Adoption in Alabama: Where to Begin?
Adoption is a wonderful way to start or grow your family. However, although it is ultimately rewarding, adoption in Alabama can be a complicated and lengthy process, particularly for first-time adoptive parents.
During this journey, you will need the help of a skilled and compassionate Huntsville adoption lawyer who is experienced in this arena. At New Beginnings Family Law, our dedicated attorneys have more than 10 years of experience helping clients navigate the legal challenges and the roller coaster of emotions that come with adoption. You can trust our highly respected adoption attorneys to:
- Honestly discuss your hopes and expectations for adopting a child
- Review standard criteria for adoptive parents according to Alabama law, agency criteria, and birthparent considerations
- Outline the typical steps in an adoption and the timelines you should anticipate
- Prepare you for a home study visit by the state and/or adoption agency
- Compile complete and accurate documentation required to adopt a child
- Present your case for adoption before an Alabama county probate judge
- Always be available to talk or answer any questions you have about your adoption
If adoption is part of your family planning, let our Huntsville adoption attorneys help. Contact New Beginnings Family Law today by calling (256) 518-9529 or filling out our online form.
Why Choose Our Adoption Lawyers in Huntsville?
Each adoption case is unique, and certain types of adoption have their own requirements. Our knowledgeable Huntsville adoption attorneys will ensure you are aware of requirements at every step of the way, and we will support you as you decide what is right for your current and/or future family. There are always options, and it is not wrong to walk away from unacceptable terms or an improper fit.
Adoptive families in Alabama have chosen our respected family law firm because:
- Our firm is skilled at representing stepparents who desire to adopt their stepchildren and relatives who want to adopt a grandchild, niece, nephew, brother, or sister.
- New Beginnings Family Law assists adoptive parents who wish to add special-needs children to their lives.
- Our attorneys will work with the agency, state (social workers), and/or the birth mother to ensure consent for adoption has been secured and to establish accurate paternity and the father’s intentions.
- As you move forward with the adoption process, we will help you compile all documentation required by the state and/or adoption agency (petition for adoption, birth certificate, consent of birth mother or agency, consent of birth father or agency, affidavits, etc.)
- We will stand up for your rights in a contested adoption, in which a child’s birth parent or another blood relative is fighting you on adoption.
- If a “best interest hearing” is required to complete your adoption, we will be fully prepared to persuade the court that you are the party(s) most capable of providing the child with a more permanent and stable life.
Our objective is to reduce uncertainty and to anticipate and resolve potential issues in your adoption plans. There are many issues that may come up in an adoption, particularly if the birthparent(s) plays a role or if one biological parent refuses to consent to the adoption. There may also be requirements imposed by the adoption agency you work with that go further than the state’s requirements.
Our compassionate Huntsville adoption attorneys will help you navigate the bumps in the road and work to make this process as smooth as possible for you and your new child.
Adopting a Child in Alabama
There are multiple paths to becoming an adoptive parent in Alabama. Our dedicated Huntsville adoption lawyers can help you add a child to your family through:
- Domestic infant adoption, which is completed through an adoption agency
- Foster care adoption of a child whose parent(s) have terminated parental rights completed through the Alabama Department of Human Resources
- Interstate adoption, which is completed according to each individual state’s laws and the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC)
- International adoption, which is completed through an accredited adoption agency and according to international law
Whether you know what route you want to take or need an explanation of your options, our team is here to answer your questions. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Requirements for Adoption in Huntsville Alabama
Regardless of your plans, adoption is a legal process required to solidify the societal arrangement by which a child born to one set of parents becomes the child of another parent or parents. Under Alabama adoption law, every adoptive parent must meet specific basic requirements, which include:
- You must be more than 19 years old.
- If you are married, your marriage must be at least three years duration. (Singles can adopt in Alabama.)
- If married, one of you must be a U.S. citizen.
- You must be healthy enough to meet a child’s or children’s needs.
- You must have adequate housing and personal space for the child or children to be adopted.
- You must be willing to undergo a thorough background check, including a criminal history.
- You will need to establish that you have a regular source of income that shows you can meet your family’s financial need.
- You will be asked to provide character references.
In addition, you may undergo a home study, in which a representative of the adoption agency and/or the state will meet with you at your home to gather information used to determine your suitability as adoptive parents. If necessary and appropriate, we can work to mitigate the impact of minor discrepancies or shortcomings in your life or background that could hurt your chances to be approved to adopt. If adoption is truly your desire, please take the time to talk to us before deciding you would not be eligible to adopt a child.
Eventually, your adoption will go to the county probate court where you live, such as the Madison County Probate Judge’s Office in Huntsville, to have it made legal and forever.