In the first major overhaul to Alabama’s adoption system in more than 30 years, Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law Wednesday a bill to ease the adoption process.
The 80-page revision of Alabama’s adoption code was put into place after extensive work from lawmakers, state agencies and families.
It’s intended to simplify communication between case workers and courts, strengthen confidentiality and safeguarding measures for adoption participants, and provide better clarity regarding the adoption application process for families.
“Alabama has consistently set state records for adoptions and placed thousands of children in loving, forever homes,” Ivey said. “Currently, we have more than 5,000 children in the foster care system, and with this modernized and streamlined process now in place, we have positioned Alabama on even firmer footing and will be able to provide more of our children with the life they deserve.”
Rep. Ginny Shaver (R-Leesburg) started the overhaul with the Alabama Law Institute because she didn’t think it was right that it can take on average of two years for a child in foster care to find a permanent home.
The revision will provide clarity on which court has jurisdiction over adoption issues and enable case handlers to communicate more effectively while ensuring the confidentiality of adoptees and biological parents. It also separates the adoption processes for adults and children.
Identified as an immediate priority, Shaver’s bill was brought to the floor during the first week of the regular session. With the governor’s signature today, adoption in Alabama will become easier for all involved in the process.
“Alabama is, once again, putting families first and taking action to solidify us as the most pro-life state in the nation,” Ivey said.
Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270 for coverage of the 2023 legislative session.
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