Adding someone to your family through adoption is a time for joy and celebration. But before the celebration can begin, there is often a long legal process that must be followed—a process that can come with ups and downs, challenges, and stress.
Navigating the obstacles that come up during an adoption process can be confusing and exhausting for any family. That’s why working with professional Birmingham adoption lawyers is crucial—they will give you the guidance and assistance you and your family need during the process.
At Vella & King, our Birmingham adoption lawyers can explain the process, walk you through the finer points of the law, address any legal developments that may arise, and help you understand what is happening and why. We can also help the process along with timely assistance, moving you one step closer to bringing your new addition home.
Not all adoption cases are the same. Various factors, such as where the child is from, if they’re related to you, and how much contact the biological parents have, can all impact the kind of adoption you pursue.
International adoptions involve adopting a child from another country than the U.S. They can be especially complicated since you must abide by both domestic and international laws. This involves being approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Adoption Department as qualified to adopt.
An experienced Birmingham adoption attorney can help you determine if international adoption is the choice for you and your spouse.
Domestic adoption means you’re adopting a child from the same country as you. Even though they’re less complicated than international adoptions, there are still many steps and laws that the adoptive parents must take and abide by.
If you and your spouse are considering domestic adoption, contacting a Jefferson County adoption lawyer can help shed more light on Alabama adoption requirements.
An independent adoption refers to an adoption that is not facilitated by an agency, also known as a private adoption. In most independent or private adoptions, the birth parents and adoptive parents have either a direct agreement or use an intermediary to facilitate.
Having an experienced adoption attorney on your side during an independent or private adoption can help ensure all parties are following due process and abiding by adoption laws.
There are two types of agencies through which parents can adopt a child: private agencies and public agencies. Both private and public adoption agencies are required to have specific legal certifications, licenses, and documents publicly available verifying their legal status to facilitate adoptions. They are also regulated by local and state jurisdictions.
Private adoption agencies are usually run by a charity or social service organization, and the biological parents of the children up for adoption have willingly given up their parental rights.
Public adoption agencies are state-sponsored agencies that care for minors due to parental abandonment, death, or loss of parental rights by the state.
By hiring an adoption lawyer in Birmingham, you can have better peace of mind that everyone, even the adoption agency, is on the same page and that your rights are being protected.
When a child can no longer be cared for by their biological parent(s) due to mental health issues, drug abuse, imprisonment, or death, the state will first look to see if there’s anyone in their immediate or extended family who can take on the responsibility of becoming their custodial guardian. These are referred to as relative adoptions or kinship adoptions.
Hiring a Birmingham, AL, adoption attorney to facilitate your kinship adoption case is the best way to ensure your case is processed as quickly as possible with minimal delays.
It’s not uncommon for a stepparent to love the children their spouse had with a previous partner as their own and want to legally adopt them. The blending of two families is a beautiful occasion. In fact, stepparent adoptions are usually an easier, more simplified process if both biological parents are in agreement with the adoption.
Don’t hesitate to contact our family law firm to get the support you need to make your adoption case successful.
If someone wants to adopt a person over the legal age, Alabama adoption law states the adoptee must be either mentally disabled or less capable, as well as sufficient reason as to why the adoption is mutually beneficial.
Adoption can be a lengthy and expensive process. The U.S. government offers various adoption credit and assistance programs to offset some of these costs, known as qualified adoption expenses. Adoption expenses that qualify for tax credit or exclusion include reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, adoption attorney fees, traveling expenses, and other expenses directly related to the legal adoption of a child.
It is important to note that there is an income limit to qualify for these credits and assistance based on the adoptive parents’ modified adjusted gross income. The limit starts at $223,410 and ends at $263,410. This means if your modified adjusted gross income is above the latter, you do not qualify for any assistance.
An experienced Alabama adoption attorney will be able to guide you through these programs and ensure you get all of the credit and assistance you qualify for.
Before you begin the adoption process, you (and your spouse) should consider these requirements for adoption in Birmingham, Alabama.
Adoption attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama, provide help and support in a multitude of ways for our clients, including the following:
Alabama adoption laws can quickly become complicated and overwhelming. All of Alabama’s adoption laws are listed in Title 26, Chapters 10, 10A, 10B, 10C, and 10D, with Ala. Code 16-10A-1 through 26-10A-38 listing the Alabama Adoption Code, which details the Alabama state adoption process. There, you can find the basics of Alabama adoption law, including who may adopt, who may be adopted, and more.
Contact our family law office to partner with competent adoption attorneys who have experience in the various types of adoption.
Adults over the age of 19 are eligible to adopt in Alabama according to state law. However, an adoption agency will also have its own requirements for adoptive parent eligibility.
Most families who adopt a child through DHR don’t have any adoption costs. The out-of-pocket expenses for those that do are usually less than $2,000.
If you adopt through an agency, the cost will vary with international adoptions typically requiring more time and resources than domestic.
Private, domestic adoption takes an average of 1–12 months. The timeframe to finalize other kinds of adoption, such as international or domestic agency adoptions, fostering-to-adopt, and stepparent adoption can vary widely. Contacting an esteemed adoption attorney is the best way to ensure your adoption process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Alabama is considered one of the most adoption-friendly states, along with Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Michigan.
Unlike the foster care system, where families can receive a stipend for the children they take in, families that pursue adoption do not receive direct payments to adopt. However, they can receive credit and assistance towards expenses through certain government-sponsored programs.
Yes. You don’t have to be married to adopt a child in Alabama.
Yes, but this is not often the case. In most cases, the putative father must give consent to the child’s adoption unless they abandoned the child, voluntarily gave up their parental rights, or their rights were terminated.
As top Birmingham, Alabama, adoption lawyers, we have a proven track record of compassionate, caring, and knowledgeable representation for our clients. We understand the major impact adoption has on a family; we have years of experience helping our clients’ families grow through adoption and dealing with the numerous challenges and obstacles that often show up along the way.
At our family law firm, we know how important adoption is for each family pursuing growth in this tremendous way. With over 13 years of experience, we are also skilled at giving families proven counsel and support regarding Alabama adoptions during what can be a long and arduous process. There will be decisions that need to be made, issues that need to be considered, and problems that will need to be solved. There will also be times during which the adoption process seems too complicated to handle, and you may feel like giving up. These are the times when you really need adoption attorneys in your corner to remind you that it will all be worth it in the end.
Learn more about how our Birmingham adoption lawyers can help you and your family by handling the legal matters involved in the adoption process. Contact us today for more information.