The adoption experience can seem confusing and overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. It doesn’t have to be confusing or overwhelming, you just need to know where to start. Finding the right adoption agency for you and your family is one of the most important first steps. And lucky for you, this article will help you find adoption agencies in Alabama.

As I always indicate, this is written from my personal experience and research. I do not have any affiliation with any of the agencies listed, rather they are what I found might work for those who reside in Alabama.

I will urge you to find an agency that you feel comfortable working with. Adoption can be extremely overwhelming, and it is also very personal. You will share personal intimate information about yourself with your agency worker. It is crucial you find an agency you feel comfortable working with. In this article I found three adoption agencies in Alabama you should look in to.

Agape: 

Agape is one of the adoption agencies in Alabama I found to have really good reviews and success. Agape is a non-profit 503(c) Christian foster care and adoption agency. Their staff is full of dedicated Christians who seek to find permanent homes for foster care children and place children with forever families through the gift of adoption. A majority of the funding for Agape comes from donations from churches and individuals.

Agape requires that prospective adoptive parents meet the following criteria:

          - Must be a resident of Alabama

- Must be in good health and confirmed by medical exams

- Must be faithful Christians who live a life consistent with Agape’s Statement of Affirmation

- Must be married for a minimum of three (3) years

- Must be at least 25 years old

- Must complete Prepare and Enrich marriage assessment with Agape’s Child and Family Therapist

- Must be willing to have at least a semi-open adoption with the child’s birth family

- Agape will approve single parent adoptions on a case-by-case basis

Domestic Adoption: 

The general process for a domestic adoption through Agape is as follows:

          - Review the above requirements and submit an application for services

- Begin gathering the paperwork for the home study. This includes but is not limited to: medical exams, criminal background checks, parent-preparation training, register to attend Prepare and Equip Assessment, financial information, and identification verifications

- You must have a minimum of three (3) home visits with an Agape social worker for the home study.

- Prepare a profile book. This book will be shared with expecting parents who are considering an adoption plan for their baby.

- Wait time can be anywhere from two to three years

- Agape provides post-placement visits and legal services for finalization

- Agape also provides post-placement counseling and support

International Adoption: 

Agape has the same requirements listed above for an international adoption. However, the marriage requirement will vary from each country. Make sure to check with the country you are hoping to adopt from regarding their specific requirements. Sometimes they have age requirements and marriage requirements that may be older and longer than that of Agape’s requirements.

Agape is Hague-accredited through the Counsel of Accreditation to provide international services. This is important to note if you are planning to adopt internationally, most countries will require the agency to be Hague-accredited. The general process for an international adoption through Agape is as follows:

          - Review the above requirements and submit an application for services

- Begin gathering the paperwork for the home study. This includes but is not limited to: medical exams, criminal background checks, parent-preparation training, register to attend Prepare and Equip Assessment, financial information, and identification verifications.

- You must have a minimum of three (3) home visits with an Agape social worker for the home study.

- Agape will provide support and further preparation as required by your country of adoption during the waiting process.

- Agape provides post-placement visits and legal services for finalization

- Agape also provides post-placement counseling and support

Agape locations: 

Montgomery Office (Main Office)

P.O. Box 230472

Montgomery, AL 36123-0472

3800 Vaughn Road

Montgomery, AL 36106

Phone: 334‑272‑9466

Wiregrass Office

P.O. Box 311541

Enterprise, AL 36331

Phone: 334‑393‑1990

Birmingham Office

P.O. Box 36533

Birmingham, AL 35236

Phone: 205‑733‑9755

Family Adoption Services 

Family Adoption Services is another one of the adoption agencies in Alabama I found to have really good reviews and success. Family Adoption Services “is a private child placement agency, licensed by the State of Alabama. They offer birth parent counseling, legal services, medical care, financial aid and the opportunity to choose the adoptive parents they wish for their child to have. [They also] offer adoptive parent counseling, home studies, post-placement visits, and all legal services” required to have a successful adoption in Alabama.

Family Adoption Service requires that prospective adoptive parents meet the following criteria:

          - Must “have a genuine and mutual desire to love and parent children”

- Must have a desire to work with the birth parents and the agency on an adoption plan for the unborn child, of either sex.

- Must be at least 25 years of age and the maximum age is 50

- Must be married for at least three years

- They are unable to work with engaged couples

- They give preference to couples who are unable to have children naturally. However, each case is evaluated individually.

- Must obtain a home study from the agency

- Must be in good physical and emotional health, and confirmed by medical exams

- Must reside in a home that has the space to provide good living conditions.

- Must have sufficient income to meet the needs of the family. Must provide proof.

- Must be able to provide three years of steady employment. They are unable to work with someone who is on SSA or SSI.

- Must be able to provide six (6) character references (two of your references must be family members)

- Must be interviewed by the agency. “Any minor children from a previous marriage must also be interviewed.”

- Must be able to “obtain current clearance through the State Central Registry on Child Abuse/Neglect and ABI/FBI.”

- Must have adequate health insurance coverage which allows you to add on your adopted children immediately

- Must complete parenting classes and infant CPR classes

- Must have the ability to be flexible when working with birth parents.

- Must observe/follow through with any agreed-upon contact with the birth parents after the child is born.

- If you have adopted or you have natural-born children, you are encouraged not to apply until the youngest child is 2 years old.

- No applicant may be convicted of a felony.

The general process for adoption through Family Adoption Services is as follows:

          - Submit a home study application with a payment of approximately $400

- You then will receive a packet that has the Child Abuse and Neglect clearances, fingerprint cards, and information to release/complete your background checks. The clearances may take three (3) weeks to clear and the fingerprints can take 12 weeks to clear.

- While you are “waiting” you can provide the following to the agency: copy of birth certificate for each member of the family, copy of final decree for any adopted children, copy of marriage certificate, copy of divorce decree if applicable, a statement from your health insurance provider regarding coverage of an adopted child, two years of federal income tax returns; photographs of your home and family, verification of the infant CPR and parenting class attendance, signed Conviction Statement for all household members over the age of 14, all other signed paperwork.

- Start to work on your “Dear Birth Mother” letter. This is what is presented to the birth mothers/birth family in order to match you.

- You will be required to have all adult family members meet in the Family Adoption Services office to meet with the staff. This should be scheduled before your home visit.

- Once the above is completed, the home visit can be scheduled. You must also pay a home study fee of about $1,600.

- Adoptive parents won’t be put on the waiting list until all documents are submitted, the home visit is completed, the birth mother letter is completed and received by Family Adoption Services, and all clearances are received from the state.

- You will also need to obtain a Medical Disclosure Authorization (can be found online or from the agency), which must be mailed, by your physician, directly to Family Adoption Services. You must also provide “statements from your children’s pediatrician(s) that they are in good health, free from any communicable diseases, plus a copy of their current immunization records (‘blue cards’).”

- You will also need written proof that your pets are in good health and are current with their immunizations.

- You must provide six (6) reference questionnaires that are to be directly mailed to Family Adoption Services. They should be completed by family, friends, pastor, etc. Two of the six reference letters need to be from family members.

- “Any expenses incurred during the home study update investigation (mileage, telephone toll charges, postage, travel time, faxes, etc.) will be invoiced separately after the home study update is completed.”

Location: 

Family Adoption Services

2010 Lancaster Road

Birmingham, AL 35209

Phone: 205-612-0238

E-mail: familyadoptionservices@gmail.com

Catholic Family Services

Catholic Family Services is another one of the adoption agencies in Alabama that I found to have really good reviews and success. CFS is a state-licensed adoption agency that focuses on infant adoption, however, they do also provide international services. They also provide opportunities for social media marketing for prospective adoptive parents through an affiliation with Parentfinders.

CFS requires that prospective adoptive parents meet the following criteria:

          - You must be single or have been married a minimum of three (3) years

- You must be an active Christian

- You must have a history of infertility

- You must have health insurance

- You must have enough income to support a child

- You must pass screenings for medical and criminal background

The general process for adoption through CFS is as follows:

          - Contact the agency nearest you to be placed on the inquiry list. This may be immediate or it may take a few months, depending on the number of “approved” families.

- As soon as they can begin a home study, a social worker will reach out to schedule the first interview.

- There will be several interviews, both joint and individually as well as in the office and your home.

- You will be given paperwork to complete with each interview.

- Once the home study is completed and approved, you will be notified and considered for a baby.

CFS is also able to help with independent adoption/home studies, post-placement visits and reports for international adoptions.

Locations: 

Birmingham

1515 12th Ave.

South Birmingham, AL 35205

Phone: 205-324-6561

Florence

1111 E College St.

Florence, AL 3560

Phone: 256-768-1550

Huntsville

1010 Church St. N.W.

Huntsville, AL 53801

Phone: 256-536-0073

Conclusion

As indicated above, the adoption process can be challenging and time-consuming. However, I hope this article helped a little in helping you find an adoption agency in Alabama. I again will remind you to do as much of your own research as possible regarding adoption agencies in Alabama.

My biggest piece of advice to adoptive couples all the time is, find an agency you feel comfortable with. Adoption is a very personal experience and you share a lot of personal information with your agency worker. Making sure you have a comfortable relationship with your agency worker is crucial.

We spoke with our social worker several times through the process and really formed a good relationship with her. You may end up “waiting” years and during those waiting years it is nice to have someone you can talk to you to help with the waiting.

Adoption social workers have seen a lot of different situations and can help walk you through the process and also the waiting time. Make sure to ask them any questions you may have. There is no such thing as a bad question. You want to be as informed as possible and know what the expectations are while going through the process. That way things won’t come as a shock to you when they are required of you.

Also, you will be able to help develop your relationship with your worker, when you are able to ask questions of him or her. Good luck to you finding an agency to work with and I wish you the best of luck adopting. It is a journey, so enjoy every step of the way.

 

Learn how to have a more successful adoption journey. Watch 60+ adoption leaders and experts FREE at the virtual Adoption Summit. Get your free ticket.

 

Visit Adoption.com’s photolisting page for children who are ready and waiting to find their forever families. For adoptive parents, please visit our Parent Profiles page where you can create an incredible adoption profile and connect directly with potential birth parents.