Establishing Paternity Under the Alabama Adoption Code
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
3d ago
Unless a legal father’s rights have been terminated, a legal father’s consent to adoption is required. What makes a father a “legal father”? Let’s talk about the six ways a man can be considered the legal father under Ala. Code § 26-10E-2(8) – in two minutes!     The post Establishing Paternity Under the Alabama Adoption Code appeared first on The Adoption Law Firm ..read more
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“Fresh Facts of Dependency” Movement May Be Coming to an End: Track the Rise of M.A.J.
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
1M ago
Over the last four years, many foster children have failed to achieve permanency in an adoptive homes due to the fresh-facts of dependency movement. Or, at least the perception among many practitioners of the Court of Civil Appeals’ apparent campaign to overturn a trial court’s termination of parental rights ruling. I remember when these series of cases began to hit the trial courts. Nearly all of the judges and juvenile trial attorneys I spoke with were baffled. Eventually, we figured it out. The Court of Civil Appeals would not uphold a TPR if the trial court was not presented with fresh fac ..read more
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New Adoption Home Study Checklist Available
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
1M ago
It is a new year, and in Alabama we have a new adoption code. As some of the home study requirements have changed, we have created a new checklist and are happy to make this resource available. To download a copy, just click on the link. New Homestudy Checklist-1 The post New Adoption Home Study Checklist Available appeared first on The Adoption Law Firm ..read more
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A Brief on D.S. v. L.T: When Is It Appropriate to Overturn TPR?
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
2M ago
The Alabama Civil Court of Appeals recently released its ruling in D.S. v. L.T. in which a father appealed the termination of his parental rights on the grounds that the evidence did not establish that no viable alternative existed. The father refers to a previous case, J.G. v. Lauderdale County Department of Human Resources, [Ms. 2210452, Jan. 13, 2023] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2023), as reason to overturn the lower court’s ruling. The Court of Appeals states that another case, S.N.W. v. M.D.F.H, applies a better comparison to the father’s case. The case originated in Tuscaloosa County ..read more
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Children Need their Caregivers to Intervene and Become Parties to Juvenile Court Matters: M.S. and D.S., CL-2023-0223 (Ala. Civ. App. Oct. 20, 2023)
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
2M ago
Children Need their Caregivers to Intervene and Become Parties to Juvenile Court Matters: M.S. and D.S., CL-2023-0223 (Ala. Civ. App. Oct. 20, 2023) A child’s matter in the juvenile court is assigned a case number and an action number. For example, when DHR becomes involved with a child and files a dependency petition to take emergency custody, the child’s case and action number may look like: JU-2023-01234.01. From there, any new petitions will begin a new action number, which is a separate matter and will have a separate record. For example, if DHR files to terminate a parent’s rights, it wo ..read more
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How Long Should a Child Remain in Foster Care?
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
3M ago
In J.E. v. Lawrence County DHR, CL-2023-0232, Court of Civil Appeals, November 3, 2023, the natural father appealed the juvenile court’s order finding him dependent. At the time of the appeal, the child had been in foster care for two years. The natural father didn’t file his petition seeking visitation until the child was in the Department’s care for 17 months. The Civs explained their longstanding position that parents generally shall have 12 months from the date the child enters foster care to prove that their conduct, condition, or circumstances have improved so that reunification may be ..read more
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Deflection in the Court of Law
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
3M ago
How does it fly in court when a natural parent, who has abandoned their child for years, choosing a life of pleasure and debauchery over their child – how does it fly when that parent blames DHR and the juvenile court for their own lack of involvement with their child? Well, that’s called deflection and it doesn’t normally go over very well. In a recent opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, J.E. v. Lawrence County DHR, CL-2023-0232, November 3, 2023, the Civs put it down where the cows can reach it: On appeal, the father contends that he is sober, is employed, has stable and suitable hous ..read more
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The McLendon Standard Revisited by Court of Civil Appeals: S.R. v. B.G. and K.G., November 3, 2023, Appeal from Morgan County Juvenile Court
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
3M ago
The McLendon Standard Revisited by Court of Civil Appeals: S.R. v. B.G. and K.G., November 3, 2023, Appeal from Morgan County Juvenile Court; Opinion authored by Judge Christy Edwards. 1984 was a year of endurance. In May of that year, the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers played the longest game in baseball history with 25 innings lasting over 8 hours. 1984 also saw the birth of Alabama’s most enduring family law case, Ex Parte McLendon 455 So. 2d 863 (Ala. 11984). In short, this case has endured as the principle for which it stands, the McLendon Standard: if a parent loses cus ..read more
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Alabama’s New Adoption Code Takes Effect January 1, 2024
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
3M ago
Under Alabama’s old Adoption Code, a birth parent could withdraw their consent for any reason within the first five days. There was another window from day six to day fourteen where a birth parent could withdraw their consent. However, prior to withdrawal and return of the child, there had to be an evidentiary hearing where the natural parent showed that withdrawal was reasonable and in the child’s best interest. The new Adoption Code, under 26-10E-13, eliminates the second window to withdraw consent (the six to fourteen day window), and keeps only the first five days: An express consent once ..read more
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Here Comes Venue for Alabama’s New Adoption Code
The Adoption Law Firm
by Sam McLure
3M ago
Alabama’s current adoption code was ratified in 1991 and has served the State and its families and its children well. But, it’s days are numbered. On December 31, 2023, it will be retired and the new and improved adoption code will go live on January 1, 2024. There are trainings being held across the State to help adoptive parents, attorneys, social workers, and judges understand the new adoption code. In addition to in-person trainings, The Adoption Law Firm will try to provide a steady drip of the more impactful changes. Venue. You always have it, but it’s not always proper. Venue is the doc ..read more
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