Bill before Alabama lawmakers would streamline adoption process

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 8:26 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - With abortions now illegal in Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey and Republican leaders say streamlining the adoption process is a priority. A bill before the state Legislature that’s structured to expedite the adoption process is the first change to the state’s adoption code in more than 30 years.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ginny Shaver, R-Cherokee County, says it’s time to modernize the state law.

“It will cut some of the time off of the adoption process,” she said. “The most time-consuming aspect is terminating parental rights.”

If passed, the bill will separate the processes for adults and children. The bill clarifies which court can hear issues concerning adoptions and allows case handlers to communicate with each other while keeping the adoptee and biological parents’ information safe.

The bill is lengthy. The official summary of the changes is three pages long.

“When we’ve got children in foster care, on average over two years, that’s a long time in the life of a child,” said Shaver.

Shaver says this bill has been thoroughly vetted.

“This is an Alabama Law Institute bill,” she said. “And they had a committee that has been working for over four years.”

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to be happy with the bill so far.

“Going to simplify the process for grandparents who are now, probably many are the dominant parent in that child’s life, to make that process easier so that they can adopt. And it’s also to safeguard the welfare of that child,” said Rep. Barbara Drummond, D- Mobile County.

The bill made it through committee Wednesday with a technical amendment.

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