Making the decision to adopt is a life-changing event. It is a notoriously challenging process that requires considerable time and effort from the adopting parents. However, it may bring those interested in doing so some peace of mind to know that the county Probate Court provides a clear list of steps and all the necessary documentation required. If you need an adoption lawyer in Birmingham or an adoption attorney in Shelby County then we can help.
An experienced adoption lawyer in Birmingham can help you complete the process. Under Alabama law, adoption is the legal procedure through which a minor or adult is recognized by law as being the son or daughter of the adopting adult(s) and as having all the rights and duties of such relationship, including the right of inheritance. The adoptee takes the name designated by the petitioner(s) in the filings of their Birmingham adoption attorney.
It is required that those petitioning for adoption in Alabama be at least nineteen years of age. It is also important to note that the Alabama Adoption Code dictates that neither the marital status nor age of the person adopting shall be a discriminatory factor. Our Birmingham adoption lawyers are available to help guide you through the adoption process in Jefferson County, Alabama.
In Jefferson County Probate Court, both minors under the age of 19 and adults can be adopted as long as your adoption lawyer in Birmingham files everything correctly. Adults can be adopted in Jefferson County if he or she is completely determined to be mentally handicapped and permanently disabled, or if he or she gives their consent to be adopted and is related in any degree of kinship or is a stepchild. There are fewer requirements and less costs when the adopting adult is a step-parent or a close family member. One of our Birmingham divorce lawyers are here to help with this more specific adoption inquiry.
The Alabama Adoption Code dictates that the potential parents need follow these steps to proceed with adoption:
Complete pre-placement investigation
Obtain all necessary consents and/or relinquishments concerning the adoption
Appoint guardian ad litem when either the natural parent of the adoptee is a minor or in the event of a contested hearing
Petition Probate Court for the authority to pay fees or expenses
Placement of child with petitioner
File petition for adoption within thirty days after placement
Serve notice from all parties entitled to notice of the adoption
Post placement investigation
Affidavits of non-payment
Accounting of disbursements
The pre-placement examination is provided to determine the suitability of the adult petitioning for adoption through their Birmingham adoption lawyer and to ensure the home in which the adoptee will live is both safe and healthy. In addition to gathering other relevant information to the adoption, the court will conduct a background check on the adopting parent(s). If you need a adoption or divorce lawyer in Birmingham then give us a call today.
Birmingham Adoption Attorneys
Garnering consent of multiple different parties is the next necessary step for our Birmingham adoption lawyers to continue the adoption procedure. If the adoptee is fourteen years older and is mentally capable, his or her consent is required. The other parties whose consent is required if applicable are as following: the adoptee’s mother, the adoptee’s presumed father, the agency who holds custody and responsibility of the adoptee, the putative father, and any others required by law.
However, the Jefferson County court must nominate a guardian ad litem to represent the adoptee’s interests before consent can be given. This person helps guarantee the welfare and choice of the adoptee is guarded. Consent for adoption can be given at any time, but if a mother is giving birth to a child she is giving up for adoption, she must give pre-birth consent before a Probate Judge. All other forms of consent must be signed, filed by a local Birmingham adoption lawyer, and confirmed before a judge or court official. Consent can be withdrawn five days after the birth of the adoptee or after the signing of the consent. Give our local adoption attorney a call today for a quick consultation over the phone.
Once the child is placed in the home of the adopting parents, the adult(s) have only thirty days to have their Birmingham adoption lawyer file an adoption petition in Birmingham County, Alabama. This petition can be filed in one of three places: where the minor resides; where the petitioner resides or is in military service; or where the office of the agency or institution having guardianship or custody of the minor is located. Once the adoption petition has been filed by our Birmingham adoption lawyer, a post-placement investigation will occur to re-examine the suitability of the adoption based on the relevant information of the adoption.
Following this investigation, the court will issue a final decree on the adoption and will confirm the expenses paid during the adoption process fall within the legally allowed parameters of the Alabama Adoption Code. Whether you need an adoption attorney in Elmore County or anywhere else in Central Alabama we can help. Call our Birmingham adoption lawyers today for a quick phone or video consultation to go over the process of filing for adoption in Birmingham, Alabama.