Each state maintains its own adoption policies, so the process can vary considerably for families in different states. As an Alabama resident, you'll want to work with an adoption agency or adoption attorney who is very familiar with Alabama adoption laws and policies. Below, learn all about the legal guidelines for families adopting in Alabama, whether you’re adopting a newborn through domestic adoption, an infant or older child from U.S. foster care adoption, or a child through international adoption. You’ll also find a link to adoption agencies and adoption lawyers offering services to Alabama families.
Alabama Adoption Laws and Statutes
Who Can Adopt in Alabama?
Individuals currently living in Alabama who are 19 years or older. Married couples must be married for at least 3 years. All household members 19 years or older must undergo a criminal background check.
Can LGBT families adopt? LGBT singles are permitted to adopt individually; however, state statutes do not address whether same-sex couples may jointly petition to adopt.
Alabama Domestic Adoption Laws
Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? No.
Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption?Yes.
Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, you can hire an adoption facilitator to provide legal advice and assistance.
What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, living (rent, food, utilities, clothing, medical travel), lost wages (but court approval difficult). Up to 4-6 weeks postpartum.
Is there a putative father registry? Yes.
When can consent to adoption be granted? Birth Mother: before birth in front of a Probate Court Judge, or any time after birth. Birth Father: any time.
When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Within 5 days of child’s birth, if signed prior to birth, or 5 days after signing, if signed after birth. Can be revoked for an additional 9 days, with reason shown in a filed petition. The court will decide in the best interest of the child whether to return the child or not. Return is not automatic.
Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Not addressed in state statutes.
Alabama International Adoption Laws
Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Not addressed in state statutes.
Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Not addressed in state statutes.
When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar will issue a U.S. birth certificate for a child adopted within an Alabama state court after receiving a report from the court approving the adoption, proof of the DOB and place of birth of the adoptee, and an official request for the birth certificate.
Adoption from Foster Care in Alabama
Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having at least one of the following: 8 years or older, African American and 2 years or older, member of a sibling group of 3 or more, having or at risk for developing a mental, physical, or emotional disability. Adoption subsidies start at adoption placement.
Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Alabama? http://www.alabama.gov/sliverheader/Welcome.do?url=http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/al/index.aspx
Access to Adoption Records in Alabama
Who may access non-identifying information?
- Adoptive parents.
- Birth parents.
- Adoptees age 19 or older.
Who may access identifying information? Adoptees age 19 or older may petition the court for disclosure of identifying information and if the birth parent has not previously given consent. If the birth parent still does not consent, is deceased, or cannot be found, the court shall weigh the interest and rights of all the parties and determine if the identifying information shall be released.
Can adoptees obtain their original birth certificates? Yes, any adoptee age 19 and older may obtain their original birth certificate upon written request.
Alabama Adoption Unit
Program Manager: Connie Chance Rogers
50 North Ripley Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Toll-Free: (866) 425-5437
E-mail: [email protected]
DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but Adoptive Families cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.
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