Do I have to be married to adopt a child? Adoption allows an adult to become the legal guardian of a child or adult to where the adopting adult will have the same rights and obligations as if they were the child’s original biological parent. Likewise, the child will become the legal heir to their adoptive parent(s). This means that the adopted child or adult will be able to inherit from their adoptive parents the same way any biological child would be able to inherit from their parents. However, to adopt a child, the adult must meet a few requirements before an adoption attorney in Birmingham can file an adoption petition.
In order to adopt a child in Alabama, the prospective parent(s) must be 19 years of age or older because Alabama’s age of majority is 19, which means anyone under 19 years of age is still considered to be a child themselves. The prospective parent(s) must also consent to an in-depth background check, which will include their criminal history. The prospective parent(s) must also have appropriate housing and personal space for the child, and they must prove that they are healthy enough and have the means to care for the child. A prospective parent does not have to be married to adopt, but if they are, they will have a few additional requirements that must be met before the adoption can proceed. Married prospective parents must be married for at least three years in duration, and at least one of the spouses has to be a citizen of the United States of America before they can pursue an adoption in Elmore County, Alabama.
There are two different types of adoptions. There are domestic adoptions and international adoptions. Domestic adoptions take place in the United States, and they consist of private adoptions and foster care adoptions. Meanwhile, international adoptions are when an adult adopts a child from another country. Adoption laws may vary by state and country, so whether you are wanting to adopt domestically or internationally, you need to be diligent about understanding the laws that apply to your adoption. It would be best to hire an experienced adoption attorney to help you through the adoption process.
The Alabama foster case adoption process can begin with the prospective parent(s) filing an application to adopt with the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Once an application has been filed with DHR, the prospective parent(s) must attend 30 hours of meetings geared toward trauma, permanence, and safety, which may include discussions of topics such as behavior management and separation issues. Then, the prospective parent(s) must complete a home study, which is where a social worker will visit the home and interview everyone in the household.
After passing the home study, the prospective parent(s) will complete pre-placement visits with the child or children that they will be able to parent, and if they want to proceed with the process, they will sign a placement agreement. The child or children will then be placed in the prospective home, and after three months of successful placement, the prospective parent(s) can pursue legal adoption through the Probate Court. For a private adoption, it can begin with the Probate Court filing as long as all criteria have been met. For help with your adoption, contact one of our local Montgomery adoption attorneys today for a free phone consultation.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, probate, and real estate closings on this website. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply feedback. We appreciate our readers & love to hear from you!