Articles Posted in Adoption

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If you are thinking about adopting a child in Alabama, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the steps involved. Adopting a child is one of the most important processes you will go through in life, and knowing what to expect can take away some of the anxiety that can arise.

Before any steps can be taken toward adopting a child, you must make sure that you qualify. In addition to being ready, willing and able to care for a child, Alabama law has certain requirements that must be met before an individual or couple can be allowed to legally adopt, including:

  • You must be older than 19-years-old.
  • If you are married, you must be married for at least three years.
  • You (or your spouse) must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must have proper housing and space for a child.
  • You must be healthy enough to care for a child.
  • You must go through a thorough background check.

If you meet all of these requirements, you can go on to the procedural steps involved:

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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.

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While making the decision to adopt can seem like a simple one, getting through the process can certainly seem anything but simple. Alabama residents have a number of reasons to consider adoption. Some may wish to start or add to their family, some stepparents may wish to gain legal rights to their stepchildren, kinship adoptions may become a necessity, and, in rare cases, adults may pursue adoption for inheritance purposes. In any case, help in completing the process as quickly and smoothly as possible is available.

After the decision has been made to proceed with an adoption, the next decision will involve how to go about the process. There are several different ways to adopt a child. For those who are wanting to start or add to their growing family, common ways to adopt include:

  • Adoption through a licensed agency
  • Adopting independently
  • Adopting through identification
  • Adopting internationally

Each of these forms of adoption can have both pros and cons. Researching each will give prospective parents a better idea of what type of adoption will work best for their specific circumstances. Other common forms of adoption include stepparent adoption and kinship adoption. While these don’t require finding birth mothers or working with agencies, these adoptions can still be somewhat complicated and require attention to detail.

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Too many unmarried fathers feel that they don’t have any rights in adoption cases or that they don’t have a say, but that’s not true. There are steps unmarried fathers can take to protect their rights and make a commitment to raising their child.

In Alabama, alleged fathers have a right to be notified about adoptions proceedings, but the father first must be registered with the Putative Father Registry. The registry indicates that the man thinks he might have a child born outside of a marriage.

paternity order with the registration.

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When couples here in Alabama or elsewhere make the decision to adopt a child, their readiness to love that child is awe-inspiring. Some of them already have biological children of their own, but they decide to complete their family through this wonderful event that can offer a child without a home a bright future. Some families make the choice to have an international adoption, but that process isn’t always an easy one, as one family has recently found out after adopting a little girl from overseas.

The family — who are from out of state — is sharing their experience with many others across the nation. They made the decision a couple of years ago to adopt a child internationally after adopting two sons here in the United States. Though the adoption has been completed and she is now legally their daughter, the girl’s home country has stopped issuing exit papers and have not given any indication that they intend to resume the process. The adoptions themselves have been allowed to continue, but none of the children are allowed to leave the country.

The girl’s parents have joined forces with advocacy groups who are working to lobby in Washington, D.C. to bring the children home. They understand that the home country is concerned for the children’s future well-being, but they are anxious to have their children. Some of the families have traveled to where their children are located until they are permitted to bring them home, but for many, this option is not feasible.

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A 35-year-old man and his 45-year-old wife badly want to have a child. So far, they have been unable to conceive one, and they have been told that at the wife’s age, the chances of conception may be as low as five percent. Accordingly, just like many couples in Alabama and elsewhere in that predicament, they decided to go through an adoption. The difficulty they still faced, in addition to being approved to adopt a child, revolved around financing the adoption process.

Costs can vary, but their estimate was that they might need around $20,000. They did feel that they had the ongoing income and other needed resources to be able to afford to raise a child. But, they lacked the initial lump sum to get the child to begin with and do the formal legal process. So, they decided to do fundraising to raise the money, showing their determination to do whatever was necessary to give a child a loving home.

They first held a public event at a local music venue, and they raised an initial $1,000 to get them started. They then started their own fundraising campaign on a crowdfunding website, using social media to promote it. Funds are often needed during the adoption process for money needed by the pregnant woman for the health of herself and the baby, travel, counseling, court costs, a home study and legal services.