VIDEO: Learn How to Adopt in Alabama
- Are you interested in becoming an adoptive parent in Alabama? Click the purple button below to access our free Adoption Orientation informational video. Led by the knowledgeable APAC adoption support team, this 15-minute video explains each step in the adoption process. A quick form will pop up when you click the link so one of our specialists can follow up with you, (FILLING OUT THE FORM DOES NOT INDICATE THAT YOU ARE COMMITTED TO ADOPTING AT THIS TIME, really there is no pressure). This form helps us keep track of our interactions and helps us provide better answers to families and individuals interested in adoption in Alabama.
Thinking about adoption?
Children's Aid Society of Alabama understands the thoughts and conversations that led you to discover more about adoption, were not taken lightly. That's why we've prepared this adoption orientation video to introduce you to Children's Aid Society and APAC, as well as to provide an overview of what to expect when you're adopting!
Our Adoption Orientation video delves into the essential aspects of becoming an adoptive parent. It covers key information, including:
- Understanding the adoption process in Alabama
- Requirements and qualifications for adoptive parents
- Home study procedures and expectations
- Post-placement support and resources
- Legal considerations and finalization of the adoption
- How APAC will support, encourage, educate, and equip you along the way. You'll also hear from a few adoptive parents who have linked arms with APAC and hear in their own words about their family experiences.
By watching our Adoption Orientation video, you empower yourself with the knowledge needed to embark on your adoption journey.
Someone will reach out to you personally to answer your questions, there is no commitment to begin the adoption journey. We're here to help answer the many questions you have.
When you choose APAC for adoption assistance, you gain a reliable ally dedicated to ensuring your adoption experience is positive and fulfilling. We offer:
Expert guidance: We have extensive experience in adoption, and all of our counselors are certified as adoption-competent providers through the nationally accredited Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) program provided by the Center for Adoption Support and Education, (C.A.S.E.), and can provide comprehensive information tailored to your specific situation.
Supportive environment: We create a nurturing and understanding atmosphere, offering you a safe space to explore your adoption options.
Personalized assistance: Our team is committed to understanding your unique needs and providing individualized support that aligns with your family's goals.
APAC is here to empower you with the resources and guidance you need to make well-informed adoption decisions. We want to ensure that you have the confidence to move forward in your adoption journey, knowing that you have the support of a trusted partner.
Discover the possibilities and find the answers you seek. Contact APAC today email@example.com, or call our toll-free line at (866) 803-2722. Our dedicated team is available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are here to help you find the answers you need to make informed decisions about adoption. Start your journey toward adoption from foster care in Alabama with APAC. Together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of children and create forever families.
Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption in Alabama
- Who are the Waiting Children available for adoption in Alabama?
When a Judge determines that a child in foster care with the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) cannot safely return to birth parents, the court terminates the parents' rights, making the child legally available for adoption. If no relatives or familiar caregivers are qualified to take custody of the child, they are placed on the State Waiting Child list. Waiting Children are typically between 5-19 years old or part of a sibling group. They may have medical, developmental, or emotional/behavioral special needs due to the traumas they have experienced. Many of these children are waiting in residential or group homes for adoption by a forever family. Heart Gallery Alabama also shares introductory profiles and photos of Alabama's waiting children.
- Are there infants or toddlers on the State Waiting Child list?
Children under the age of 5 with no special needs are rarely placed on the State Waiting Child list. Usually, very young children who cannot return to their birth parents are taken into custody by relatives or familiar caregivers. APAC refers families seeking to adopt children under 5 years old with no special needs to their county DHR office or encourages them to explore private adoption. However, APAC does provide FREE post-adoption support to any adoptive family in Alabama, including those who choose private adoption.
- How much does it cost to adopt a Waiting Child?
APAC provides training, home study, and support services at no cost to families in Alabama. While our social work services are free, there may be secondary costs not related to our services that the applicants are responsible for. These costs may include home upgrades to meet DHR safety standards or copays for required medical exams. Once given permission to finalize an adoption in court, approved families are encouraged to obtain a lawyer. DHR offers a standard stipend to assist with legal fees for the adoption finalization, resulting in most adoptions through Alabama foster care being FREE of cost to adoptive families.
- How long does it take to adopt a Waiting Child?
On average, including training and home study, it takes 6 to 9 months for State DHR to approve a family and begin the matching process. The exact duration depends on multiple factors, including APAC's assessment of your family's readiness to meet the needs of a Waiting Child. After approval, you can inquire about specific Waiting Children. DHR holds an approved family home study for 6 months to attempt to match them with a Waiting Child in Alabama. (After 6 months, you are free to inquire out of state.) The waiting period for a match depends on your openness to the children whose needs DHR believes your family can meet. Multiple families may inquire about one child, and new children are frequently added to the Waiting Child list.
- Do I have to foster before adopting?
No. You can adopt a Waiting Child without fostering first. Once a court makes a child legally available for adoption, there are no further efforts to reunify that child with birth relatives or previous caregivers. The child can proceed to meet a potential adoptive family without further moves or disruptions. Many Waiting Children live in group homes until their forever family is found. DHR will not move a Waiting Child into an approved family's home until the child and family have met, and everyone understands that adoption is the goal. The 90-day period is not a trial period.
- How do I get to know the child if I don’t foster them first?
Through our training and home study interactions, APAC gets to know your family and assesses the needs you can meet for a child. State DHR Adoption Consultants share the child's background information and determine which approved family could best meet a Waiting Child's needs. If everyone agrees to move forward, initial visits are arranged, and the child can live with the potential adoptive family for 90 days, fostering a bond in anticipation of adoption. During this 90-day period, the family receives support from DHR and APAC to address any needs or concerns before DHR gives permission to finalize the adoption. It's important to understand that the goal of adoption should be clear before a child moves in with a family. Again, the 90-day period is not a trial period.
- Can I “foster to adopt"?
When a child enters foster care, DHR's primary goal is birth family reunification. Foster parents work with DHR and the birth family to support reunification efforts and help the child return home. Only if reunification efforts fail, and a court terminates the birth parents' rights, can a foster child become legally available for adoption. While foster parent adoptions do occur, it is crucial that families who choose to foster have a genuine desire to help children safely reunite with birth relatives whenever possible. Foster care is not intended to be a means to adoption. If your focus is on growing your own family through adoption, it's best to be clear about that and avoid a conflict of interest with DHR's reunification goals for children in foster care. Many children in Alabama have already been made legally available for adoption by a court, with no further efforts at birth family reunification. Once this happens, DHR's goal for these Waiting Children shifts to achieving permanency through adoption. They can be carefully matched with forever families without the need for further foster care.
- Can I foster and adopt different children at the same time?
Yes, some families choose to foster and adopt at the same time. However, APAC specifically works with adoption-only families. Some of our families have gone on to adopt and later engage in fostering.
- Why is TIPS training required for adoption in Alabama?
TIPS stands for Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence. It is the State-approved curriculum that all families wishing to adopt Waiting Children in Alabama are required to complete. As the name suggests, TIPS training helps prospective adoptive parents learn how to recognize and meet the special needs of children who have experienced trauma. Through TIPS, trainees acquire skills to build trust and attachment with children who have been abused and/or neglected and learn strategies to help them integrate into a permanent adoptive family. TIPS training also provides an opportunity for APAC and State DHR to get to know you, ensuring that the matching process is well-informed and in the best interests of both the child and the family. Thorough and patient TIPS and home study processes are crucial for the long-term strength and success of a forever family.