What does Alabama family law require to adopt a foster child?

Children in the foster care system deserve loving homes just as much as any other child, and many couples are willing to adopt them in order to expand their families. However, being willing to provide a loving home to a child is not enough, and the adoption process can be daunting. Understanding what Alabama family law says about the process could help alleviate at least some of the stress and uncertainty that can surround it.

In order to adopt in Alabama, an individual must be at least 19 years of age, healthy and have the ability to provide a child with adequate personal space and housing. Married couples must have been married at least three years, and at least one of the potential parents must be a citizen of the United States. Finally, a criminal history and thorough background check will be done.

An application will need to be submitted to the Alabama Department of Human Resources. That application triggers a series of events that includes providing education to potential parents and establishing their fitness to adopt. Once a child has been placed in a home for at least three months, the legal adoption process can begin.

In order to legally become the parents of a child, it will be necessary to go through the court system. To help ensure that the process goes smoothly, it would be beneficial to have a family law attorney to advocate on one’s behalf from the beginning. Adoption is one of the most important choices couples can make, and taking the extra time and expense to be sure that nothing goes wrong would be invaluable as the parents and child begin their new lives together.

Source: Alabama Department of Human Resources, “Adoption Checklist“, Accessed on Sept. 23, 2016