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Who must provide consent for an adoption in Alabama?

Adoption can be a wonderful experience for the entire family. But it can also be a complicated and somewhat confusing process because of the legalities involved, including the consent requirements.

Consent is an important issue in adoption cases. When an adoptee is over the age of 14, he or she must provide consent to the adoption. Consent is also needed on behalf of the natural mother and the presumed father, or the agency that the child has been surrendered to.

When the natural mother or presumed father will not consent to the adoption but also refuses to care for the child, the case may be transferred from Probate Court to Juvenile Court so that a Petition for Termination of Parental Rights can be filed.

In some cases, though, implied consent applies. That means the natural mother or presumed father has not expressly consented to the adoption, but their behavior implies consent.

The court can determine that implied consent has occurred when the natural parent a) abandons the minor child (as defined by state law), b) does not respond to the adoption petition within 30 days after receiving notice, or c) does not register with the Putative Father Registry.

Even after a natural mother or presumed father has provided consent, the consent can sometimes be withdrawn. The consent can be withdrawn within five days of the signing of the consent or five days of the birth of the child, whichever comes later.

However, implied consent cannot be withdrawn.

As you can see, consent is a crucial factor in adoption cases. An experienced family law attorney in your area can provide you with even more information on consent requirements and the legal adoption process in Alabama, more generally.

Source: Fox 10 TV, “The Legalities of Adoption,” Joe Emer, Dec. 30, 2014

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