Adoption in Alabama

Adoption in Alabama

 

Who may adopt a child in the State of Alabama? Any adult person or husband and wife jointly who are adults may petition the court to adopt a minor.


Who may be adopted in the State of Alabama? Persons who may be adopted in Alabama are:

  • A minor.
  • An adult under any one of the following conditions:
  • He or she is totally and permanently disabled.
  • He or she is determined to be mentally retarded.
  • He or she consents in writing to be adopted and is related in any degree of kinship, as defined by the intestacy laws of Alabama, or is a stepchild by marriage.
  • He or she consents in writing to be adopted by an adult man and woman who are husband and wife.

Persons whose consents or relinquishment are required.

(a) Consent to the petitioner's adoption or relinquishment for adoption to the Alabama Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency shall be required of the following:

  • The adoptee, if 14 years of age or older, except where the court finds that the adoptee does not have the mental capacity to give consent;
  • The adoptee's mother;
  • The adoptee's presumed father, regardless of paternity, if:
  • He and the adoptee's mother are or have been married to each other and the adoptee was born during the marriage, or within 300 days after the marriage was terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce, or after a decree of separation was entered by a court; or
  • Before the adoptee's birth, he and the adoptee's mother have attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and,
    • If the attempted marriage could be declared invalid only by a court, the adoptee was born during the attempted marriage, or within 300 days after its termination by death, annulment, declaration or invalidity, or divorce; or
    • If the attempted marriage is invalid without a court order, the adoptee was born within 300 days after the termination of cohabitation; or
  • After the adoptee's birth, he and the adoptee's mother have married, or attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and
    • With his knowledge or consent, he was named as the adoptee's father on the adoptee's birth certificate; or
    • He is obligated to support the adoptee pursuant to a written voluntary promise or agreement or by court order; or
  • He received the adoptee into his home and openly held out the adoptee as his own child;
  • The agency to which the adoptee has been relinquished or which holds permanent custody and which has placed the adoptee for adoption, except that the court may grant the adoption without the consent of the agency if the adoption is in the best interests of the adoptee and there is a finding that the agency has unreasonably withheld its consent; and
  • The putative father if made known by the mother or is otherwise made known to the court provided he complies with registration requirements for intent to claim paternity and he responds within 30 days to the notice of adoption proceedings.

(b) A petition to adopt an adult may be granted only if written consent to adopt has been executed by the adult seeking to adopt and his or her spouse or by the guardian or conservator of the adult sought to be adopted.


Stepparent adoptions. Any person may adopt his or her spouse's child except that:

  • Before the filing of the petition for adoption, the adoptee must have resided for a period of one year with the petitioner, unless this filing provision is waived by the court for good cause shown;
  • No pre-placement suitability investigation shall occur unless otherwise directed by the court.

Adoption by other relatives. Relatives may adopt a minor grandchild, a minor brother, a minor half-brother, a minor sister, a minor half-sister, a minor nephew, a minor niece, a minor great-grandchild, a minor great niece or a minor great nephew, except that:

  • Before the filing of the petition for adoption, the adoptee must have resided for a period of one year with the petitioner, unless this filing provision is waived by the court for good cause shown;
  • No pre-placement suitability investigation shall occur unless otherwise directed by the court.