Etowah County and Gadsden Adoption Lawyers
Gadsden adoption attorneys representing clients in Gadsden, Attalla, Southside, Rainbow City, Hokes Bluff, Glencoe and other areas of Etowah, Blount, Cherokee, Dekalb, Calhoun and St. Clair Counties
In an adoption the rights and responsibilities of the child's biological parents are completely and finally terminated, and the child is treated legally just as if she were the biological child of the adoptive parents. The probate court has jurisdiction over adoptions. Any adult is legally eligible to adopt any minor child, but if the child is 14 years or older, she must consent to the adoption.
There must be a pre-placement investigation of the prospective adoptive parents before the child can be placed with them. The child must live with the prospective adoptive parents for 60 days before the adoption can be finalized. Once it is finalized, the child takes the name of the adoptive parents, and a new birth certificate will be issued.
For an agreed adoption, the consent of both the mother and presumed father must be obtained. That doesn't necessarily require them to sign off on the documents, however. The consent of a parent can be implied by his or her actions. If a parent fails to offer any contact or support to the child for a six month period before birth or after birth, then the court may presume that consent is given. Similarly, if a parent fails to respond to the notification of adoption within 30 days, he or she is deemed to have consented. If a parent changes his or her mind, there is a 5-day period after the child's birth or after consent is finalized, whichever comes later, in which the parent can withdraw consent.
The process is a bit more streamlined for stepparents. The requirement of a pre-placement investigation is waived, as are some of the requirements for reporting to the court. However, the child must have lived with the stepparent for at least a year before the adoption can occur.
If one or both of the natural parents do not agree to the adoption, the matter is set for a hearing. It may be heard by the probate court or, if either party requests it, before the juvenile court.
It's our commitment to assist our clients in making the adoption process as quick and easy as possible, and to provide top-quality services at an affordable cost. From filing the paperwork to representing you in the required hearings, we'll be there every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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