Choosing to adopt a child in Alabama is a very personal and complex decision. But when done carefully and guided by the best legal advice, adopting a child can bring greater unity to your family, filling life with many joys. It may be one of the very best decisions you have made.
To help you get started down this rewarding road, call Huntsville adoption lawyer Sara Doty.
Here For You, Every Step Of The Way
Founder of Sara Doty Attorney at Law, LLC, and her legal staff provide prompt, personal and focused attention to their clients seeking to adopt. They are dedicated to being there for these clients at every step in the adoption process.
Some of the adoption issues Mrs. Doty has assisted her clients with include:
- Stepparent adoption: when a nonbiological parent adopts a child, usually in a second or third marriage
- Relative adoption: adoption by a close family member
- Adoption of special needs children:
- Generally healthy, average children of all ethnic and racial backgrounds who are more than eight years old
- Children whose parents were diagnosed with mental illness or substance abuse issues
- Children with mental, emotional or physical problems
- Groups of siblings of three or more to be placed together
- Termination of parental rights: occurs when a stepparent desires to adopt the biological child of his or her spouse, requiring the other biological parent/ex-spouse to terminate his or her parental rights
At any time, there are hundreds of children in Alabama waiting for permanent homes. Adoption is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child, and that holds true whether you are adopting a stepchild or are interested in adopting a child unrelated to you or your spouse (should you be married). There are certain things that you should be aware of when it comes to adoption in Alabama, however, and an attorney experienced in this area can help ensure that your adoption goes through and that the terms are as good as possible to ensure the safety and health of your family.
Sara Doty, Attorney at Law, LLC, is an attorney second to none when it comes to knowledge and passion to her clients. If you are interested in the adoption process, why not walk that path with a compassionate and dedicated attorney who can help you understand the process and will keep you up to date? Serving residents in the Huntsville area, Sara Doty works hard to help ensure they her clients receive the best outcome possible.
Adoption Licensing Requirements
When it comes obtaining an adoption license, there are a few requirements you must meet. It is possible that the State Office of Adoption could issue an exception to some of them should the family in question not meet every single requirement but proves to be an exceptionally good option regardless. Note that these kinds of requests must be submitted to the Office of Permanency before the applicant moves forward with their application. Additionally, the request must come from the child-placing agency or county processing the application.
To be approved for an adoption license, you must meet the following requirements:
- At least 19 years of age.
- All household members aged 19 and older are required to undergo criminal background checks (there will be no exceptions granted on this requirement).
- State Central Registry on Child Abuse and Neglect must be clear for all members of the household aged 19 or older.
- The family must be stable.
- At least one of the potential parents must be a United States citizen.
- Applicants must be of reasonable good health (this will be verified via medical forms).
- You must have character references.
- There must be a regular source of income that shows you can meet your family’s financial need.
Step Parent Adoptions
Stepparent adoptions are some of the most common forms of adoption carried out in the state of Alabama. It should be noted that a Petition for Adoption is required to be served to the step-child’s “other” biological parent before the adoption can move forward. Once that parent provides consent, the adoption can proceed. If the parent refuses, there are still options to complete a stepparent adoption.
- If the natural parent in question has abandoned the adoptee, the adoption can move forward.
- If the natural parent has left the adoptee with no provision regarding their identification for 30 days, the adoption can move forward.
- If the natural parent receives a notification about the pendency of adoption proceedings and fails to respond or answer within 30 days, the adoption can move forward.
For more information about how to move forward with the adoption process in Alabama, contact Sara Doty, Attorney at Law, LLC, today! Call us for an initial consultation at 256-519-9970.