Adoption is an exciting time and the process can be complex. Adoptive parents are legal parents with all the rights and responsibilities that come with being a legal parent. Likewise, an adopted child has all the legal rights and responsibilities of a family member.
In Alabama, both minor and adult children may be adopted. There are many types of adoptions including step-parent, grandparent, relative, and adult adoptions. The requirements to adopt and process vary depending on what type you need.
The Probate Courts in Alabama have jurisdiction over adoptions. The basic requirements to adopt a child are the following:
- You must be more than 19 years old.
- If married, one of you must be a U.S. citizen.
- You must be healthy enough to meet a child’s or children’s needs.
- You must have adequate housing and personal space for the child or children to be adopted.
- You must be willing to undergo a thorough background check, including a criminal history.
- You will need to establish that you have a regular source of income that shows you can meet your family’s financial need.
- You will be asked to provide character references.
Some of the requirements can in certain circumstances be waived or streamlined depending on your specific situation.
At your initial consultation, please plan to bring the birth information for the child and birth certificate if you have access to it. Other helpful documents are a copy of your marriage certificate if you are married and copies of your driver’s license.