017

Our friends retained the services of Judy Sartain for their adoption and gave us her email. We contacted her and got a response within 24 hours. She walked us through the process and explained our options. She was tough and diligent. She was getting so much done so quickly and we showed up to court for a 10 minute process. Every i was dotted, every t crossed. It actually took longer to take pictures than it did to go through the process. Thank you Judy

Judy finalized an ICPC adoption for us in 2017 just seven months after we reached out to her.  Not only did she match us with a wonderful birthmother and father, she was also able to guide us through the interstate adoption process and connect us with an excellent attorney in the sending state. She was knowledgeable and personal, and always eager to answer every question we had. 

~Jason & Ginaadoption attorney