Adoption Attorneys in Jefferson County
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Adoption Lawyers in Jefferson County
Making the decision to adopt is a life-changing one and our adoption lawyers in Jefferson County can help. Adopting can be an extremely fulfilling and joyful step, but it also comes with a long, time-consuming process to get it completed. Alabama Law defines Adoption as the act by which an adult formally becomes the guardian of a child and is granted the rights and responsibilities of a parent in relation to the adoptee. For anyone looking to adopt in Jefferson County, our Jefferson County adoption lawyers are here to help guide you as you file a petition for adoption in the Probate Court.
The adoptee (the child) becomes the legal heir of the adopting parents and terminates any legal rights the biological parents have through the adoption process. Should the biological parents consent, then step-parent adoption can be a much simpler process process than traditional adoption. There is normally only a hearing or two involved. Since no one is objecting, the court tends to streamline hearings to expedite the process and complete the adoption.
Our local Jefferson County and Shelby County adoption attorneys are currently charging a flat fees to file such step-parent adoptions. In addition, there are also filing fees and other additional fees involved in the process and these vary from county to county. Connect with our local divorce lawyers and adoption attorneys and we’ll go over the total costs depending on where you live for retaining an adoption lawyer in Birmingham or anywhere else in Jefferson County, Alabama.
As stated above, adopting a child can be a joyful experience. But it involves a huge responsibility which is why there are preliminary requirements all prospective parents must meet and our Jefferson County adoption attorneys can help:
- You must be over 19 years of age.
- If married, must have been married for at least 3 years.
- 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.
There are various, common types of adoption: Domestic Agency Adoption, International Adoption, and Foster Care Adoption. Domestic Agency Adoptions are agencies located in the United States. They typically provide all the services needed to complete an adoption in Jefferson County, Alabama. These services include counseling for the birth parents and adoptive parents, counseling for pregnant women, financial protection for adoptive parents, and referrals to legal and other professionals for assistance. Since each state has slightly different laws related to adoptions, make sure if you use a domestic agency outside Alabama that they are aware you are a resident of Alabama as that may affect some situations. Having an adoption attorney in Jefferson County help you with the adoption process in Millbrook and Wetumpka is usually recommended.
International adoption is the process by which parents adopt a child from outside the United States. This process is also called “intercountry adoption.” How the adoption process works in this category largely depends on the laws of the country you are trying to adopt in. For instance, countries that are part of The Hague Adoption Convention will have policies that differ from countries that are not. If you decide to adopt a child from abroad, first you and your Jefferson County adoption attorney should decide which country you want to adopt from. Things to keep in mind are the current political climate in that country, your budget (costs can vary greatly), if you meet the qualifications to adopt from that country, the types of adoptions they offer in that country (e.g. infant vs. teenager, boy vs. girl availability), and the culture of the country.
Next, you will need to find an international adoption agency in Alabama. Be sure to find a reputable one and if possible talk to parents who have already adopted internationally to see which agency they used. Before you can adopt in Jefferson County, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Adoption Department will need to verify that you are eligible to adopt. If you get matched with a child, you will need to travel to the child’s home country and be prepared to stay there for four weeks. During those four weeks, you will get to know your child, complete your visa application, and fill out forms for Alabama’s international adoption process.
Before you leave the country you will have an interview with their adoption authorities to ensure you meet the requirements for adoption in Jefferson County. Once you get back to Alabama, you will need to have your adoption lawyer in Jefferson County fill out the visa forms to finalize the adoption in Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama. Whether you need an adoption attorney in Montgomery, Birmingham, or Huntsville then give our local adoption lawyers a call today for more information and a consultation over the phone.
The last common type of adoption is foster care adoption. Most foster children in Jefferson County, Alabama are eventually reunited with their biological family. However, roughly 20 percent of children in foster care become eligible for adoption in Alabama. Foster care adoptions are handled through the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR). Let our Alabama adoption attorneys help you and your family with the process today.
Adoptions in Jefferson County
If an adoption is agreed to by everyone, including biological parents, then you can usually do so fairly easily. Sometimes step-parents adopt when the biological father consents. This step-parent adoption is not as complex and our adoption lawyers in Jefferson County are currently charging a low flat attorney fee plus filing fees and other costs. In step parent adoptions there is a filing fee, that varies depending on the county you are filing in.
There are also fees for home inspections and other such costs that are in addition to our attorney fees. The child will have to reside at the prospective parents home for a while and before being placed there, there is usually a home inspection of some kind ordered by the court. In step parent adoptions, the process is streamlined since the child has usually been living with the prospective parents already and the biological parents are consenting.
These types of adoptions done by agreement can usually be done for much cheaper than if the parents are not in agreement. This is why our Jefferson County adoption attorneys are able to charge the flat fee in these cases and not the larger retainer they usually require in other types of adoptions. If the adoption is not by agreement of the biological parents then there are many more hearings involved. If it is contested then it means there will be hearings to either terminate the biological father’s rights or determine the parent unfit so they can adopt. If you need an adoption and divorce attorney in Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, or anywhere else in Central Alabama then call our Jefferson County adoption lawyer for more information.