Parental Notification Laws
The state of Georgia requires that any female under the age of 18, seeking an abortion must either be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can show proper identification or a minor’s parent or guardian must be notified in person, by telephone, or by mail at least 24 hours prior to the abortion being performed. If the physician, physician’s qualified agent, or minor does not want to comply with any of these parental notification requirements, he or she can contact any juvenile court in the state to have them waived – this is called a “judicial bypass”. The state also requires a minor to sign a form stating that she consents freely, “and without coercion” to the abortion. More information about this law is available on the state of Georgia’s website.
Atlanta Women’s Center realizes this may be a hardship for many young women and our staff can assist you through this process. AWC complies with this law by requiring women under 18 to call and set up the appointment with a lawful parent or legal guardian. The lawful parent or legal guardian is expected to accompany the patient on the procedure day to give consent and complete paperwork. The parent or guardian must present proof of custody. Valid proof of custody could be a birth certificate, adoption papers, or custody papers. The parent or guardian must also present government issued photo identification such as a driver’s license, non-driver’s state identification card, or passport. For women who cannot involve a parent, or choose not to, the law allows for a judicial bypass. This means that a judge may decide that the patient is mature enough to complete the process herself, without parental consent. Atlanta Women’s Center phone counselors are trained to help patients through this process, and can explain the necessary steps that will need to be taken if a minor decides that judicial bypass is her best option. There are no additional fees involved for women who choose to obtain a bypass.
For information and support on talking with your parents about your abortion, please click here.