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Alabama Adoption Laws

Deciding to add a loved one to your family can be a time for joyous celebration. But if you are adopting, the legal procedures in place can make it a complex and potentially confusing one as well. The Yellowhammer State has specific laws that regulate who can be adopted, by whom, and how, so it’s best to be familiar with them before you start so your adoption can have a happy ending. This is an introduction to adoption laws in Alabama.

State Laws

Every state has adoption laws that exist to determine who is allowed to adopt and the special requirements for adoptive parents, in order to protect the best interests of the adoptee. While adoptions can be a momentous occasion, they can be a complex process; an attorney may help in understanding the law and what your legal requirements might be.

Adoption Laws in Alabama

Each state may have their own particular adoption laws, which could from those in other states. Adoption laws in Alabama are highlighted in the table below.

Code Section

Code of Alabama 26-10A-1, et seq.: Alabama Adoption Code

Who May Be Adopted

(1) Any minor (2) Any adult under following conditions: (a) He or she is permanently disabled (b) He or she is determined to be mentally retarded

Age that Child's Consent Needed

14 years and older unless adoptee does not have mental capacity to give consent

Who May Adopt

Any adult person or husband and wife jointly; no rule or regulation of Department of Human Resources shall prevent adoption by single person solely because of a certain age; or by a person because he or she works outside the home.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

60 days, unless waived by court when good cause is shown

State Agency/Court

Dept. of Human Resources/Probate Court

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

1 year

Alabama allows any minor or disabled adult to be adopted, and any adult may adopt. After the age of 14, a child must consent to the adoption. Although Alabama does not have a statutory restriction on same-sex adoption, some courts have turned down requests to adopt a same-sex spouse’s child. The state also has designated adoption courts that handle adoption proceedings in order to protect the best interests of the adoptee.

Related Resources for Adoption Laws:

Deciding to adopt a child can be a serious emotional decision, and the legal process surrounding adoption can be just as serious. You can contact an Alabama adoption attorney if you would like legal assistance with an adoption matter. You can also visit FindLaw’s Adoption and Adoption Laws section for additional articles and information on this topic.

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