Adoption is a serious decision that will change your life forever. It’s natural to want to know everything you can before beginning the process so you can give a child the best home possible. Here are the top five questions that come up in my consultations with couples considering adoption in Alabama and the answers they are usually looking for.
Before all else, it is important to understand what is required to adopt a child in the State of Alabama. The following requirements are the most important ones that you will have to meet:
- Married for three years (if you are married) with one spouse being a U.S. citizen
- Sufficient personal space and secure housing for the child
- Both potential parents being older than 19 years
- Healthy enough that you can adequately care for the child
- A completed adoption application
You also must be willing and able to go through a background check. This will include investigation into your criminal history, if any. A divorce attorney in Birmingham or wherever you are can help since they do not just handle divorces, they also typically handle all family law matters. You will want to find one that handles adoptions since not all such attorneys handle them. Talking to the right family law & divorce lawyer will help you figure out exactly what to expect during the process and what your application will entail.
It’s important to remember that you cannot choose what child to adopt based on selfish reasoning. If you decide to adopt a child, you need to understand what type of adoptee can flourish as part of your family and your home. Are you willing and able to care for a disabled child? Do you want to adopt siblings, or an only child? Some adoptive parents want to adopt any children that need a home, and that’s wonderful. Every child deserves a loving family. You just need to make sure that you can provide the right one for the adoptee or adoptees in question.
If you are already a parent, or know someone who is, you may understand how expensive child-rearing can be. You will need to buy food, clothing, school supplies, and other necessities to keep a child safe and healthy. Beyond that, you will need to spend time on your child. After-school activities, homework help, and teaching your child about life all take time and patience. Make sure you can commit to such practices before considering adoption.
Adoption itself incurs a large sum, which is another expense to consider. Talk to an Alabama adoption lawyer so you know what to expect where costs are concerned.
Being a parent requires patience to begin with. Being an adoptive parent requires you to be even more patient. An older child may have trouble warming up to a new family for weeks or months, and understandably so. Your love and patience can go a long way toward helping the adoptee feel safe and comfortable.
The adoption process can also be long, complicated, and frustrating. You have to be prepared to spend time on it and expect to feel discouraged at times. You also have to be sure that you won’t give up because of these annoyances.
Most foster children in the state of Alabama end up being reunited with their biological families. However, around 20 percent of children in foster care do end up becoming eligible for adoption. These foster care adoptions are only handled through the state’s Department of Human Resources, which will put you through a screening process that includes pre-service meetings and a home study. If a child is successfully placed in your home for three months, you can begin the adoption process. An Alabama family law attorney can help you decide whether foster care or standard adoption is right for you.
If you decide that adoption is something you want to pursue, it is important to talk to adoption lawyers in Alabama. They can help you figure out the entire process and know what to expect every step of the way so you have a greater chance at success in adopting a child and changing a life for the better.