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Child Adoption Laws
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Child Adoption Law
Alabama


We hope to help you learn more about the child adoption laws in the State of Alabama.  Please note that while we have tried to be as current as possible, laws are occasionally rewritten and/or amended; accordingly, the Alabama adoption law provided below may have errors, omissions, or may not be the most current version. Please remember that this information should not be used as the basis for making any legal decision. Please use appropriate resources and an attorney's advice when making legal decisions.

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Alabama Legislature Site

Code of Alabama
Title 26: Infants and Incompetents
Chapter 10A: Alabama Adoption Code
Sections 1-38

(This page was last updated on 08/02/13.)

Section 26-10A-1 Short title.
Section 26-10A-2 Definitions.
Section 26-10A-3 Jurisdiction.
Section 26-10A-4 Venue.
Section 26-10A-5 Who may adopt.
Section 26-10A-6 Who may be adopted.
Section 26-10A-7 Persons whose consents or relinquishment are required.
Section 26-10A-8 Consent or relinquishment by a minor parent.
Section 26-10A-9 Implied consent or relinquishment.
Section 26-10A-10 Persons whose consents or relinquishments are not required.
Section 26-10A-11 Consent or relinquishment.
Section 26-10A-12 Persons who may take consent or relinquishments; forms.
Section 26-10A-13 Time of consent or relinquishment; filing with court.
Section 26-10A-14 Withdrawal of consent or relinquishment.
Section 26-10A-15 Surrender of custody of minor under age of majority.
Section 26-10A-16 Petition.
Section 26-10A-17 Notice of petition.
Section 26-10A-18 Custody pending final decree.
Section 26-10A-19 Investigation.
Section 26-10A-20 Removal of adoptee from county.
Section 26-10A-21 Related proceedings.
Section 26-10A-22 Attorney participation and appointment of attorney for the adoptee or other party.
Section 26-10A-23 Fees and charges.
Section 26-10A-24 Contested hearing.
Section 26-10A-25 Final decree; dispositional hearing.
Section 26-10A-26 Appeals.
Section 26-10A-27 Stepparent adoptions.
Section 26-10A-28 Adoption by other relatives.
Section 26-10A-29 Name and status of adoptee.
Section 26-10A-30 Grandparent visitation.
Section 26-10A-31 Confidentiality of records, hearing; parties.
Section 26-10A-32 Birth certificates.
Section 26-10A-33 Crime to place children for adoption.
Section 26-10A-34 Payments to parent for placing minor for adoption; maternity expenses; receipt of financial benefits by father.
Section 26-10A-35 Bringing child into state for adoption purposes.
Section 26-10A-36 Advertisement as to adoption by persons, organizations, etc., not licensed by Department of Human Resources.
Section 26-10A-37 Rules of procedure and rules of evidence.
Section 26-10A-38 Application to existing adoptions.


Section 26-10A-1

Short title.

This chapter shall be known as and may be cited as the Alabama Adoption Code.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §1.)

Section 26-10A-2

Definitions.

The following words and phrases shall have the following meaning whenever used in this chapter except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) ABANDONMENT. A voluntary and intentional relinquishment of the custody of a minor by parent, or a withholding from the minor, without good cause or excuse, by the parent, of his presence, care, love, protection, maintenance, or the opportunity for the display of filial affection, or the failure to claim the rights of a parent, or the failure to perform the duties of a parent.

(2) ADOPTEE. The person being adopted.

(3) ADULT. A person who is 19 years of age or older or who by statute is otherwise deemed an adult.

(4) CONSENT. Voluntarily agreeing to adoption.

(5) FATHER. A male person who is the biological father of the minor or is treated by law as the father.

(6) LICENSED CHILD PLACING AGENCY. Any adoption agency that is licensed under the provisions of the Alabama Child Care Act of 1971 or any adoption agency approved by the Department of Human Resources.

(7) MINOR. A person under the age of 19 or a person who is not an adult under the law in the jurisdiction where he or she resides. The term includes a minor parent only.

(8) MOTHER. A female person who is the biological mother of the minor or is treated by law as the mother.

(9) PARENT. Natural or legal father or mother.

(10) PARTIES IN INTEREST. The adoptive parents and the natural parents unless the rights of the natural parents have been terminated or relinquished for purposes of adoption then the agency that has custody becomes a party in interest. This phrase does not include the adoptee.

(11) PRESUMED FATHER. Any male person as defined in the Alabama Uniform Parentage Act.

(12) PUTATIVE FATHER. The alleged or reputed father.

(13) RELINQUISHMENT. Giving up the physical custody of a minor for purpose of placement for adoption to a licensed child placing agency or the Department of Human Resources.

(14) SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD. A child as defined by the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §2; Act 99-435, p. 857, §1.)

Section 26-10A-3

Jurisdiction.

The probate court shall have original jurisdiction over proceedings brought under the chapter. If any party whose consent is required fails to consent or is unable to consent, the proceeding will be transferred to the court having jurisdiction over juvenile matters for the limited purpose of termination of parental rights. The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to proceedings in the court having jurisdiction over juvenile matters.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §3.)

Section 26-10A-4

Venue.

All petitions may be filed in the probate court in the county in which:

(1) The minor or adult resides or has a legal residence;

(2) A petitioner resides, or is in military service; or

(3) An office of any agency or institution operating under the laws of this state having guardianship or custody of a minor or an adult is located.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §4, Act 98-101, p. 118, §1.)

Section 26-10A-5
Who may adopt.

(a) Any adult person or husband and wife jointly who are adults may petition the court to adopt a minor.

(1) No rule or regulation of the Department of Human Resources shall prevent an adoption by a person solely because the person is employed outside the home, provided however, the Department of Human Resources may exercise sound discretion in requiring the person to remain in the home with a minor for a reasonable period of time when a particular minor requires the presence of that person to ensure his or her adjustment. Provided, however, the reasonable period of time shall not exceed 60 consecutive calendar days.

(2) No rule or regulation of the Department of Human Resources or any agency shall prevent an adoption by a single person solely because such person is single or shall prevent an adoption solely because such person is of a certain age.

(3) Provided however, in cases, where one who purports to be the biological father marries the biological mother, on petition of the parties, the court shall order paternity tests to determine the true biological father. If the court determines by substantial evidence that the biological father is the man married to the biological mother, then the biological father shall be allowed to adopt the child without the consent of the man who was married to the biological mother at the time of the conception or birth of the child, or both, when the court finds the adoption to be in the best interest of the child.

(b) Any adult may petition the court to adopt another adult as provided in this chapter.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §5, Act 98-101, p. 118, §1.)

Section 26-10A-6

Who may be adopted.

The following persons may be adopted:

(1) A minor.

(2) An adult under any one of the following conditions:

a. He or she is totally and permanently disabled.

b. He or she is determined to be mentally retarded.

c. He or she consents in writing to be adopted and is related in any degree of kinship, as defined by the intestacy laws of Alabama, or is a stepchild by marriage.

d. He or she consents in writing to be adopted by an adult man and woman who are husband and wife.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §6, Act 98-101, p. 118, §1; Act 2004-528, §1.)

Section 26-10A-7

Persons whose consents or relinquishment are required.

(a) Consent to the petitioner's adoption or relinquishment for adoption to the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency shall be required of the following:

(1) The adoptee, if 14 years of age or older, except where the court finds that the adoptee does not have the mental capacity to give consent;

(2) The adoptee's mother;

(3) The adoptee's presumed father, regardless of paternity, if:

a. He and the adoptee's mother are or have been married to each other and the adoptee was born during the marriage, or within 300 days after the marriage was terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce, or after a decree of separation was entered by a court; or

b. Before the adoptee's birth, he and the adoptee's mother have attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and,

1. If the attempted marriage could be declared invalid only by a court, the adoptee was born during the attempted marriage, or within 300 days after its termination by death, annulment, declaration or invalidity, or divorce; or

2. If the attempted marriage is invalid without a court order, the adoptee was born within 300 days after the termination of cohabitation; or

c. After the adoptee's birth, he and the adoptee's mother have married, or attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and

1. With his knowledge or consent, he was named as the adoptee's father on the adoptee's birth certificate; or

2. He is obligated to support the adoptee pursuant to a written voluntary promise or agreement or by court order; or

d. He received the adoptee into his home and openly held out the adoptee as his own child;

(4) The agency to which the adoptee has been relinquished or which holds permanent custody and which has placed the adoptee for adoption, except that the court may grant the adoption without the consent of the agency if the adoption is in the best interests of the adoptee and there is a finding that the agency has unreasonably withheld its consent; and

(5) The putative father if made known by the mother or is otherwise made known to the court provided he complies with Section 26-10C-1 and he responds within 30 days to the notice he receives under Section 26-10A-17(a)(10).

(b) A petition to adopt an adult may be granted only if written consent to adopt has been executed by the adult seeking to adopt and his or her spouse or by the guardian or conservator of the adult sought to be adopted pursuant to the requirements of Sections 26-10A-6 and 26-10A-11.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §7; Act 98-101, p. 118, §1; Act 2002-417, p. 1061, §1.)

Section 26-10A-8
Consent or relinquishment by a minor parent.

(a) Prior to a minor parent giving consent a guardian ad litem must be appointed to represent the interests of a minor parent whose consent is required. Any minor, 14 years of age and beyond, can nominate a guardian ad litem either prior to the birth of the baby or thereafter.

(b) A consent or relinquishment executed by a parent who is a minor shall not be subject to revocation by reason of such minority.

(c) A minor father may give his implied consent by his actions. If a court finds by conclusive evidence that a minor father has given implied consent to the adoption, notice and the appointment of a guardian ad litem shall not be necessary.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §8; Act 99-435, p. 857, §1.)

Section 26-10A-9
Implied consent or relinquishment.

(a) A consent or relinquishment required by Section 26-10A-7 may be implied by any of the following acts of a parent:

(1) Abandonment of the adoptee. Abandonment includes, but is not limited to, the failure of the father, with reasonable knowledge of the pregnancy, to offer financial and/or emotional support for a period of six months prior to the birth.

(2) Leaving the adoptee without provision for his or her identification for a period of 30 days.

(3) Knowingly leaving the adoptee with others without provision for support and without communication, or not otherwise maintaining a significant parental relationship with the adoptee for a period of six months.

(4) Receiving notification of the pendency of the adoption proceedings under Section 26-10A-17 and failing to answer or otherwise respond to the petition within 30 days.

(5) Failing to comply with Section 26-10C-1.

(b) Implied consent under subsection (a) may not be withdrawn by any person.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §9; Act 99-435, p. 857, §1; Act 2002-417, p. 1061, §1.)

Section 26-10A-10
Persons whose consents or relinquishments are not required.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 26-10A-7, the consent or relinquishment of the following persons shall not be required for an adoption:

(1) A parent whose rights with reference to the adoptee have been terminated by operation of law in accordance with the Alabama Child Protection Act, Sections 26-18-1 through 26-18-10;

(2) A parent who has been adjudged incompetent pursuant to law or a parent whom the court finds to be mentally incapable of consenting or relinquishing and whose mental disability is likely to continue for so long a period that it would be detrimental to the adoptee to delay adoption until restoration of the parent's competency or capacity. The court must appoint independent counsel or a guardian ad litem for an incompetent parent for whom there has been no such prior appointment;

(3) A parent who has relinquished his or her minor child to the department of human resources or a licensed child placing agency for an adoption;

(4) A deceased parent or one who is presumed to be deceased under Alabama law;

(5) An alleged father who has signed a written statement denying paternity; or

(6) The natural father where the natural mother indicates the natural father is unknown, unless the natural father is otherwise made known to the court.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §10.)

Section 26-10A-11
Consent or relinquishment.

(a) A consent or relinquishment shall be in writing, signed by the person consenting or relinquishing, and shall state the following:

(1) The date, place, and time of execution.

(2) The date of birth or if prior to birth expected date of birth of the adoptee and any names by which the adoptee has been known.

(3) The relationship of the person consenting or relinquishing to the adoptee.

(4) The name of each petitioner, unless (i) the document is relinquishment of the adoptee to an agency, or (ii) the consent contains a statement that the person executing the consent knows that he or she has a right to know the identity of each petitioner but voluntarily waives this right.

(5) That the person executing the document is voluntarily and unequivocally consenting to the adoption of the named adoptee.

(6) That by signing the document and subsequent court order to ratify the consent, the person executing the document understands that he or she will forfeit all rights and obligations; that he or she understands the consent or relinquishment and executes it freely and voluntarily.

(7) That the person executing the document understands that the consent may be irrevocable, and should not execute it if he or she needs or desires psychological or legal advice, guidance, or counseling.

(8) The address of the court in which the petition for adoption has been or will be filed, if known, and if not known, the name and address of the agency, the petitioners or their attorney on whom notice of the withdrawal of consent may be served.

(9) In the case of relinquishment, the name and address of the agency to which the adoptee has been relinquished.

(10) That the person executing the same has received or been offered a copy of the consent or relinquishment.

(11) That the person executing a relinquishment waives further notice of the adoption proceeding.

(12) That the person executing a consent waives further notice of the adoption proceedings, unless there is a contest or appeal of the adoption proceeding.

(b) When the person sought to be adopted is an adult, only the sworn, written consent of the adult person sought to be adopted shall be required and no order of reference or any home studies need be issued. If the adult person to be adopted has been adjudicated incompetent, the written consent of the adult person's guardian or conservator shall be required. If the adult person is without a spouse, guardian, or conservator and the court has reason to believe that the adult person is incompetent to give consent, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem who shall investigate the adult person's circumstances and that guardian ad litem shall give or withhold consent. The guardian ad litem shall file a written report stating the basis for the decision and the court shall afford a hearing to all parties to present evidence as to the best interest of the adult person, and if the court determines upon clear and convincing evidence that the decision to withhold consent by the guardian ad litem is arbitrary and is not in the best interests of the incompetent adult person, it may proceed to make any other orders it deems necessary for the adult person's welfare, including granting the petition for adoption.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §11; Acts 98-101, p. 118, §1.)

Section 26-10A-12
Persons who may take consent or relinquishments; forms.

(a) A consent of the natural mother taken prior to the birth of a child shall be signed or confirmed before a judge of probate. At the time of taking the consent the judge shall explain to the consenting parent the legal effect of signing the document and the time limits and procedures for withdrawal of the consent and shall provide the parent with a form for withdrawing the consent in accordance with the requirements of Sections 26-10A-13 and 26-10A-14.

(b) All other pre-birth or post-birth consents or relinquishments shall be signed or confirmed before:

(1) A judge or clerk of any court which has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings, or a public officer appointed by such judge for the purpose of taking consents; or

(2) A person appointed to take consents who is appointed by any agency which is authorized to conduct investigations or home studies provided by Section 26-10A-19, or, if the consent is taken out of state, by a person appointed to take consents by any agency which is authorized by that state's law to conduct investigations and home studies for adoptions; or

(3) A notary public.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d), the form for the consent or relinquishment or the withdrawal of the consent or relinquishment shall state in substantially the same form as follows:

CONSENT OR RELINQUISHMENT OF MINOR FOR ADOPTION


THE STATE OF ALABAMA)

______________COUNTY)

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENT, that:

1. I, ________________________________________
(name of person consenting or relinquishing)
the _______________________________________ of
(parents, legal guardian, agency)
(a) a minor ___________________________________
(state any names by which the minor has been known)
born ____________, __.
(or)
(b) an unborn child whose expected date of birth is
______________, do hereby:
(a) consent to the adoption of the said minor by
________________________________________
(name of petitioners, unless identity waived)
(or)
(b) relinquish the said minor for the purpose of adoption to
________________________________________
(name and address of agency)


in order that said minor may have all the privileges which may be accorded to (him) (her) by the laws of Alabama upon (his) (her) legal adoption;

2. I am executing this document voluntarily and unequivocally thereby [consenting to the adoption of] [relinquishing] said minor;

3. I understand that by signing this document and the subsequent court order to ratify the consent, I will forfeit all rights and obligations and that I understand the [consent to the adoption] [relinquishment] and execute it freely and voluntarily;

4. I understand that the [consent to the adoption] [relinquishment] may be irrevocable, and I should not execute it if I need or desire psychological or legal advice, guidance or counseling;

5. I have received or been offered a copy of this document;

6. I waive the right to know the identity of each petitioner who petitions to adopt the said minor child;

7. [I waive further notice of the adoption proceedings by the execution of this relinquishment to the named agency]; (or) [I waive further notice of the adoption proceedings by the execution of this consent, unless there is a contest or appeal of the adoption proceedings];

8. I understand that notice of withdrawal of [consent] [relinquishment] must be mailed to

[________________________________,
(county where consent or petition is filed if known)
Probate Court at the following address ______________]
or [________________________________________
(name and address of agency with whom document is filed or the
___________________________________________ ]petitioners or their attorney if county where petition is filed is unknown)
and that such withdrawal must be mailed within five days after the birth of said minor or the execution of this document whichever comes last;


9. I do hereby request that the judge of probate make all such orders and decrees as may be necessary or proper to legally effectuate said adoption.

Given under my hand at ____o'clock, ______ day of ____________, __, at

_____________
(address of filing)
______________(SEAL)
Affiant's Signature


"I _______________, sign my name to this instrument this _____ day of__________, __, and being first duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that I execute it as my free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed, and that I am _____ years of age or older, of sound mind, and under no constraint or undue influence."

_______________(SEAL)
Affiant's Signature
STATE OF ALABAMA )
COUNTY OF _______)


Subscribed, sworn to and acknowledged before me by ________________, this_______________day of _______, __.

SEAL (Signed) __________
_________________
(Official Capacity of Officer)
I acknowledge receipt of two copies of this document.
____________(SEAL)
__________________
Date


I _______, on this _______ day of ____________, __, at

(affiant)

_____________ a.m./p.m. in the presence of the two witnesses whose

(time of day)

signatures and addresses are subscribed below, hereby withdraw the adoption [consent] [relinquishment] previously signed by me.

______________ _______________
Witness Affiant's Signature
______________
Address
______________
Witness
______________
Address

(d) The form for the consent or relinquishment or the withdrawal of consent or relinquishment for an adult, adopted or sought to be adopted, shall be developed by the Administrative Office of Courts.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §12; Act 98-101, p. 118, §1.)

Section 26-10A-13
Time of consent or relinquishment; filing with court.
(a) A consent or relinquishment may be taken at any time, except that once signed or confirmed, may be withdrawn within five days after birth or within five days after signing of the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last.

(b) Consent or relinquishment can be withdrawn if the court finds that the withdrawal is reasonable under the circumstances and consistent with the best interest of the child within 14 days after the birth of the child or within 14 days after signing of the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last.

(c) All consents or relinquishments required by this act shall be filed with the court in which the petition for adoption is pending before the final decree of adoption is entered.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §13.)

Section 26-10A-14
Withdrawal of consent or relinquishment.

(a) The consent or relinquishment, once signed or confirmed, may not be withdrawn except:

(1) As provided in Section 26-10A-13; or

(2) At any time until the final decree upon a showing that the consent or relinquishment was obtained by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence on the part of a petitioner or his agent or the agency to whom or for whose benefit it was given. After one year from the date of final decree of adoption is entered, a consent or relinquishment may not be challenged on any ground, except in cases where the adoptee has been kidnapped.

(3) Upon dismissal of the adoption after a contested hearing as provided in Section 26-10A-24.

(b) The withdrawal of consent or relinquishment as provided in Section 26-10A-13(a) shall be effected by the affiant signing and dating the withdrawal form provided pursuant to Section 26-10A-12(c) or other written withdrawal of consent containing the information set forth in Section 26-10A-12(c), and by delivering the withdrawal to the court or having the withdrawal postmarked within five days of the child's birth or of signing the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last.

(c) The petition to withdraw consent or relinquishment must be in writing, signed by the person seeking to withdraw the consent or relinquishment, dated, and signed by two witnesses.

(d) In adjudicating a petition to withdraw a consent or relinquishment, the person seeking to withdraw the consent or relinquishment shall establish the facts necessary to withdraw the consent or relinquishment by a preponderance of the evidence. The court shall not apply any presumption or preference in favor of the natural parents in reviewing an action brought under this section.

(e) If the court directs that the consent or relinquishment be withdrawn, the court shall order the minor restored to the custody of his or her parent or parents, the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency; otherwise, the court shall deny the withdrawal and declare that the consent or relinquishment is final and binding. Any order made by the court upon a petition to withdraw consent or relinquishment under this section shall be deemed a final order for the purpose of filing an appeal under Section 26-10A-26.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §14; Act 2002-417, p. 1061, §1.)

Section 26-10A-15
Surrender of custody of minor under age of majority.

(a) No health facility shall surrender the physical custody of an adoptee to any person other than the Department of Human Resources, a licensed child placing agency, parent, relative by blood or marriage, or person having legal custody, unless such surrender is authorized in a writing executed after the birth of the adoptee by one of the adoptee's parents or agency or the person having legal custody of the adoptee.

(b) A health facility shall report to the Department of Human Resources on forms supplied by the department, the name and address of any person and, in the case of a person acting as an agent for an organization, the name and address of the organization to whose physical custody an adoptee is surrendered. Such report shall be transmitted to the department within 48 hours from the surrendering of custody.

(c) No adoptee shall be placed with the petitioners prior to the completion of a pre-placement investigation except for good cause shown and with written notice immediately given to the court, and to the county department of human resources.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §15.)

Section 26-10A-16
Petition.

(a) A petition for adoption shall be filed with the clerk of the court within 30 days after the minor is placed with the prospective adoptive parent or parents for purposes of adoption unless the minor is in custody of the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency except that a petition for good cause shown may be filed beyond the 30-day period. The petition shall be signed, and verified by each petitioner, and shall allege:

(1) The full name, age, and place of residence of each petitioner and, if married, the place and date of marriage;

(2) The date and place of birth of the adoptee, except in the case of abandonment;

(3) The birth name of the adoptee, any other names by which the adoptee has been known, and the adoptee's proposed new name;

(4) Where the adoptee is residing at the time of the filing of the petition, and if the minor is not in the custody of a petitioner, when he, she, or they intend to acquire custody;

(5) That each petitioner desires to establish a parent and child relationship between himself or herself and the adoptee and that he or she is a fit and proper person able to care for and provide for the adoptee's welfare;

(6) The existence and nature of any prior court orders known to the petitioner which affect the custody, visitation, or access to the adoptee;

(7) The relationship, if any, of each petitioner to the adoptee;

(8) The name and address of the placing agency, if any; and

(9) The names and addresses of all persons known to the petitioner at the time of filing from whom consents or relinquishment to the adoption are required;

(b) The caption of a petition for adoption shall be styled "In the Matter of the Adoption Petition of _____." Each petitioner shall be designated in the caption.

(c) The petition shall be accompanied by a copy of the child's birth certificate or affidavit stating that application for a birth certificate has been made except in cases where the child has been abandoned.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §16.)

Section 26-10A-17
Notice of petition.

(a) Unless service has been previously waived, notice of pendency of the adoption proceeding shall be served by the petitioner on:

(1) Any person, agency, or institution whose consent or relinquishment is required by Section 26-10A-7, unless service has been previously waived or consent has been implied.

(2) The legally appointed custodian or guardian of the adoptee.

(3) The spouse of any petitioner who has not joined in the petition.

(4) The spouse of the adoptee.

(5) The surviving parent or parents of a deceased parent of the adoptee.

(6) Any person known to the petitioners as having physical custody, excluding licensed foster care or other private licensed agencies or having visitation rights with the adoptee under an existing court order.

(7) The agency or individual authorized to investigate the adoption under Section 26-10A-19.

(8) Any other person designated by the court.

(9) The Department of Human Resources.

(10) The father and putative father of the adoptee if made known by the mother or otherwise known by the court unless the court finds that the father or putative father has given implied consent to the adoption, as defined in Section 26-10A-9.

(b) The notice shall specifically state that the person served must respond to the petitioner within 30 days if he or she intends to contest the adoption. A copy of the petition for adoption shall be delivered to those individuals or agencies in subdivisions (a)(2) through (a)(10). Any notice required by this chapter may be served on a natural parent prior to birth.

(c) Service of the notice shall be made in the following manner:

(1) Service of process shall be made in accordance with the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure except as otherwise provided by the Alabama Rules of Juvenile Procedure. If the identity or whereabouts of the parent is unknown, or if one parent fails or refuses to disclose the identity or whereabouts of the other parent, the court shall then issue an order providing for service by publication, by posting, or by any other substituted service.

(2) As to the agency or individual referred to in subdivisions (a)(7) and (a)(9) above, notice shall be by certified mail.

(3) As to any other person for whom notice is required under subsection (a) of this section, service by certified mail, return receipt requested, shall be sufficient. If such service cannot be completed after two attempts, the court shall issue an order providing for service by publication, by posting, or by any other substituted service.

(d) The notice required by this section may be waived in writing by the person entitled to receive notice.

(e) Proof of service of the notice on all persons for whom notice is required by this section must be filed with the court before the adjudicational hearing, provided in Section 26-10A-24.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §17; Act 99-435, p. 857, §1; Act 2002-417, p. 1061, §1.)

Section 26-10A-18
Custody pending final decree.

Once a petitioner has received the adoptee into his or her home for the purposes of adoption and a petition for adoption has been filed, an interlocutory decree shall be entered delegating to the petitioner (1) custody, except custody shall be retained by the Department of Human Resources or the licensed child placing agency which held custody at the time of the placement until the entry of the final decree and (2) the responsibility for the care, maintenance, and support of the adoptee, including any necessary medical or surgical treatment, pending further order of the court. This interlocutory decree shall not stop the running of time periods prescribed in Section 26-10A-9.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §18; Act 2002-417, p. 1061, §1.)

Section 26-10A-19
Investigation.

(a) A pre-placement investigation shall be made to determine the suitability of each petitioner and the home in which the adoptee will be placed. The investigation shall include a criminal background investigation and any other circumstances which might be relevant to the placement of an adoptee with the petitioners. A copy of the pre-placement investigation shall be filed with the court when the petition for adoption is filed.

(b) An individual or couple may initiate a pre-placement investigation by request directly through the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency or by filing a request with the probate court. The court may appoint any agency or individual qualified under subsection (d) to perform the pre-placement investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, a copy of the report shall be sent to the petitioners. The report is to be filed with the court at the time of the filing of the petition for adoption.

(c) Unless a pre-placement investigation has been performed within 24 months of the petition or an investigation is dispensed with by court order for good cause shown on the record, no decree for the adoption of any adoptee shall be entered until a full post-placement investigation ordered by the court has been made concerning:

(1) The suitability of each petitioner, and his, her, or their home for the adoptee;

(2) Why the natural parents, if living, desire to be relieved of the care, support and guardianship of such minor;

(3) Whether the natural parents have abandoned such minor or are otherwise unsuited to have its custody;

(4) Any orders, judgments, or decrees affecting the adoptee or any children of the petitioner;

(5) Any property owned by the adoptee;

(6) The medical histories, both physical and mental, of the adoptee and the biological parents. This history shall be provided to the petitioner in writing before the decree is entered;

(7) Criminal background investigations;

(8) The costs and expenses connected with the adoption; and

(9) Any other circumstances which may be relevant to the placement of the adoptee with the petitioners.

(d)(1) A pre-placement investigation or a post-placement investigation must be performed by one of the following:

a. The Department of Human Resources;

b. A licensed child placing agency;

c. An individual or agency licensed by the department to perform investigations; or

d. An individual appointed by the court who is a social worker licensed by the State Board of Social Work Examiners or a social worker II or above who is under the state merit system who is also certified by the State Board of Social Work Examiners for private independent practice in the social casework specialty, as provided for in Section 34-30-3.

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (d)(1), the court on its own motion may order the post-placement investigation be performed by an agency or individual other than the agency placing the adoptee, when the court has cause to believe the investigation is insufficient.

(e) In every adoption proceeding, after a child has been placed in the home, in the post-placement investigation an investigator must observe the adoptee and interview the petitioner in their home as soon as possible after notice of the placement but in any event within 45 days after the placement.

(f) The investigator shall complete and file his or her written report with the court within 60 days from receipt of notice of the proceeding and shall deliver a copy of the report to the petitioner's attorney or to each petitioner if he or she is appearing pro se. The investigation shall include a verification of all allegations of the petition. The report shall include sufficient facts for the court to determine whether there has been compliance with consent or relinquishment provisions of this chapter. The post-placement investigation shall include all of the information enumerated within subdivisions (c)(1) through (c)(9) that was not obtained in the pre-placement investigation required under subsection (a).

(g) Upon a showing of a good cause and after notice to the petitioners, the court may grant extensions of time to the investigator to file his or her investigation.

(h) Notwithstanding this section no investigations shall be required for those adoptions under Sections 26-10A-27 and 26-10A-28.

(i) When the investigation has been conducted, the investigatory report shall not be conclusive but may be considered along with other evidence.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §19.)

Section 26-10A-20
Removal of adoptee from county.

After the petitioner has received the adoptee into his or her home, the adoptee shall not be removed from the county in which the petitioner resides until the final decree has been issued for a period of longer than 15 consecutive days unless notice is given to the investigating agency or person.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §20.)

Section 26-10A-21
Related proceedings.

If, at any time during the pendency of the adoption proceeding, it is determined that any other custody action concerning the adoptee is pending in the courts of this state or any other state or country, any party to the adoption proceeding, or the court on its own motion, may move to stay such adoption proceeding until a determination has been made by an appropriate court with jurisdiction pursuant to the provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA). The adoption may be transferred and consolidated with a custody proceeding pending in any court in this state.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §21; Act 99-435, p. 857, §1.)

Section 26-10A-22
Attorney participation and appointment of attorney for the adoptee or other party.

(a) In making adoption arrangements, potential adopting parents and birth parents may obtain counsel to provide legal advice and assistance.

(b) Upon the motion of any party, or upon the court's own motion, before or after the filing of petition for adoption the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the adoptee, or for any incompetent or minor who is a party to the proceeding or who would be a party to the proceeding. In the event of a contested adoption, a guardian ad litem shall be appointed. The fees of a guardian ad litem shall be assessed as court costs.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §22.)

Section 26-10A-23
Fees and charges.

(a) No person, organization, group, agency or any legal entity may accept any fee whatsoever for bringing the adopting parent or parents together with the adoptee or the natural parents. A violation of this section shall be punished under Section 26-10A-33.

(b) Prior to payment, the petitioners must file with the court a full accounting of all charges for expenses, fees or services they or persons acting on their behalf will be paying relating to the adoption. Payment may be made only with court approval except that fees may be placed in an escrow account prior to court approval. The court may not refuse to approve a fee for documented services on the sole basis that a child has not been placed. The court shall approve all reasonable fees and expenses unless determined by the court to be unreasonable based upon specific written findings of fact.

(c) The petitioner must file a sworn statement that is a full accounting of all disbursements paid in the adoption.

(d) Under penalty of perjury, the adoptive parents and the parent or parents surrendering the minor for adoption shall, prior to the entry of the final adoption order, sign affidavits stating that no moneys or other things of value have been paid or received for giving the minor up for adoption. In addition to any penalties for perjury, the payment or receipt of money as referred to herein shall be punished as set forth in section 26-10A-33.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §23.)

Section 26-10A-24
Contested hearing.

(a) Whenever a motion contesting the adoption is filed, the court shall set the matter for a contested hearing to determine:

(1) Whether the best interests of the adoptee will be served by the adoption.

(2) Whether the adoptee is a person capable of being adopted by the petitioner in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

(3) Whether an actual or implied consent or relinquishment to the adoption is valid.

(4) Whether a consent or relinquishment may be withdrawn.

(b) The court shall give notice of the contested hearing by certified mail to all parties who have appeared before the court. The moving party and each petitioner shall be present at the contested hearing. The guardian ad litem shall appear and represent the interests of the adoptee.

(c) The court may continue the hearing from time to time to permit notice to all parties, or to permit further discovery, observation, investigation, or consideration of any fact or circumstances affecting the granting of the adoption petition. The court may order the investigating officer, appointed under Section 26-10A-19, to investigate the allegations set forth in the motion for a contested hearing or the whereabouts of any person entitled to notice of the proceeding.

(d) After hearing evidence at a contested hearing, the court shall dismiss the adoption proceeding if the court finds:

(1) That the adoption is not in the best interests of the adoptee.

(2) That a petitioner is not capable of adopting the adoptee.

(3) That a necessary consent cannot be obtained or is invalid.

(4) That a necessary consent may be withdrawn. Otherwise the court shall deny the motion of the contesting party.

(e) On motion of either party or of the court, a contested adoption hearing may be transferred to the court having jurisdiction over juvenile matters.

(f) All references to the names of the parties in the proceedings shall be by initial only.

(g) Where the contested hearing is held in the probate court the judge may, upon completion of the contested hearing, immediately proceed with the dispositional hearing as provided in Section 26-10A-25.

(h) Where there is a contested case hearing, if the adoption is denied, then the probate court or court of competent jurisdiction, unless just cause is shown otherwise by the contestant, shall issue an order for reimbursement to the petitioner or petitioners for adoption for all medical and living expenses incidental to the care and well-being of the minor child for the time the child resided with the petitioner or petitioners for adoption.

(i) Where there is a contested hearing and the contest fails, then the probate court or court of competent jurisdiction, unless just cause is shown otherwise by the contestant, shall issue an order for reimbursement to the petitioner or petitioners for adoption for all legal costs incurred which are incidental to the contest.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §24; Act 99-435, p. 857, §1.)

Section 26-10A-25
Final decree; dispositional hearing.

(a) When the pre-placement investigation has been completed and approved or the investigation has been waived for good cause shown, the petition for adoption shall be set for a dispositional hearing as soon as possible or no later than 90 days after the filing of the petition. When there has not been a pre-placement investigation or the investigation has not been waived for good cause shown or when the adoptee is a special needs child, the petition for adoption shall be set for a dispositional hearing as soon as possible or no later than 120 days after the filing of the petition. Upon good cause shown, the court may extend the time for the dispositional hearing and entry of the final decree.

(b) At the dispositional hearing, the court shall grant a final decree of adoption if it finds on clear and convincing evidence that:

(1) The adoptee has been in the actual physical custody of the petitioners for a period of 60 days, unless for good cause shown, this requirement is waived by the court;

(2) All necessary consents, relinquishments, terminations or waivers have been obtained and, if appropriate, have been filed with the court;

(3) Service of the notice of pendency of the adoption proceeding has been made or dispensed with as to all persons entitled to receive notice under Section 26-10A-17;

(4) All contests brought under Section 26-10A-24 have been resolved in favor of the petitioner;

(5) That each petitioner is a suitable adopting parent and desires to establish a parent and child relationship between himself or herself and the adoptee;

(6) That the best interests of the adoptee are served by the adoption; and

(7) All other requirements of this chapter have been met.

(c) The court shall enter its finding in a written decree which shall also include the new name of the adoptee, and shall not include any other name by which the adoptee has been known or the names of the natural or presumed parents. The final decree shall further order that from the date of the decree, the adoptee shall be the child of the petitioners, and that the adoptee shall be accorded the status set forth in Section 26-10A-29.

(d) A final decree of adoption may not be collaterally attacked, except in cases of fraud or where the adoptee has been kidnapped, after the expiration of one year from the entry of the final decree and after all appeals, if any.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §25.)

Section 26-10A-26
Appeals.

(a) Appeals from any final decree of adoption shall be taken to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and filed within 14 days from the final decree.

(b) An appeal from any final order or decree rendered under this chapter shall have priority in all courts and shall have precedence over all other matters, except for other matters which have been given priority by specific statutory provision or rule of court. The trial court may enter further orders concerning the custody of the adoptee pending appeal.

(c) If an order, judgment, or decree rendered under this chapter is appealed, the party who files the appeal shall cause notice of the appeal to be transmitted to all persons entitled to receive notice pursuant to Section 26-10A-17, except for persons for whom consent or relinquishment has been implied under Section 26-10A-9 or whose consent or relinquishment is not required under Section 26-10A-10. Such notice of appeal shall set forth the pendency of the appeal and the right of interested parties to be heard. The notice shall not identify by name the party filing such appeal, unless the appellant is unrepresented, but shall specify the identity of the court in which the appeal is pending, the docket number of the petition, the general nature of the appeal, and the name, address and telephone number of the attorney who has filed the petition. The caption of an appeal shall show only the initials of the adoptee's birthname. Only the initials of the natural parents and the petitioner shall be indicated in all pleadings and briefs.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §26.)

Section 26-10A-27
Stepparent adoptions.

Any person may adopt his or her spouse's child according to the provisions of this chapter, except that:

(1) Before the filing of the petition for adoption, the adoptee must have resided for a period of one year with the petitioner, unless this filing provision is waived by the court for good cause shown;

(2) No investigation under Section 26-10A-19 shall occur unless otherwise directed by the court, and

(3) No report of fees and charges under Section 26-10A-23 shall be made unless ordered by the court.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §27.)

Section 26-10A-28
Adoption by other relatives.

A grandfather, a grandmother, great-grandfather, great-grandmother, great-uncle, great-aunt, a brother, or a half-brother, a sister, a half-sister, an aunt or an uncle of the first degree and their respective spouses, if any may adopt a minor grandchild, a minor brother, a minor half-brother, a minor sister, a minor half-sister, a minor nephew, a minor niece, a minor great-grandchild, a minor great niece or a minor great nephew, according to the provisions of this chapter, except that:

(1) Before the filing of the petition for adoption, the adoptee must have resided for a period of one year with the petitioner, unless this filing provision is waived by the court for good cause shown;

(2) No investigation under Section 26-10A-19 shall occur unless otherwise directed by the court; and

(3) No report of fees and charges under Section 26-10A-23 shall be made unless ordered by the court.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §28.)

Section 26-10A-29
Name and status of adoptee.

(a) The adoptee shall take the name designated by the petitioner. After adoption, the adoptee shall be treated as the natural child of the adopting parent or parents and shall have all rights and be subject to all of the duties arising from that relation, including the right of inheritance.

(b) Upon the final decree of adoption, the natural parents of the adoptee, except for a natural parent who is the spouse of the adopting parent are relieved of all parental responsibility for the adoptee and will have no parental rights over the adoptee.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §29.)

Section 26-10A-30
Grandparent visitation.

Post-adoption visitation rights for the natural grandparents of the adoptee may be granted when the adoptee is adopted by a stepparent, a grandfather, a grandmother, a brother, a half-brother, a sister, a half-sister, an aunt or an uncle and their respective spouses, if any. Such visitation rights may be maintained or granted at the discretion of the court at any time prior to or after the final order of adoption is entered upon petition by the natural grandparents, if it is in the best interest of the child.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §29.1.)

Section 26-10A-31
Confidentiality of records, hearing; parties.

(a) After the petition is filed and prior to the entry of the final decree, the records in adoption proceedings shall be open to inspection only by the petitioner or his or her attorney, the investigator appointed under Section 26-10A-19, any attorney appointed for the adoptee under Section 26-10A-22, and any attorney retained by or appointed to represent the adoptee. Such records shall be open to other persons only upon order of court for good cause shown.

(b) All hearings in adoption proceedings shall be confidential and shall be held in closed court without admittance of any person other than interested parties and their counsel, except with leave of court.

(c) After the final decree of adoption has been entered, all papers, pleadings, and other documents pertaining to the adoption shall be sealed, kept as a permanent record of the court, and withheld from inspection except as otherwise provided in this section and in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12. No person shall have access to such records except upon order of the court in which the decree of adoption was entered for good cause shown except as provided in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12.

(d) When the court issues the adoption order, all licensed agencies or individuals shall send a sealed information summary sheet and the non-identifying information referred to in subsection (g) in a separate summary sheet to the State Department of Human Resources. The following information shall be included:

(1) Birthname and adoptive name;

(2) Date and place of birth of person adopted, except in the case of abandonment;

(3) Circumstances under which the child came to be placed for adoption;

(4) Physical and mental condition of the person adopted, insofar as this can be determined by the aid of competent medical authority;

(5) Name and last known address of natural parents, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, if known;

(6) Age of the natural parents at child's birth;

(7) Nationality, ethnic background, race, and religious preference of the natural parents;

(8) Educational level of the natural parents;

(9) Pre-adoptive brother/sister relationships;

(10) Whether the identity and location of the natural father is known or ascertainable.

(e) The State Department of Human Resources and the investigating agency's adoption records must be kept for a minimum term of 75 years. If a licensed child placing agency ceases to operate in Alabama, all adoption records of the agency, including those of the child, the natural family and the adoptive family, shall be transferred to the Department of Human Resources.

(f) Except as otherwise provided in this section and in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12, all files of the investigating office or agency appointed by the court under Section 26-10A-19 shall be confidential and shall be withheld from inspection except upon order of the court for good cause shown.

(g) Notwithstanding subsection (f) of this section, the State Department of Human Resources or the licensed investigating agency appointed by the court pursuant to Section 26-10A-19(b) and (c), shall furnish, upon request, to the petitioners, natural parents or an adoptee 19 years of age or older, nonidentifying information which shall be limited to the following:

(1) Health and medical histories of the adoptee's natural parents;

(2) The health and medical history of the adoptee;

(3) The adoptee's general family background, including ancestral information, without name references or geographical designations;

(4) Physical descriptions;

(5) The length of time the adoptee was in the care and custody of one other than the petitioner; and

(6) Circumstances under which the child comes to be placed for adoption.

(h) Notwithstanding subsection (f), if either the natural mother or the natural or presumed father have given consent in writing under oath to disclosure of identifying information as defined in subsection (d) and which is not otherwise provided in this section and in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12, the State Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency shall release such identifying information.

(i) If the court finds that any person has a compelling need for nonidentifying information not otherwise available under subsection (e) of this section which only can be obtained through contact with the adoptee, the adoptee's parents, an alleged or presumed father of the adoptee, or the adoptee's adoptive parents, the court shall direct the agency or a mutually agreed upon intermediary, to furnish such information or to establish contact with the adoptee, the adoptee's natural parents, the alleged or presumed father of the adoptee, or the adoptive parents of the adoptee in order to obtain the information needed without disclosure of identifying information to or about the applicant. Said information then shall be filed with the court and released to the applicant within the discretion of the court. However, the identity and whereabouts of the person or persons contacted shall remain confidential.

(j) Notwithstanding any subsection of this section to the contrary, when an adult adoptee reaches the age of 19, the adoptee may petition the court for the disclosure of identifying information as defined in subsection (d) and which is not otherwise provided for in this section or in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12, if a natural or presumed parent has not previously given consent under subsection (h). The court shall direct an intermediary to contact the natural parents to determine if the natural parents will consent to the release of identifying information. If the natural parents consent to the release of identifying information the court shall so direct. If the natural parents are deceased, cannot be found or do not consent to the release of identifying information then the court shall weigh the interest and rights of all of the parties and determine if the identifying information should be released without the consent of the natural parents.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §30; Act 2000-794, p. 1869, §1.)

Section 26-10A-32
Birth certificates.

(a) Within 10 days of the final decree being entered the judge or the clerk of the court shall send a copy of the final order to the Department of Human Resources and shall send a certificate of the final order of adoption to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics of the State Board of Health upon the form supplied by the state registrar for that purpose.

(b) Upon receipt of copy of any final order of adoption the State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall cause to be made a new record of the birth in the new name and with the name or names of the adopting parent or parents as contained in the final decree. The state registrar shall then cause to be sealed and filed the original certificate of birth with the decree of the court.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12, after the new birth certificate has been issued, the original birth certificate and the evidence of adoption are not subject to inspection except upon order of the court for good cause shown.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §31; Act 2000-794, p. 1869, §1.)

Section 26-10A-33
Crime to place children for adoption.

Only a parent, a parent of a deceased parent, or a relative of the degree of relationship specified in Section 26-10A-28, the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency, or an agency approved by the Department of Human Resources may place a minor for adoption. No person or entity other than the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency shall engage in the business of placing minors for adoption. Any person or entity making more than two unrelated placements of minors for adoption within the preceding twelve month period shall be deemed to be in the business of placing minors for adoption. Any other person who places a minor for adoption is guilty, upon the first conviction, of a Class A misdemeanor and upon subsequent convictions is guilty of a Class C felony. This section does not intend to make it unlawful for any person not engaged in the business of placing minors for adoption to give advice and assistance to a natural parent in an adoption. In making adoption arrangements, potential adopting parents and birth parents are entitled to the advice and assistance of legal counsel. Surrogate motherhood is not intended to be covered by this section.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §32.)

Section 26-10A-34
Payments to parent for placing minor for adoption; maternity expenses; receipt of financial benefits by father.

(a) It shall be a Class A misdemeanor for any person or agency to offer to pay money or anything of value to a parent for the placement for adoption, for the consent to an adoption, or for cooperation in the completion of an adoption of his or her minor. It shall be a Class C felony for any person or agency to pay money or anything of value to a parent for the placement of a child for adoption, for the consent to an adoption, or for cooperation in the completion of an adoption of his or her minor. This section does not make it unlawful to pay the maternity-connected medical or hospital and necessary living expenses of the mother preceding and during pregnancy-related incapacity as an act of charity, as long as the payment is not contingent upon placement of the minor for adoption, consent to the adoption, or cooperation in the completion of the adoption.

(b) It shall be a Class C felony for any person or agency to receive any money or other thing of value for placing, assisting or arranging a minor placement. This section is not intended to prohibit legitimate charges for medical, legal, prenatal or other professional services.

(c) Surrogate motherhood is not intended to be covered by this section.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §33.)

Section 26-10A-35
Bringing child into state for adoption purposes.

Children may be brought into Alabama for purposes of adoption as provided in Section 38-7-15 except that investigations shall be made as provided in Section 26-10A-19(c).

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §34.)

Section 26-10A-36
Advertisement as to adoption by persons, organizations, etc., not licensed by Department of Human Resources.

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, organizations, corporation, partnership, hospital, association, or any agency to advertise verbally, through print, electronic media, or otherwise that they will:

(1) Adopt children or assist in the adoption of children in violation of this chapter;

(2) Place or assist in the placement of children in foster homes, group homes, or institutions in violation of this chapter; or

(3) Pay or offer money or anything of value to the parents of a child in violation of Section 26-10A-34.

Any violation of this section shall be punished as a Class A misdemeanor.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §35.)

Section 26-10A-37
Rules of procedure and rules of evidence.

The Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Evidence apply to the probate court in adoption proceedings to the extent they apply under Section 12-13-12.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p, 912, §37.)

Section 26-10A-38
Application to existing adoptions.

Final orders of adoptions entered prior to January 1, 1991, remain in effect on January 1, 1991, even though the statute under which the adoption was made may be repealed or modified by this chapter. Those adoptions continue in effect as they existed prior to this chapter except that proceedings after final orders of adoption previously entered will be governed under this chapter.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §39.)

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Cities in Alabama 

A
Alabaster Albertville Alexander City Andalusia Anniston Arab Ardmore Athens Atmore Attalla Auburn


B
Bay Minette Bessemer Birmingham Boaz Brewton Butler
C
Calera Camden Centre Clanton Columbiana Cullman
D
Dadeville Daleville Daphne Decatur Demopolis Dothan
E
Enterprise Eufaula Evergreen
F
Fairfield Fairhope Fayette Florence Foley Fort Payne
G
Gadsden Gardendale Geneva Greenville Gulf Shores Guntersville
H
Haleyville Hamilton Hanceville Hartselle Hazel Green Huntsville
J
Jackson Jacksonville Jasper
L
Lanett Leeds Loxley
M
Madison Millbrook Mobile Monroeville Montevallo Montgomery Moulton Muscle Shoals
N
Northport
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