This is the first in an ongoing series about Adopting in the 50 States. We’re starting with Alabama, home of the first 911 call. Remember, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. Consult an attorney or other adoption professional with specific questions. If you have adopted in Alabama and would like to share your experience with others, please leave a comment or email me at RobynC@adoptionblogs.com.
Who May Adopt in Alabama?
Any adult person or husband and wife. Alabama does not discriminate based on age, marital status, or if a parent is employed outside the home.
When May Consent Be Signed?
In Alabama, consent can be signed anytime before or after the child’s birth. If the biological mother’s consent is taken prior to the child’s birth, the consent must be signed or confirmed before a judge of probate.
All other prebirth or postbirth consents or relinquishments shall be signed or confirmed before a judge or clerk, a person approved to take consents (such as an agency representative), or a notary public.
How Much Time Do the Birth Parents Have to Revoke Consent?
The short answer is 5-14 days.
The more complete answer: Once signed or confirmed, consent can be withdrawn 5 days after birth or within 5 days after signing of the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last. If the court finds that the withdrawal is reasonable under the circumstances, and consistent with the best interest of the child, then consent can be revoked within 14 days after the birth or after signing the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last. Consent can be revoked at any time until the final decree if it is proven that the consent or relinquishment was obtained by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence. After 1 year from the date of final decree of adoption is entered, a consent or relinquishment may not be challenged on any ground, except in cases where the adopted person has been kidnapped.
Does Alabama Have a Putative Father Registry?
Does Alabama Allow the Biological Father to Give Consent Before the Child is Born?
Can Adoptive Parents Advertise to Find Expectant Parents?
How Long Before Adoption Can Be Finalized?
Which Expectant Mother Expenses Can Be Paid by the Adoptive Parents?
With court approval, adoptive parents may pay medical; legal; and living (rent, food, utilities, clothing, medical travel) expenses. In theory, adoptive parents may pay lost wages, but court approval for this is difficult. Expenses may be paid up to 4-6 weeks postpartum.
Can Out of State Residents Finalize in Alabama?
Does Alabama Allow for Enforceable Open Adoption Agreements?
No. There are not any statutes in Alabama regarding open adoption agreements.
- Child Adoption Laws: Alabama
- Adoption.com Directory of Professionals
- Alabama Adopting Information
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- Adamec, Christine. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adoption. New York: Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2004.
- Adoptive Families Magazine, 2004