Adoptions are an important and meaningful process for an individual or individuals who seek to establish a relationship with a child. Unfortunately, the divorce process is also complicated and couples in Birmingham who seek to adopt frequently require the services of an experienced family law attorney who can ensure that all adoption paperwork is complete accurately and in compliances with all appropriate laws. There are some important pieces of information that individuals in Birmingham should understand about how the adoption process occurs.
Requirements For An Adoption In Birmingham Alabama
The state of Alabama has specific requirements that an individual must meet in order to qualify to adopt. To adopt, an individual must: be healthy enough to care for a child, be older than nineteen years of age, be a United States citizen, have adequate housing for a child, and if the individual married then the individual must have been married for at least three years.
Relative And Non-Relative Adoptions in Birmingham
There are different requirements for relatives and non-relatives of a child who is being considered for adoption. When non-relatives of a child seek to adopt the child, the state of Alabama will perform an investigation and home study. Non-relatives are also subject to an extensive background check and criminal investigation.
Consent In Birmingham Adoptions
Consent is a vital part of the adoption process in the state of Alabama. When children over the age of fourteen are adopted, these children must provide consent to the adoption.
In addition to consent from a child, consent must be obtained from a child's natural mother and presumed father or from the agency that has custody over the child. Assuming the parents consent, adoption by relatives of child is a fairly simple process that requires no investigation or home study. The law in the state of Alabama, however, does always require that a child reside with the relative who desires to adopt for at least one year prior to initiation of the adoption.
In some situations, consent can be implied which means that even though a child's natural mother or presumed father has not consented to an adoption that the parents' behavior implies consent to adoption. Implied consent is determined to exist when the natural parent: abandons the minor child or does not respond to an adoption petition with an established amount of time.
While consent is important, consent is but one requirement for adoptions to occur in Birmingham and the rest of the state of Alabama. Individuals often find that an experienced Birmingham family law attorney is essential to determining whether all requirements of an adoption have been fulfilled.
The Adoption Process In Birmingham
Provided that all adoption requirements are met, an individual then must satisfy several procedural requirements, which include: submitting an application to the appropriate county's Department of Human Resources, attending required meetings, wait for approval from the County Department of Human Resources, have a child placed in the home for at least three months, and finalize the court adoption. Because the adoption process is particularly complicated, individuals frequently benefit from the talent and expertise of a seasoned Birmingham family law attorney.
How A Skilled Birmingham Family Law Attorney Can Help
If you plan an adoption or are interested in discussing a potential adoption, consider retaining the skill and experience of an attorney at Eversole Law LLC. Contact our firm today to begin ensuring that your adoption unfolds in the best possible manner.