- 1 Adoption Laws
- 1.1 Consent to Adoption
- 1.2 Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents
- 1.3 Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
- 1.4 Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption
- 1.5 Infant Safe Haven Laws
- 1.6 Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses
- 1.7 The Rights of Unmarried Fathers
- 1.8 Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements
- 1.9 Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?
- 2 Post-Adoption Laws
- 3 Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Consent to Adoption
Consent shall be required of the following:
- The mother
- The presumed father, regardless of paternity, if:
- He and the child’s mother are or have been married to each other and the child was born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage was terminated.
- Before the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother attempted to marry each other.
- After the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother married or attempted to marry each other, and with his knowledge or consent, he was named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate, he is obligated to support the child, or he received the child into his home and openly held out the child as his own child.
- The agency to which the child has been relinquished or holds permanent custody and has placed the child for adoption
- The putative father, if made known by the mother or is otherwise made known to the court, provided he complies with § 26-10C-1 and responds to notice within 30 days
Prior to a minor parent giving consent, a guardian ad litem must be appointed to represent the interests of a minor parent whose consent is required.
A minor father may give implied consent by his actions. If a court finds by conclusive evidence that a minor father has given implied consent to the adoption, notice and the appointment of a guardian ad litem shall not be necessary.
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 adopted person pursuant to the requirements of §§ 26-10A-6 and 26-10A-11.
A child age 14 or older must consent to the adoption except where the court finds that the child does not have the mental capacity to consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed 
A required consent or relinquishment may be implied by any of the following acts of a parent:
- Abandonment of the child, including, but not limited to, the failure of the father, with reasonable knowledge of the pregnancy, to offer financial and/or emotional support for a period of 6 months prior to the birth
- Leaving the child without provision for his or her identification for a period of 30 days
- Knowingly leaving the child with others without provision for support and without communication, or not otherwise maintaining a significant parental relationship with the child for a period of 6 months
- Receiving notice of the adoption proceedings and failing to answer or otherwise respond to the petition within 30 days
- Failing to comply with § 26-10C-1
- A parent whose rights with reference to the child have been terminated
- A parent who has been adjudged incompetent or mentally incapable of consenting or relinquishing and whose mental disability is likely to continue for so long a period that it would be detrimental to the child to delay adoption until restoration of the parent’s competency or capacity
- A parent who has relinquished his or her minor child to the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child-placing agency for an adoption
- A deceased parent or one who is presumed to be deceased
- An alleged father who has signed a written statement denying paternity
- The natural father when the natural mother indicates the natural father is unknown, unless the natural father is otherwise made known to the court
When Consent Can Be Executed 
A consent or relinquishment may be taken at any time except, that once signed or confirmed, it may be withdrawn within 5 days after birth or within 5 days after signing of the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last.
How Consent Must Be Executed 
A consent or relinquishment shall be in writing, signed by the person consenting or relinquishing, and shall state that the person executing the document is voluntarily and unequivocally consenting to the adoption of the named child.
A consent of the natural mother taken prior to the birth of a child shall be signed or confirmed before a judge of probate. At the time of taking the consent, the judge shall explain to the consenting parent the legal effect of signing the document and the time limits and procedures for withdrawal of the consent and shall provide the parent with a form for withdrawing the consent in accordance with the requirements of §§ 26-10A-13 and 26-10A-14.
All other prebirth or postbirth consents or relinquishments shall be signed or confirmed before:
- A judge or clerk of any court that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings, or a public officer appointed by that judge for the purpose of taking consents
- A person appointed to take consents who is appointed by any agency that is authorized to conduct investigations or home studies, or, if the consent is taken out of State, by a person appointed to take consents by any agency that is authorized by that State’s law to conduct investigations and home studies for adoptions
- A notary public
Revocation of Consent
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-9; 26-10A-13; 26-10-14
Implied consent due to abandonment may not be withdrawn by any person.
The consent or relinquishment, once signed or confirmed, may not be withdrawn except:
- If the court finds that the withdrawal is reasonable under the circumstances and consistent with the best interests of the child within 14 days after the birth of the child or within 14 days after signing of the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last
- At any time until the final decree upon a showing that the consent or relinquishment was obtained by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence on the part of a petitioner or his or her agent or the agency to whom or for whose benefit it was given
- Upon dismissal of the adoption after a contested hearing as provided in § 26-10A-24
Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents
A fingerprint-based criminal history background information check is required for current and prospective foster parents and all adult household members.
A criminal history background information check will not be conducted on a current foster parent or household member of a foster family if an FBI and State criminal history background information check has already been conducted under other law.
Convictions for any of the following crimes shall make an individual unsuitable for licensure:
- Murder, manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide
- A sex crime
- A crime that involves the physical or mental injury or maltreatment of a child, the elderly, or an individual with disabilities
- A crime committed against a child
- A crime involving the sale or distribution of a controlled substance
- A crime or offense committed in another State or under Federal law that would constitute any of the above crimes in this State
Conviction for any crime listed in the Adoption and Safe Families Act, (42 U.S.C. 671(a)(20)) shall disqualify a person from being approved or continuing to be approved as a foster parent or adoptive parent, and a convicted person shall be deemed unsuitable for employment, volunteer work, approval, or licensure as a foster parent or adoptive parent.
Requirements for Adoptive Parents Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-19; 38-13-3(5); Ala. Admin. Code r. 660-5-22-.03
A fingerprint-based criminal history background check is required for applicants and members of their household age 19 and older as part of the adoption investigation.
A criminal history background information check will not be conducted for a current adoptive parent or household member if an FBI and State criminal history background information check has already been conducted under other law.
No home can be approved where any adult member has been convicted of a crime at any time involving:
- A sex-related crime, including sexual abuse, exploitation, rape, child pornography, or incest
- Serious intentional physical injury or death of any person, including murder, manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, or kidnapping
- A crime against a child, including abandonment or endangerment
- A property crime, such as burglary or robbery
- Manufacture, sale, distribution, use, or possession of controlled substances
An exception is allowed when a household member has a criminal conviction involving robbery, burglary, or arson when there is evidence of rehabilitation.
When a household member has a criminal conviction for a sex-related crime; serious intentional or negligent physical injury or death of any person; a crime against a child; or the manufacture, sale, distribution, use, or possession of controlled substances, an exception is made if there is evidence of rehabilitation and the following conditions exist:
- For a felony, 10 years have elapsed since the sentence was served.
- For a misdemeanor, 5 years have elapsed since the sentence was served.
No exception is allowed when there is a criminal conviction involving a sex-related crime against a child, serious intentional reckless or negligent physical injury, or death of a child.
Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights
Ala. Code § 12-15-319
If the court finds from clear and convincing evidence that the parents of a child are unable or unwilling to discharge their responsibilities to their child, it may terminate the parental rights of the parents. In making this determination, the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following:
- The parent has abandoned the child.
- Emotional illness, mental illness, or mental deficiency of the parent, or excessive use of alcohol or controlled substances has rendered the parent unable to care for the child.
- The parent has tortured, abused, cruelly beaten, or otherwise maltreated the child, or attempted to torture, abuse, cruelly beat, or otherwise maltreat the child, or the child is in clear and present danger of being thus tortured, abused, cruelly beaten, or otherwise maltreated as evidenced by the treatment of a sibling.
- The parent has been convicted of and imprisoned for a felony.
- The parent has committed any of the following:
- Murder or manslaughter of another child of that parent
- Aiding, abetting, attempting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit murder or manslaughter of another child of that parent
- A felony assault or abuse that results in serious bodily injury to the surviving child or another child of that parent
- Unexplained serious physical injury to the child proved to be the result of the intentional conduct or willful neglect of the parent.
- Reasonable efforts to rehabilitate the parent have failed.
- Parental rights to a sibling of the child have been involuntarily terminated.
- The parent has failed to provide for the material needs of the child or to pay a reasonable portion of support of the child when the parent is able to do so.
- The parent has failed to maintain regular visits with the child in accordance with a visitation plan.
- The parent has failed to maintain consistent contact or communication with the child.
Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights
Ala. Code § 12-15-317
- The child is being cared for by a relative.
- The Department of Human Resources has documented in the individualized service plan, which shall be available for review by the juvenile court, a compelling reason for determining that filing a petition would not be in the best interests of the child.
- The department has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with the time period in the individualized service plan of the department, such services as the department deems necessary for the safe return of the child to his or her home, if reasonable efforts are required to be made with respect to the child.
Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption
Who Must Be Studied
Citation: Ann. Code § 26-10A-19(a)
A preplacement investigation shall be made to determine the suitability of each petitioner and the home in which the child to be adopted will be placed.
Agency or Person Conducting the Study
Citation: Ann. Code § 26-10A-19
A preplacement investigation or a postplacement investigation must be performed by one of the following:
- The Department of Human Resources
- A licensed child-placing agency
- An individual or agency licensed by the department to perform investigations
- A licensed social worker
Qualifications for Adoptive Parents
Citation: Admin. Code R. 660-5-22-.03(6)
General requirements for applicants include:
- Both husband and wife must be at least age 19.
- Applications may be accepted from single persons.
- Married applicants must have been married at least 3 years.
- Applicants and members of their household age 19 and older are required to be fingerprinted and have criminal records checks.
- The family should have sufficient income and savings to meet its needs and provide for the child or children without difficulty.
- Medical reports indicating that all family members are in good health are required.
- The department must have assurance that the adoptive parents are willing to provide medical treatment to children as recommended by a licensed physician.
- Applications may be accepted from persons of any religious faith.
- Applications may be accepted from persons who currently live in Alabama and who expect to remain in Alabama long enough to complete the application process.
- Either the prospective father or mother must be a U.S. citizen.
- Race or national origin will not be used as a single or exclusive criterion.
Elements of a Home Study
Citation: Ann. Code § 26-10A-19; Admin. Code R. 660-5-22-.03(7)
The investigation shall include a criminal background investigation and any other circumstances that might be relevant to the placement of an adopted child with the petitioners. The investigation of the adoptive parents must include:
- The suitability of each petitioner, and his, her, or their home for the child
- Any orders, judgments, or decrees affecting the child or any children of the petitioner
- Criminal background investigations
- The costs and expenses connected with the adoption
- Any other circumstances that may be relevant to the placement of the child with the petitioners
In regulation: The home study will consist of the following elements:
- At least one home visit as well as individual interviews with the applicant(s)
- Information on the adoptive couple or person, including reasons for adopting and family background
- Interviews with at least two references after it is reasonably certain that the applicant(s) will be recommended for approval
- A diagnostic evaluation including a recommendation of the type of child as well as future plans for the applicant(s)
- Completion of adoption training as outlined in regulation
Grounds for Withholding Approval
Citation: Admin. Code r. 660-5-22-.03
No home can be approved in which any adult who lives in the household has been convicted at any time of:
- A sex-related crime
- Serious intentional, reckless, or negligent physical injury, danger, or death of any person
- A crime against a child
- A crime involving major intrusion upon property or use of a weapon to secure property
- The manufacture, sale, distribution, use, or possession of controlled substances or alcohol
Exceptions can be made for some convictions that have occurred in the past when there is credible documentation of rehabilitation. No exception will be granted when there is a criminal conviction involving a sex-related crime against a child or serious intentional reckless or negligent physical injury or death of a child.
When Studies Must Be Completed
Citation: Admin. Code R. 660-5-22-.04
A child may not be placed in a prospective adoptive home prior to completion of a preplacement investigation of the petitioners and their home. The preplacement investigation must have been completed within 24 months of the placement of the child.
Postplacement Study Requirements
Citation: Ann. Code § 26-10A-19
In every adoption proceeding, after a child has been placed in the home, a postplacement investigation must be conducted as soon as possible after notice of the placement but within 45 days after the placement.
In the investigation, an investigator must observe the adopted child and interview the petitioner in their home to verify all allegations of the petition. The report shall include sufficient facts for the court to determine whether there has been compliance with consent or relinquishment provisions and all of the information enumerated above that was not obtained in the preplacement investigation.
Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 26-10A-27; 26-10A-28
Unless otherwise directed by the court, no investigation shall be required when a person seeks to adopt his or her spouse’s child.
Unless otherwise directed by the court, no investigation is required when a grandfather, grandmother, great-grandfather, great-grandmother, great-uncle, great-aunt, brother, half-brother, sister, half-sister, aunt, or uncle of the first degree and their respective spouses seek to adopt a minor grandchild, brother, half-brother, sister, half-sister, nephew, niece, great-grandchild, great niece, great nephew.
Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 26-10A-35; 38-7-15
The person or agency bringing the child into the State to be adopted must first obtain the consent of the department. The department is authorized to designate an agency in the other State to interview the child’s parent(s) to obtain social, background, and medical information about the child.
The department shall be authorized to make a thorough investigation of the proposed parents and their home to determine whether they are financially able, physically able, and morally fit to have care, supervision, training, and control of the child.
If the child, subsequent to being brought into the State, becomes dependent, neglected, or delinquent prior to his or her adoption or becoming of legal age of majority, the child shall be subject to the laws of Alabama as if he or she were a resident child of the State.
Foster to Adopt Placements
Citation: Admin. Code R. 660-5-22-.03(10)(b), (11)
The decision whether the foster home will be approved as the child’s adoptive home will be a decision of the department based upon the following factors:
- The child’s attachment to the foster parents
- The length of time the child has been in the home
- The age of the child in relation to age of foster parents
- The health and income of the foster parents
- Involvement/interference from the birth family
- The appropriateness of the foster home placement
The approved adoptive family must be issued a foster home approval for the particular child to be placed unless the resource is already an approved foster home.
Infant Safe Haven Laws
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-1
A child who is 72 hours old or younger may be relinquished under this section.
Who May Relinquish the Infant
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-1
The child may be relinquished by his or her parent.
Who May Receive the Infant
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-25-1; 26-25-4
An emergency medical services provider, without a court order, shall take possession of the child if the child is voluntarily delivered to the provider by the child’s parent and the parent did not express an intent to return for the child.
The term ‘emergency medical services provider’ means a licensed hospital that operates an emergency department. The term does not include the offices, clinics, surgeries, or treatment facilities of private physicians or dentists. No individual licensed health-care provider, including physicians, dentists, nurses, physician assistants, or other health professionals, shall be deemed to be an emergency medical services provider unless such individual voluntarily assumes responsibility for the custody of the child.
Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-25-1; 26-25-2
An emergency medical services provider who takes possession of a child shall perform any act necessary to protect the physical health or safety of the child.
No later than the close of the first business day after the date on which an emergency medical services provider takes possession of a child, the provider shall notify the Department of Human Resources that the provider has taken possession of the child.
Immunity for the Provider
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-5
No person or other entity subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to any person for any claim for damages as a result of any action taken pursuant to the requirements of this chapter, and no lawsuit shall be predicated thereon.
Protection for Relinquishing Parent
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-3
Effect on Parental Rights
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-25-2
Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses
Birth Parent Expenses Allowed
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10A-34(a)
Preceding and during pregnancy-related incapacity, as an act of charity, the adoptive parent is permitted to pay maternity-connected medical or hospital and necessary living expenses of the mother. Legitimate charges for medical, legal, prenatal, or other professional services are permitted.
Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-23(a); 26-10A-34(b)
No person or other entity may accept a fee for bringing the adopting parent together with the child to be adopted or natural parents, or for placing, assisting, or arranging a minor placement.
Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-23(d); 26-10A-34
Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10-4.1; Admin. Code r. 660-5-22.04
The Department of Human Resources is required to collect a fee of $300 for investigation services in certain adoptions. Unless waived by the department, the fee will be charged to the petitioners in all adoptions except those in which an investigation is specifically not required by statute, (e.g., stepparent and relative adoptions).
The fee is not to be collected for investigations where parental rights have been terminated, in those adoptions involving children placed for adoption by the department or a licensed child-placing agency, or in cases in which the investigative services were performed by a licensed child-placing agency.
In regulation: The department shall waive the fee in cases of indigence of the petitioners when the family’s gross income does not exceed 100 percent of the annual Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.
The department may waive the fee for other good cause when the adoption is in the child’s best interest, imposition of the fee would prevent the adoption, and any of the following circumstances apply:
- The petitioners are related to the child beyond the degree of relationship required by law to exempt them from an investigation.
- The child has lived in the home of the petitioners for several years.
- The child’s relationship with siblings would be injured or severed if the adoption does not proceed.
- The child has diagnosed special needs for medical care or appliances, counseling, therapy, educational tutoring, or other treatment.
- The child is one of a sibling group of three or more children being adopted by the same petitioners.
- The child’s approved foster parents are adopting the child independently with the parents’ consent and with the approval of the department.
- The department determines that there are unusual circumstances and imposing a fee would be against the best interests of the child or prevent the adoption.
Accounting of Expenses Required by Court
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10A-23(b)-(d)
Prior to payment, the petitioners must file with the court a full accounting of all charges for expenses, fees, or services they will be paying relating to the adoption. Payment may be made only with court approval except that fees may be placed in an escrow account prior to court approval. The court may not refuse to approve a fee for documented services on the sole basis that a child has not been placed. The court shall approve all reasonable fees and expenses, unless it determines that the expense is unreasonable based upon specific written findings of fact.
The petitioner must file a sworn statement that is a full accounting of all disbursements paid in the adoption.
Under penalty of perjury, the adoptive parents and the parent or parents surrendering the child for adoption shall, prior to the entry of the final adoption order, sign affidavits stating that no moneys or other things of value have been paid or received for giving the minor up for adoption.
The Rights of Unmarried Fathers
Legal Definition of ‘Father’
Ala. Code § 26-17-5
An acknowledged father is a man who has established a father-child relationship. An adjudicated father is a man who has been adjudicated by a court to be the father of a child. An alleged father is a man who alleges himself to be, or is alleged to be, the genetic father or a possible genetic father of a child but whose paternity has not been determined. A presumed father is a man who is recognized as the father of a child until that status is rebutted or confirmed in a judicial proceeding. A putative father is the alleged or reputed father.
A man is presumed to be the natural father of a child if any of the following apply:
- He and the child’s mother are married to each other, and the child is born during the marriage.
- He and the child’s mother are or have been married to each other, and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated.
- Before the child’s birth he and the mother attempted to marry each other, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid.
- After the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother married or attempted to marry each other, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and:
- He has acknowledged his paternity of the child in writing, the writing being filed with the appropriate court or the Office of Vital Statistics.
- With his consent, he is named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate.
- He is otherwise obligated to support the child either under a written voluntary promise or by court order.
- While the child is a minor, he receives the child into his home or otherwise openly holds out the child as his natural child or otherwise provides emotional and financial support for the child.
- He acknowledges his paternity of the child in a writing filed in accordance with provisions of the legitimation statute.
Ala. Code § 26-10C-1
The Department of Human Resources shall establish a putative father registry that shall record the name, Social Security number, date of birth, and address of the following:
- Any person adjudicated by a court of this State to be the father of a child born out of wedlock
- Any person who has filed with the registry, before or after the birth of a child born out of wedlock, a notice of intent to claim paternity of the child that includes the information required in subsection (c) below
- Any person adjudicated by a court of another State or territory of the United States to be the father of a child born out of wedlock, where a certified copy of the court order has been filed with the registry by the person or any other person
- Any person who has filed with the registry an instrument acknowledging paternity pursuant to §§ 26-11-1 to 26-11-3, inclusive
This subsection shall be the exclusive procedure available for any person who claims to be the natural father of a child born out of wedlock on or after January 1, 1997, to entitle that person to notice of and the opportunity to contest any adoption proceeding filed and pending on or after January 1, 1997.
Alternate Means to Establish Paternity
Ala. Code §§ 26-11-2; 26-17-201
A father of a nonmarital child may seek to legitimate the child and render him or her capable of inheriting his estate by filing a notice of declaration of legitimation in writing attested by two witnesses, setting forth the name of the child, supposed age, and the name of mother, and stating that he thereby recognizes him or her as his child and capable of inheriting his estate, real and personal, as if born in wedlock.
The father-child relationship may be established between a man and a child by:
- An unrebutted presumption of the man’s paternity of the child under § 26-17-204
- An effective acknowledgment of paternity by the man under Article 3
- An adjudication of the man’s paternity
- Adoption of the child by the man
- The man’s consent to assisted reproduction by a woman that resulted in the birth of the child
Ala. Code § 26-10C-1
- The father’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, and current address
- The mother’s name and all other names known to the putative father that have been used by the mother, Social Security number, date of birth, and address, if known
- The father’s current income and financial information with a child support obligation income statement/affidavit form to be prescribed by regulations of the department
- The child’s name and place of birth, if known
- The possible date or dates of sexual intercourse
The person filing shall notify the registry of any change of address pursuant to the procedures prescribed by regulation of the department. The registration must be on a form prescribed by the department, signed by the putative father, and notarized.
Ala. Code § 26-10C-1(d)
A person who has filed a notice of intent to claim paternity may at any time revoke a notice of intent to claim paternity previously filed and, upon receipt of the notification by the registry, the revoked notice of intent to claim paternity shall be deemed a nullity nunc pro tunc.
Access to Information
Ala. Code § 26-10C-1(f)
The Department of Human Resources shall, upon request, provide the names and addresses of persons listed with the registry to any court. The information shall not be divulged to any other person except upon order of a court for good cause shown. The department, after receiving notice pursuant to § 26-10A-17 of the pendency of any adoption proceeding wherein the proposed adopted person is a child born within 300 days of the date or dates of sexual intercourse listed in the registry and to the same biological mother listed in the registry, immediately shall send a copy of the notice of intent to claim paternity to the court handling the adoption.
When the court handling the adoption receives said notice of the intent to claim paternity, that court shall forthwith give notice of the pendency of the adoption proceeding to the putative father, and notify the biological mother that the putative father has registered in conformity with the putative father registry.
Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements
Use of Advertisement
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10A-36
It shall be unlawful for any person, organization, corporation, partnership, hospital, association, or agency to advertise verbally, through print, electronic media, or otherwise that they will adopt children or assist in the adoption of children or offer anything of value to the parents of a child in violation of § 26-10A-34.
Use of Intermediaries/Facilitators
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-22; 26-10A-34
In making adoption arrangements, potential adopting parents and birth parents may obtain counsel to provide legal advice and assistance.
However, it shall be unlawful for any person or agency to offer to receive payment for placing, assisting, or arranging a minor placement.
Legitimate medical, legal, prenatal, necessary living expenses or other professional services for the birth mother are allowed.
This section is not intended to cover surrogate motherhood.
Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?
Who May Adopt
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10A-5
Any adult person or husband and wife jointly who are adults may adopt, with the following stipulations:
- No regulation shall prevent an adoption by a single person solely because the person is single.
- No regulation shall prevent an adoption solely because of the person’s age.
- No regulation shall prevent an adoption solely because the adult person is employed outside the home.
Who May Be Adopted
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10A-6
The following persons may be adopted:
- A minor
- An adult who:
- Has a total and permanent disability
- Has an intellectual disability
- Consents in writing and is related in any degree of kinship or is a stepchild by marriage
- Consents in writing and is to be adopted by an adult man and woman who are husband and wife
Who May Place a Child for Adoption
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10A-33
A child may be placed for adoption by any of the following:
- A parent
- A parent of a deceased parent
- A relative of a degree of relationship specified in § 26-10A-28, including:
- A grandfather, grandmother, great-grandfather, or great-grandmother
- A great-uncle or great-aunt
- A brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister
- An aunt or uncle of the first degree
- Their respective spouses
- The Department of Human Resources
- A licensed child-placing agency
- An agency approved by the department
Access to Adoption Records
Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons
Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families
Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption
Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Child Welfare Information Gateway. "State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad." State Statute Series.  Published 2011.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. "Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption."  Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau. Published 2012
Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. [[https://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/laws/domestic.cfm#sss
- Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-7; 26-10A-8
- Ala. Code § 26-10A-7
- Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-9; 26-10A-10
- Ala. Code § 26-10A-13
- Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-11; 26-10A-12
- Ala. Code §§ 38-13-3(2) & (5); 38-13-2(30)