Alabama adoption laws


Individuals currently living in Alabama who are 19 years or older. Married couples must be married for at least 3 years. All household members 19 years or older must undergo a criminal background check.

Can LGBT families adopt? LGBT singles are permitted to adopt individually; however, state statutes do not address whether same-sex couples may jointly petition to adopt.


Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? No.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, you can hire an adoption facilitator to provide legal advice and assistance.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, living (rent, food, utilities, clothing, medical travel), lost wages (but court approval difficult). Up to 4-6 weeks postpartum.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? Birthmother: before birth in front of a Probate Court Judge, or any time after birth. Birthfather: any time. 

 When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Within 5 days of child’s birth, if signed prior to birth, or 5 days after signing, if signed after birth. Can be revoked for an additional 9 days, with reason shown in a filed petition. The court will decide in the best interest of the child whether to return the child or not. Return is not automatic.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Not addressed in state statutes.


Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Not addressed in state statutes.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Not addressed in state statutes.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar will issue a U.S. birth certificate for a child adopted within an Alabama state court after receiving a report from the court approving the adoption, proof of the DOB and place of birth of the adoptee, and an official request for the birth certificate.


Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having at least one of the following: 8 years or older, African American and 2 years or older, member of a sibling group of 3 or more, having or at risk for developing a mental, physical, or emotional disability. Adoption subsidies start at adoption placement.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Alabama?


Who may access non-identifying information?

  1. Adoptive parents.
  2. Birth parents.
  3. Adoptees age 19 or older.

Who may access identifying information? Adoptees age 19 or older may petition the court for disclosure of identifying information and if the birth parent has not previously given consent. If the birth parent still does not consent, is deceased, or cannot be found, the court shall weigh the interest and rights of all the parties and determine if the identifying information shall be released.

Can adoptees obtain their original birth certificates? Yes, any adoptee age 19 and older may obtain their original birth certificate upon written request.

PO Box 30400
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 243-9500