ADOPTION IN ALABAMA
What is an adoption?
How to adopt.
Adoption is the legal procedures through which a minor is recognized by law as being the son or daughter of the adopting adult or adults and is having all the rights of inheritance. The adoptee takes the name designated by the petitioner.
Who may adopt?
Any person who is 19 years of age or older. The adoption code specifically prohibits discrimination in granting adoptions on the basis of marital status or age.
You can be adopted?
A minor, defined as being a person under the age of 19.
What are the steps usually involved in an adoption?
The Adoption Process
- Preplacement investigation (may petition the court will go to the Department of Human Resources or license child placing agency.)
- All necessary consents and/or relinquishments concerning the adoption are obtained.
- Guardian ad litem is appointed either natural parent of the adoptee is a minor or in case of a contested hearing.
- Petition the court for authority to pay fees or expenses.
- Placement of child with the petitioners.
- File petition for adoption 30 days after placement.
- Serve notice or obtain waivers of notice on or from all parties entitled to notice of the adoption.
- Post placement investigation.
- Affidavits of nonpayment
- Accounting of disbursements
What is a preplacement investigation?
It is an investigation conducted for the purpose of determining the suitability of each petitioner and the home in which the adoptee will be placed. Investigation will include a criminal background search will focus on any other circumstances relevant to the placement of the adoptee.
Is it always necessary to have a preplacement investigation?
Yes, unless the person seeking to adopt is a close relative of the adoptee as listed and 26 – 10 A – 27; 26 – 10 eight – 28 of the code of Alabama.
Whose consent to the adoption is required?
A. The adoptee if 14 years of age or older and less mentally incapable of giving consent.
B. The adoptee’s mother.
C. The adoptee’s presumed father if he meets the requirements set out in 26 – 10 A – 7C of the code of Alabama.
D. The agency to whom the adoptee has been relinquished which holds permanent custody except that a court may grant an adoption without the agency’s consent when would be in the child’s best interest agencies withholding of consent is unreasonable.
E. The putative father is known; provided that he response within 30 days after receiving notice of the adoption.
Can a minor consent to the adoption of his or her child?
Yes, however, prior to such consent court must appoint minor parent Guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interest. A minor who is 14 years of age or older can nominate a guardian ad litem to protect his or her interest.
Can a person revoked a consent to adoption executed by him or her due to the fact that at the time the consent was given that the person was a minor?
No, consent to relinquishments executed by parent who is a minor shall not be subject to revocation by reason of such minority.
When, where and what form must consent for relinquishments for adoption be given?
A consent early punishment for adoption may be given at any time. The free birth consent of the mother must be signed or confirm before a probate judge. All other free birth post birth consent for relinquishments must be signed or farm for the probate judge or the floor of the probate court or someone appointed by the agency conducted an investigation or a Notary Public. Consent for relinquishments must be in substantially the same form as provided in the adoption code and must be in writing and signed by the person consenting for relinquishing.
When made consent for relinquishments be withdrawn?
A consent for relinquishments may be withdrawn for any reason five days after the birth of the adoptee or five days after signing the consent for release whichever occurs later. The time to withdraw the consent relinquishments can be expanded to 14 Days Court finds that such delay is reasonable under the circumstances in the best interest of the child.
Where is a petition for adoption filed?
A petition for adoption may be filed in the probate court of any of the following counties: where the minor resides in the cold for the petitioner resides or is in military service, where the office of the agency or institution having guardianship for custody of the minor child is located.
When is a petition for adoption file?
The adoption petition must be filed within 30 days after the minor is placed with the prospective adoption parent(s) for adoption. If the person seeking the adoption the stepparent or relative of the adoptee in the adoptee must reside with petitioner for a year before such petition is filed. If the child is not live with stepparent wealthy for a year, the adoption will perceive in the same manner as all other adoptions unless the court waives the residence requirement.
Can I pay the parent of a minor or unborn child for the child?
No! An offer to make such payment as a class a misdemeanor, to receive payment for a person’s consent to an adoption is a class C felony.
What expenses I pay?
A person seeking to adopt a child may pay maternity connected medical or hospital and necessary living expenses of the mother preceding birth and during pregnancy and during pregnancy related incapacity as long as such payments are made as an act of charity in such payment is not contingent upon placement of the child for adoption. All fees and expenses, including legal, medical, investigative, or other legitimate professional fees may only be paid with court approval.
How confidential is an adoption?
The adoption code is designed to keep an adoption is confidential as possible.
A. Before a final adoption decree was rendered the only people with access to the adoption records are: the petitioner, petitioners attorney; preplacement investigator and any attorney appointed or retained by the minor being adopted. No other person has access to the adoption records unless they obtained a court order after showing good cause to allow them to inspect the records.
B. All adoption hearings are confidential and held in closed court open only to the interested parties and their counsel, except with leave of court.
C. After the final decree of adoption is entered all documents and identifying information pertaining to the adoption are sealed and cannot be obtained by anyone except the adoptee under limited circumstances. (See below).
D. Natural parent (s) may consent in writing under oath disclosure of identifying information to the adoptee when such adoptee reaches the age of 19. The adoptee upon reaching the age of 19 a petition the court for disclosure of identifying information. Such information will not be released to the adoptee the natural parent’s consent unless the court determines it is best after weighing interest of the parties involved.
What is the difference between adoption by stepparent or close family member and other adoptions?
There is usually a lot less formality requirements with adoptee is being adopted by stepparent or close family member. Unlike other adoptions, usually no preplacement or post-placement investigation nor counting of costs related to the adoption is required. In order to be exempt from these requirements the adoptee must have lived with petitioner for at least one year.
Can grandparents obtain visitation rights to see the adoptee after the adoption?
Ordinarily grandparents have no visitation rights with their grandchildren the natural parents rights had been terminated by adoption. However, at the court’s discretion the court may allow such visitation rights if the child is adopted by a close relative or stepparent provided is in the child’s best interest.