Every state has its own adoption laws, which means adoption laws in Alabama could be different from other states. Here is a basic overview of the domestic adoption laws in Alabama and how they may affect your domestic adoption process:
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). Please note Adoption Choices of Alabama provides domestic adoption services.
- You must be over 19 years of age.
- If married, marriage must be of at least 3 years duration.
- If a married couple, one must be a U.S. citizen
- You must have adequate housing & personal space for the child or children adopted.
- You must be healthy enough to meet a child’s needs.
- You must be willing to undergo a thorough background check, including criminal history.
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 This consent can be withdrawn within five days after the birth of the child or within five days of signing, whichever comes last.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 Birth Parent Expenses
The adoptive family is financially responsible for:
- maternity-connected medical and hospital care
- counseling fees
- legal fees
- agency fees
- living expenses