Adoption and Parental Rights

What are a birth mother’s rights and obligations regarding adoption?

Adoption can be a wonderful opportunity for an adopting family and for the child who needs a new home.  But it can also be a frightening and traumatic process for the birth mother who has decided to put her child up for adoption.  Understanding both your obligations and your rights as a birth mother during the adoption process can make a difference.

Starting the process

A birth mother has the ability to start the adoption process at any time after conception.  She also has the right to choose the parent(s) who will adopt her child.  This choice, too, can be made at any time after conception.  She can also choose to sign the necessary consent forms, either before or after birth.  If the consent forms are signed before birth, she should do so before a probate judge.  After the birth of the child, the consent forms can be executed before a notary.

After the birth of the child

Contrary to what some people believe, a birth mother who has decided to give her child up for adoption is allowed to hold the baby after the birth if she desires to.  Usually a questionnaire is given to the mother so that she can indicate what she wants to happen, including the extent of the connection she wants to have with the child in the hospital. In Alabama, the adoptive parents are allowed to pay for medical, legal and living expenses of the mother, if those expenses are reasonable. The birth mother can only change her mind if she has not yet signed the consent forms.

What about birth mothers who are minors?

Alabama does not require the parents of either the biological mother or father to give consent to the adoption, regardless of the age of the biological parents. However, an attorney will be appointed to explain the consent form and discuss the minor child’s decision before they will be allowed to sign the consent.

If you any questions or concerns regarding the adoption process in Alabama, contact our firm at (205) 988-5570 for a free case analysis and consultation.

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