Do the biological parents have to consent to an adoption? Adoption in Jefferson County is when an adult legally becomes the guardian of a child and accepts the rights and responsibilities of being that child’s parent. Adoption requirements may vary by the state or country. To be eligible to adopt in Alabama, the adult must be over 19 years old, and they must be healthy and able to meet the needs of the child. They must also have the housing and personal space that a child needs. Additionally, they are required to submit to a thorough background check including their criminal history. If a married couple wishes to adopt, they have to meet the requirements mentioned above, and they have to be married for at least three years and one must be a U.S. citizen. It is important to contact a Birmingham adoption attorney before filing any probate case, since you need to be sure it is done correctly.
Because adoption in Shelby County awards all of the rights and privileges of a parent-child relationship, the child’s biological parents must consent to the adoption or have their parental rights terminated in order for the adoption to proceed. However, this can be avoided if the biological parents have: died, had their rights terminated previously, been deemed incompetent by a court and cannot give informed consent, given up their rights to DHR or an adoption agency, or abandoned their child. Consent can also be avoided if the natural father denies paternity in writing or if the child’s father is unknown. If the father’s parental rights have been terminated or the child is illegitimate, the consent of the mother alone is sufficient. If the biological mother is under 19 years of age, then consent cannot be given without a Guardian ad Litem being appointed. If the child being adopted is over 14 years of age, they must also give consent before they can be adopted.
If consent has not been expressly given by the biological parents, then it may be implied in specific situations. For example, if the child has been abandoned, then consent may be implied. It may also be implied when the biological father had reasonable knowledge of the child and failed to offer support during the six months before birth. If notice of the adoption is given and there is no response within 30 days of service, then consent can be implied. If consent is implied, then it cannot be withdrawn. However, consent may be withdrawn in other circumstances in a Morgan County adoption.
After consent has been given, signed, and confirmed, it can only be withdrawn if it is within five days of the child’s birth or the date that consent was signed, whichever occurs last. It can also be withdrawn within 14 days after birth or consent, whichever occurs last, if the court rules that it is reasonable and, in the child’s best interest. To withdraw consent, the request must be in writing, signed by the petitioner, and be witnessed and signed by two individuals. The petitioner seeking withdrawal must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that there are sufficient facts to withdraw consent. After this, consent can only be withdrawn before the final decree is issued if fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence is shown. There cannot be an adoption without consent unless there is a special circumstance that allows it to be avoided.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!