New law will allow more foster parents in Alabama to adopt

Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan) watches vote count in Alabama House of Representatives.
Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan) watches vote count in Alabama House of Representatives.(WTVY News 4)
Published: Mar. 12, 2020 at 11:28 AM CDT
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Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed a bill giving foster parents greater standing in the adoption process.

“Under current law, a judge cannot take into account the role that foster parents have played in a child's life,” said Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan).

The new law would allow judges to look at the bigger picture and, in some cases, allow foster families to adopt.

Lee cites cases of relatives have shown up just before adoption and demanded custody of the child, though they had not previously been part of the process. Except in unique cases, the child would be given to the relative.

He believes that is disruptive to a children who have settled into a thriving situation.

Judges will now be allowed to look back three years and decide what's in the best interest of children.

Lee said hundreds of foster parents supported the bill, some calling Ivey's office urging her to sign it.

She obliged and the bill takes effect immediately.