The purpose of Georgia’s juvenile courts is to protect the well-being of children, to provide guidance and control conducive to a child’s welfare and the best interests of the state, and to secure as nearly as possible care equivalent to parental care for a child removed from the home. All juvenile court proceedings are closed to the public and all files pertaining to cases are confidential.
The juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving delinquent and unruly children under the age of 17, and deprived children under the age of 18. Juvenile courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the superior courts in cases involving capital felonies, custody and child support cases, and in proceedings conducted to terminate parental rights. The superior court has authority to preside over adoption proceedings. These courts administer supervision and probation cases for those persons under 21 years of age who were sentenced for a delinquent offense committed before age 17. Additionally, the juvenile court has jurisdiction over those cases involving enlistment in the military services and consent to marriage for minors and cases that come under the Interstate Compact on Juveniles.