Alaska Adoption Guide

Everything you need to know about adoption in Alaska.

Kylee Hooper April 19, 2018

Welcome, Alaskans! This Alaska guide was written to provide you with a single place to find information about adoption in Alaska. It will walk you through everything from laws that will impact your adoption to reviews of adoption service providers in Alaska .

We’ve divided this guide into five parts: first, general information about adopting in Alaska, then sections dedicated to domestic infant adoption (starting in Slide 6) foster adoption (Slide 17), international adoption (Slide 24), and stepparent adoption (Slide 28). And don’t miss our slide filled with links to helpful adoption resources (Slide 31) .

Are you interested in growing your family through domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with an adoption professional who can answer your questions.

 

Please note:
1. Please note:

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the information provided in this slideshow guide, you should not rely on it to make decisions. Instead, you should rely on licensed professionals in making decisions relative to adoption. The information in this guide is subject to change without notice. Adoption.com is not responsible for the consequences of relying on this information. In no event shall Adoption.com be liable for any direct, indirect, special, or incidental damage resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with the use of this information.

Did you know?
2. Did you know?

Alaska has an estimated 100,000 glaciers, ranging from tiny cirque glaciers to huge valley glaciers. There are more active glaciers and ice fields in Alaska than in the rest of the inhabited world. The largest glacier is the Malaspina at 850 square miles. Five percent of the state, or 29,000 square miles, is covered by glaciers.

Adoption in Alaska at a glance
3. Adoption in Alaska at a glance

Kids in foster care available for adoption in 2012:  1,107    
Foster adoptions completed in 2012: 303      
Amount of children who "timed out" of foster care in 2012: 19     
Transracial adoptions in 2012: 34.3%  

Can I Adopt in Alaska?
4. Can I Adopt in Alaska?

Adoption requirements in the state of Alaska are as follows:

-Age: Must be 18 years old    
-Marital Status:  Can be single or married    
-Finances:  There is no income requirement, but you must be able to provide for the child.    
-Housing: Must have sufficient space for the child.       
-Experience: Varies depending on the type of adoption. For more information, follow the link found here    
-DISQUALIFYING CRIMES:  In this state, you may not adopt if you have been convicted of any of the following: Child/spousal abuse, neglect, crimes against children, homicide, kidnapping, or other violent crimes. For the full explanation, go here     

SOURCE:  
Alaska Center for Resource Families   

Developing a Support System
5. Developing a Support System

It’s essential to have a good network of family, friends, and neighbors to support you through your adoption process.

It’s also important to connect with other adoptive parents. You can begin making these connections in our adoption forums. You may also want to consider joining a support group for adoptive parents.

Domestic Infant Adoption in Alaska
6. Domestic Infant Adoption in Alaska

Before you get started, click here to learn more about the overall process of adopting an infant in the United States. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back to get the details about adoption in Alaska. 

Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help
7. Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help

In Alaska, you can adopt through the State of Alaska, through a private agency, through an attorney, or from out of state.

Some people pursuing a private adoption find it beneficial to work with a professional adoption facilitator, an individual or organization that matches birth parents with adoptive parents in exchange for a fee.

You can browse and read reviews about adoption service providers in Alaska here.

For more information about picking an adoption agency, learn about the Top Fifteen Things to Look for In An Adoption Agency.

Source: ACRF.org

Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study
9. Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study

No matter what your plan of action is, you will need to complete an adoption home study.

Your home study social worker will help educate you about adoption and ensure that you (and your partner, if applicable) meet the requirements outlined on Slide Four.

Click here to learn more about the Home Study process.

Or click hereto read more about how to complete a home study in Alaska.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word
10. Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word

One of the most important things you can do while waiting for an adoption match is to let everyone know about your hope to adopt. Many adoption connections are made through word-of-mouth referrals.

Creating a listing on Adoption.com Parent Profiles is an excellent way to connect with potential birth parents across the country.

There are currently no laws in Alaska about advertising for adoption.   

Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles
11. Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles

Creating a profile on Adoption.com Parent Profiles allows you to easily share your story with those considering placing their child for adoption.  Features like videos and photos, posts, Pinterest-like favorites, and recommendations and endorsements make it easy to create a profile as unique as you are, increasing the likelihood that you will stand out and connect with that right person.

Rich communication options like video chat and instant messaging make connecting easy. A mobile-responsive design means that you will never be out of reach.

What’s more, Adoption.com receives over 650,000 monthly visits, which means your profile will receive unparalleled exposure.  You can even view and monitor your progress through a detailed statistics page.

Ready to get started? Click here

 Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment
12. Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment

In Alaska, the relinquishment of parental rights must take place before a judge.

A relinquishment may be withdrawn within ten days of being signed, or within ten days of the child being born (whichever is later.) However, if the child is a Native, a relinquishment is not valid within the first ten days after birth. Parents covered by the Indian Children Welfare Act (ICWA) can withdraw a relinquishment until the final order of termination of parental rights.

The consent to adoption must also take place before a judge.

Source: Dhss.alaska.gov (see pages 374-377)

Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights
13. Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights

In Alaska, the birth father (sometimes referred to as the putative father) has a right to be notified of adoption proceedings.

If a birth father has not established paternity, he will not be notified, nor will he have any say in court proceedings concerning his child.

Ways to establish paternity:
-If a child is born while his/her parents are married, the husband is automatically considered to be the legal father.
-The parents sign an Affidavit of Paternity
-DNA testing
-Through a court order

Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses
14. Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses

Hopeful adoptive parents and/or an adoption agency may provide legal and living expenses for an expectant mother. There are, however, requirements governing such support.  

In Alaska, the birth mother may receive funds for:
-Maternity related hospital and medical costs
-Temporary living expenses of the mother during pregnancy
-Counseling fees
-Attorney and legal fees and guardian ad litem fees
-Travel costs, meals, and lodging when necessary for court
appearances or accessing services
-Foster care for the child, when necessary

These expenses may be paid by the adoptive parents.

SOURCE: Childwelfare.gov

Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements
15. Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements

In Alaska, a birth parent may retain privileges with respect to the child including having future contact with the child. In order to retain these privileges, the birth parent must put it in writing and be specific about what privileges should be retained.

Only the birth family and the adoptee can participate in post-adoption contact agreements.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization
16. Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization

After placement, there is a ten-day waiting period before the adoption can be finalized. Residents adopting a non-relative child from out of state do not need to travel to that state in order to adopt according to Alaskan law.

Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Alaska from Out-of-State
17. Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Alaska from Out-of-State

While traveling out of state in order to adopt is not necessary, the proper paperwork must still be filed out. You will need to work with the ICPC in order to complete your adoption.

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Foster Adoption in Alaska
18. Foster Adoption in Alaska

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of adopting children through foster care.  Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about foster adoption in Alaska.

Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Alaska
19. Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Alaska

There is currently no photolisting for Alaska on Adoption.com, but photolistings can be found here and here.     

Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help
20. Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help

You can complete a foster adoption either through a private agency that is
licensed to provide foster care services or directly through the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Office of Children's Services.

To find adoption agencies in Alaska and to read reviews, check out
Adoption.com’s Reviews page for Alaska.

You will still need to complete a home study as part of this process.

Becoming Part of the Foster Care System
21. Becoming Part of the Foster Care System

Many children are in foster care while they wait to return to their families. During this time, they need a safe environment to live in. In Alaska, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to become part of the foster care system.

There are also children who are not able to return to their families. These are the children that are in foster care and are considered legally free to adopt.

A home must be listed as a foster/adopt home in order to adopt from foster care. This is done through "legal risk" placements where a child is placed in a home with the intent that he/she will be adopted.

Tribes must be notified in the case of tribal adoption and foster care.

Post Adoption Contact Agreements
22. Post Adoption Contact Agreements

Alaska requires that post adoption agreements must be decided before adoption takes place. They must be written and specific.

A post-adoption contact agreement is a voluntary agreement that can be entered into by adoptive and birth families. The agreement outlines details about how much contact the birth and adoptive families will have after the adoption is finalized.

In instances in which the child’s biological parents’ rights have been involuntarily terminated, the well-being of the child needs to be first and foremost in everyone’s minds if a post-adoption contact agreement is created. Caseworkers and therapists should be consulted in making decisions about contact after adoption.

Foster Adoption - Finalization
23. Foster Adoption - Finalization

To finalize an adoption, the child must have been in the home for six months. Children who are ten years or older have the ability to consent to or reject adoption in this time. It can be a difficult time of waiting, and children might test your level of commitment during this time. The rights of the birth parents must be terminated before adoption can occur.

Foster Adoption - Adoption Assistance
24. Foster Adoption - Adoption Assistance

There are some subsidies that are available to adopting families in Alaska. These are designed to supplement, not replace the responsibility of the adopting family. Subsidies are decided upon a case by case basis, so it is worthwhile to see if you qualify for a subsidy.

International Adoption in Alaska
25. International Adoption in Alaska

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of international adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about international adoption in Alaska

International Adoption - Photolisting
26. International Adoption - Photolisting

There are millions of beautiful children across the world who are hoping to find a forever family.

Click here to meet some of them through our Photolisting.

International Adoption - Get Professional Help
27. International Adoption - Get Professional Help

With international adoptions, your only choice is to complete your adoption through an agency. Because of the Universal Accreditation Act, all adoption agencies completing international adoptions are required to be credentialed according to federal standards. Make sure to check with any agency before working with them to ensure they have this accreditation in place!

In selecting an international adoption agency, there are Four Essential Criteria you should probably consider.

There are two adoption agencies in Alaska that help with International Adoption. They are the Catholic Social Services, and Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption. Click here to browse through reviews of adoption agencies in Alaska.

In order to be approved to adopt internationally, you will need to complete an
international adoption-specific home study.

International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements
28. International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements

Finalizing an international adoption abroad does not automatically allow the child to enter the United States. According to Childwelfare.gov, "parents must fulfill the requirements set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security, the foreign country in which the child resides, and sometimes the adoptive parents’ state of residence."

In Alaska, foreign declarations of adoption will be recognized and then the parents must apply for a U.S. birth certificate for the adopted child.


Stepparent Adoption in Alaska
29. Stepparent Adoption in Alaska

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of stepparent adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about stepparent adoption in Alaska.

Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights
30. Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights

In order for you to adopt the child of your spouse, the corresponding biological parent’s rights will first need to be terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily. You will need to consult with an adoption attorney about your desire to adopt.

Your attorney can help you decide if it’s likely that the biological parent would be willing to relinquish rights OR if it would be feasible to pursue involuntary termination of his/her parental rights.

Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt
31. Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt

Once parental rights have been terminated, you can file a petition to adopt with the courts. You and your spouse will both testify in court regarding the stability of your marital relationship, the bond you’ve developed with your stepchild, and your desire to become the legal parent of your stepchild.

You will generally not be required to complete a background check or home study as part of the stepparent adoption process.

Adoption Resources
32. Adoption Resources

Forums       
Wiki Laws        
Parent Profiles for Alaska   
Success Stories

author image

Kylee Hooper

Kylee Hooper is not quite a mother, but she adores babies, and hopes to be able to either foster or adopt someday. When she isn't writing, reading, or editing; she is normally playing her harp or creating an adventure.


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