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Who may adopt?

  • Any adult person or husband and wife jointly who are adults may petition the court to adopt a minor. Ala. Code § 26-10A-5(a) (1975).

Who may be adopted?

  • all minors and adults under any one of the conditions set out in § 26-10A-6(1) of the Alabama Code (1975).

Are consents required?

  • Yes.  The Petitioner(s) must obtain consent from:

          (1) the adoptee who is fourteen (14) years or older;

          (2) the adoptee's mother;

          (3) the adoptee's presumed father if he meets one of the conditions under § 26-10A-6(3) of the Alabama Code (1975);

          (4) the adoption placement agency unless consent is waived by the court pursuant to § 26-10A-6(4) of the Alabama Code (1975).; and

          (5) the putative father if he complies with § 26-10C-1 of the Alabama Code (1975) and he responds to the notice within thirty (30) days.

Can consent be implied?

  • Yes.  A person's consent who is required pursuant to § 26-10A-6 may be implied by the Court if the one of the following occurs:

          (1) "prebirth abandonment" of the adoptee;

          (2) leaving the adoptee without provision for his or her identification for a period of thirty (30) days;

          (3) knowingly leaving the adoptee with others without provision for support and with communication for a period of six (6) months;

          (4) receiving notification of the pendency of the adoption proceedings and failing to answer or respond within thirty (30) days;

          (5) failing to comply with the putative father registry, section 26-10C-1.

Alabama adoption law is purely statutory in nature.  If you fail to comply with the statutory provisions, you run the risk of having your adoption petition being denied by the probate court or worse, being reversed on appeal. Hays v. Hays, 946 So. 2d 867, 870 (Ala. Civ. App. 2006) (reversing the probate court's order granting the adoption because the daughter was not a "stepchild by marriage" at the time of the purported adoption).  If you are seeking to adopt, it is important that you retain an attorney who has experience in succesfully navigating the adoption code.