What You Need to Know About Alabama Adoption Laws
Every state has its own adoption laws, which means adoption laws in Alabama could be different from other states. If you're considering adoption in Alabama or across state lines, you will want to familiarize yourself with both states’ adoption laws.
If you have any questions about the adoption process in Alabama, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION for free information. Remember that this article does not serve as legal advice; you need to talk to an adoption professional to learn more about the adoption laws that will apply in your situation.
Here is a basic overview of the domestic adoption laws in Alabama and how they may affect your adoption in Alabama:
Who Can Adopt a Child in Alabama?
Any adult is eligible to adopt in Alabama. Single adults may adopt and a husband and wife may file jointly. There is no regulation that can prevent adoption by a single person, and a hopeful adoptive parent cannot be denied based solely on their age of if he or she works outside the home. Alabama does not have a legal restriction on same-sex adoption.
Prospective adoptive parents must be approved by an Alabama adoption home study. This includes a review of financial records, criminal background checks, home visits and more.
As a potential adoptive parent in Alabama, you will also have to meet the requirements of the adoption professional you work with. There may be more requirements to fulfill, depending on the type of adoption you are pursuing (international, domestic, or foster care adoption).
Who Can be Adopted in Alabama?
In Alabama, any minor child may be adopted if parental rights have been terminated. Any adult can be adopted if (a) He or she is permanently disabled, or (b) He or she is determined to be of diminished mental capacity. Alabama adoption law states that birth parents may consent to adoption at any time before or after the birth of the child. Consent must be given in writing, signed by the birth parents and witnessed by a judge or notary public. This consent can be withdrawn within five days after the birth of the child or within five days of signing, whichever comes last.
In Alabama, consent must be given by the birth mother. The presumed father, regardless of paternity, must also give consent if he was married to the mother or attempted to marry the mother, and the child was born during this time or within 300 days of the end of the marriage. The putative father must give consent if he responds to the notice of the adoption proceedings within 30 days.
A child over age 14 must consent to the adoption unless the child does not have the mental capacity to agree.
Alabama Adoption Laws for Advertising
It is against the law in Alabama for an individual or organization to advertise that they will adopt a child, assist in the placement of a child, or give anything of worth to the birth parents. No person or agency can be compensated for placing a child or arranging for an adoptive family. Legitimate medical, legal and professional expenses for the birth mother are allowed. Your adoption specialist will work with you to ensure your adoption complies with these advertising laws.
Alabama Adoption Laws for Birth Parent Expenses
The adoptive family is financially responsible for:
- maternity-connected medical and hospital care
- counseling fees
- legal fees
- agency fees
- living expenses
Prior to payment, the adoptive parents must file with the court a full disclosure of all paid expenses related to the adoption.
American Adoptions has a Risk-Sharing Program that protects adoptive families financially, in case of a disrupted adoption.
To learn more about the adoption process in Alabama, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak to an adoption specialist.
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