Original Birth Certificates. Alabama is an Unrestricted State. Upon request for a sealed original birth record, an adopted person who is at least 19 years of age—as well as an adult who had an original birth certificate removed from the registrar’s files due to legitimation or a paternity determination—can apply and receive a non-certified copy of the OBC as well as “any evidence of the adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination held with the original record.”
Contact Preference Form. A birth parent may file a contact preference form that sets forth the parent’s preference for any contact. The form provides only the parent’s preference for contact, whether directly, through an intermediary, or no contact at all. The contact preference form does not operate as a disclosure veto or as a tool for removing or redacting identifying information.
It’s True. Alabama law provides that a new certificate of birth after an adoption “shall not be established if so requested by the court decreeing the adoption.” Some states also allow adoptive parents and the adopted person to request that no new amended birth certificate be created. Birthparents ultimately have no control over the issuance of a new amended birth record and the sealing of the original.
Court Records. Court records in adoptions are sealed and may not be released except by court order. Identifying information contained in court or adoption records may be released through a confidential intermediary appointed by the court. See Identifying Information below.
Identifying Information. Identifying information from the state agency or a child placing agency can be released to the adopted person upon consent of a birthparent or by court order. If a birthparent has not previously consented to release of information and the adopted person is at least 19 years of age, the adopted person may petition the court for an intermediary to determine if the birthparents will consent to release. If the birthparent is deceased, cannot be found, or does not consent to the release of identifying information, the court may order release of identifying information after weighing the interest and rights of all of the parties and determining if the identifying information should be released.
Descendant Rights. Descendants and ancestors of an Alabama-born adopted person do not have a right to request and obtain a copy of the adoptee’s original birth certificate. A court order is required.
Adult Adoption. Alabama law provides for the adoption of adults. In general, only the consent of the adult to be adopted is required, unless the adoptee is disabled and unable to provide informed consent. In general, an adult who is not a step-child or related to the adopting parents must be adopted by an “adult man and woman who are husband and wife,” though this provision is likely unconstitutional.
Alabama Law: Vital Records and Original Birth Certificates
Relevant portions of Alabama’s vital records law. The full Alabama vital records law is available here, under Title 22.
Section 22-9A-8. Registration of infants of unknown parentage
(a) Whoever assumes the custody of a live-born infant of unknown parentage shall report on a form and in a manner prescribed by the State Registrar within five days to the Office of Vital Statistics all of the following information:
(1) The date and place of finding.
(2) Sex, race, and approximate birth date of the child.
(3) Name and address of the person or institution with whom the child has been placed for care.
(4) Name given to the child by the custodian of the child.
(5) Other data required by rules of the board.
(b) The place where the child was found shall be entered as the place of birth.
(c) A report registered under this section shall constitute the certificate of birth for the child.
(d) If the child is identified and a certificate of birth is found or obtained, the report registered under this section shall be placed in a special file and shall not be subject to inspection except upon an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
Section 22-9A-11. Court reports of adoption
(a) For each adoption decreed by a court of competent jurisdiction in this state, the court shall require the preparation of a report of adoption on a form prescribed and furnished by the State Registrar. The report shall indicate those facts necessary to locate and identify the certificate of birth of the person adopted or in the case of a person who was born in a foreign country, evidence from sources determined to be reliable by the court as to the date and place of birth of the person. The report shall provide information necessary to establish a new certificate of birth of the person adopted, identify the order of adoption, and be certified by the clerk of the court.
(b) Information necessary to prepare the report of adoption shall be furnished by each petitioner for adoption or his or her attorney. The child-placing agency or any person having knowledge of the facts shall supply the court with additional information as may be necessary to complete the report. The provision of the information shall be prerequisite to the issuance of a final decree in the matter by the court.
(c) Within 10 days of the entry of the final order of adoption, the judge or the clerk of the court shall send to the State Registrar reports of decrees of adoption, annulment of adoption, and amendments of decrees of adoption together with related reports as the State Registrar may require.
(d) When the State Registrar receives a report of adoption, annulment of adoption, or amendment of a decree of adoption for a person born outside this state, he or she shall forward the report to the State Registrar in the state of birth, the District of Columbia, or the territory of the United States, or if the child was born in Canada, to the appropriate registration authority in that country. If the birth occurred in a foreign country, and the child was not a citizen of the United States at the time of birth, the State Registrar shall prepare a “CERTIFICATE OF FOREIGN BIRTH” as provided in Section 22-9A-12.
Section 22-9A-11.1. Issuance of Certificate of Foreign Birth without judicial proceedings
(a) A child who has automatically acquired United States citizenship following a foreign adoption and who possesses a Certificate of Citizenship in accordance with the Child Citizenship Act, CAA, P.L. 106-395, shall be exempt from the provisions of Section 22-9A-11, which require a judicial report to acquire a Certificate of Foreign Birth.
(b) The State Registrar, upon written request, shall prepare a Certificate of Foreign Birth reflecting the actual date and place of birth for a child who was born in a foreign country, adopted by a United States citizen, and who has automatically acquired citizenship in accordance with the federal Child Citizenship Act upon the production of all of the following documents:
(1) The child’s Certificate of Citizenship.
(2) A certified copy of the child’s foreign birth certificate and certified English translation.
(3) The original documents related to the foreign adoption certified by the United States Embassy abroad and certified English translation.
(4) The Social Security card of the child.
(5) A valid government issued picture identification of parent or parents, such as a passport or driver’s license.
(6) Proof of residency of the parent or parents in the State of Alabama.
(c) The State Registrar shall develop any necessary forms for adoptive parents to submit in order to request a Certificate of Foreign Birth.
Section 22-9A-12. New birth certificate upon adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination; availability of original certificate; contact preference form
(a) The State Registrar shall establish a new certificate of birth for a person born in this state upon receipt of any of the following:
(1) A report of adoption as provided in Section 22-9A-11 or a report of adoption prepared and filed in accordance with the laws of another state, the District of Columbia, a territory of the United States, or a foreign country, or a certified copy of the decree of adoption, together with the information necessary to identify the original certificate of birth and to establish a new certificate of birth. A new certificate of birth shall not be established if so requested by the court decreeing the adoption.
(2) A request that a new certificate be established upon completion of the legitimation procedure specified in Sections 26-11-2 and 26-17-6. If the name of another man is shown as the father of the child on the original certificate, a new certificate may be prepared only when a determination of paternity is made by a court of competent jurisdiction or following adoption.
(3) A certified copy of a valid court determination of paternity that establishes the name of the father and decrees the name the child is to bear together with the information necessary to identify the original certificate of birth.
(b) The new certificate of birth prepared as a result of subsection (a) shall be on the form in use at the time of its preparation and shall include all of the following items and other information necessary to complete the certificate:
(1) The name of the child.
(2) The actual place and date of birth as shown on the original certificate.
(3) The names and personal particulars of the adoptive parents or of the natural parents, whichever is appropriate.
(4) The name of the attendant.
(5) The birth number assigned to the original birth certificate.
(6) The original filing date.
(c) The new certificate shall be substituted for the original certificate of birth in the files, and the original certificate of birth and the evidence of adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any person 19 years of age or older who was born in the State of Alabama and who has had an original birth certificate removed from the files due to an adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination may, upon written request, receive a copy of that birth certificate and any evidence of the adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination held with the original record. The copy of the original birth certificate shall be in a form that clearly indicates it is not a certified copy and that it may not be used for legal purposes. All procedures, fees, and waiting periods applicable to non-adopted citizens born in the State of Alabama seeking copies of certificates of birth shall apply.
(d) A birth parent may at any time request from the State Registrar of Vital Statistics a contact preference form that shall accompany a birth certificate issued under subsection (c). The contact preference form shall provide the following information to be completed at the option of the birth parent:
(1) I would like to be contacted.
(2) I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary.
(3) I prefer not to be contacted at this time. If I decide later that I would like to be contacted, I will submit an updated contact preference form to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. I have completed an updated medical history form and have filed it with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
The medical history form shall be in a form prescribed by the Department of Vital Statistics and shall be supplied to the birth parent upon request of a contact preference form from the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
Only those persons who are authorized to process applications made under subsection (c) may process contact preference and medical history forms.
The medical history form and contact preference form are confidential communications from the birth parent to the person named on the sealed birth certificate and shall be placed in a sealed envelope upon receipt from the birth parent. The sealed envelope shall be matched with and placed in the file containing the sealed birth certificate.
The sealed envelope containing the contact preference form and medical history form shall be released to a person requesting his or her own original birth certificate under subsection (c). The contact preference form and medical history form are a private communication from the birth parent to the person named on the sealed birth certificate and no copies of the forms shall be retained by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
Alabama Law: Adoption Information and Court Records
Relevant portions of Alabama’s adoption law. The entire Alabama adoption code is available here, under Title 26, Chapter 10A.
Section 26-10A-31. Confidentiality of records, hearing; parties.
(a) After the petition is filed and prior to the entry of the final decree, the records in adoption proceedings shall be open to inspection only by the petitioner or his or her attorney, the investigator appointed under Section 26-10A-19, any attorney appointed for the adoptee under Section 26-10A-22, and any attorney retained by or appointed to represent the adoptee. Such records shall be open to other persons only upon order of court for good cause shown.
(b) All hearings in adoption proceedings shall be confidential and shall be held in closed court without admittance of any person other than interested parties and their counsel, except with leave of court.
(c) After the final decree of adoption has been entered, all papers, pleadings, and other documents pertaining to the adoption shall be sealed, kept as a permanent record of the court, and withheld from inspection except as otherwise provided in this section and in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12. No person shall have access to such records except upon order of the court in which the decree of adoption was entered for good cause shown except as provided in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12.
(d) When the court issues the adoption order, all licensed agencies or individuals shall send a sealed information summary sheet and the non-identifying information referred to in subsection (g) in a separate summary sheet to the State Department of Human Resources. The following information shall be included:
(1) Birthname and adoptive name;
(2) Date and place of birth of person adopted, except in the case of abandonment;
(3) Circumstances under which the child came to be placed for adoption;
(4) Physical and mental condition of the person adopted, insofar as this can be determined by the aid of competent medical authority;
(5) Name and last known address of natural parents, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, if known;
(6) Age of the natural parents at child’s birth;
(7) Nationality, ethnic background, race, and religious preference of the natural parents;
(8) Educational level of the natural parents;
(9) Pre-adoptive brother/sister relationships;
(10) Whether the identity and location of the natural father is known or ascertainable.
(e) The State Department of Human Resources and the investigating agency’s adoption records must be kept for a minimum term of 75 years. If a licensed child placing agency ceases to operate in Alabama, all adoption records of the agency, including those of the child, the natural family, and the adoptive family, shall be transferred to the Department of Human Resources.
(f) Except as otherwise provided in this section and in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12, all files of the investigating office or agency appointed by the court under Section 26-10A-19 shall be confidential and shall be withheld from inspection except upon order of the court for good cause shown.
(g) Notwithstanding subsection (f) of this section, the State Department of Human Resources or the licensed investigating agency appointed by the court pursuant to Section 26-10A-19(b) and (c), shall furnish, upon request, to the petitioners, natural parents, or an adoptee 19 years of age or older, nonidentifying information which shall be limited to the following:
(1) Health and medical histories of the adoptee’s natural parents;
(2) The health and medical history of the adoptee;
(3) The adoptee’s general family background, including ancestral information, without name references or geographical designations;
(4) Physical descriptions;
(5) The length of time the adoptee was in the care and custody of one other than the petitioner; and
(6) Circumstances under which the child comes to be placed for adoption.
(h) Notwithstanding subsection (f), if either the natural mother or the natural or presumed father have given consent in writing under oath to disclosure of identifying information as defined in subsection (d) and which is not otherwise provided in this section and in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12, the State Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency shall release such identifying information.
(i) If the court finds that any person has a compelling need for nonidentifying information not otherwise available under subsection (e) of this section which only can be obtained through contact with the adoptee, the adoptee’s parents, an alleged or presumed father of the adoptee, or the adoptee’s adoptive parents, the court shall direct the agency or a mutually agreed upon intermediary, to furnish such information or to establish contact with the adoptee, the adoptee’s natural parents, the alleged or presumed father of the adoptee, or the adoptive parents of the adoptee in order to obtain the information needed without disclosure of identifying information to or about the applicant. The information then shall be filed with the court and released to the applicant within the discretion of the court. However, the identity and whereabouts of the person or persons contacted shall remain confidential.
(j) Notwithstanding any subsection of this section to the contrary, when an adult adoptee reaches the age of 19, the adoptee may petition the court for the disclosure of identifying information as defined in subsection (d) and which is not otherwise provided for in this section or in subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12, if a natural or presumed parent has not previously given consent under subsection (h). The court shall direct an intermediary to contact the natural parents to determine if the natural parents will consent to the release of identifying information. If the natural parents consent to the release of identifying information the court shall so direct. If the natural parents are deceased, cannot be found, or do not consent to the release of identifying information then the court shall weigh the interest and rights of all of the parties and determine if the identifying information should be released without the consent of the natural parents.
Section 26-10A-32. Birth certificates
(a) Within 10 days of the final decree being entered the judge or the clerk of the court shall send a copy of the final order to the Department of Human Resources and shall send a certificate of the final order of adoption to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics of the State Board of Health upon the form supplied by the state registrar for that purpose.
(b) Upon receipt of copy of any final order of adoption the State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall cause to be made a new record of the birth in the new name and with the name or names of the adopting parent or parents as contained in the final decree. The state registrar shall then cause to be sealed and filed the original certificate of birth with the decree of the court.
(c) Except as otherwise provided by subsection (c) of Section 22-9A-12, after the new birth certificate has been issued, the original birth certificate and the evidence of adoption are not subject to inspection except upon order of the court for good cause shown.
Alabama Law: Adoption Generally
Section 26-10A-2. Definitions
The following words and phrases shall have the following meaning whenever used in this chapter except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) ABANDONMENT. A voluntary and intentional relinquishment of the custody of a minor by parent, or a withholding from the minor, without good cause or excuse, by the parent, of his or her presence, care, love, protection, maintenance, or the opportunity for the display of filial affection, or the failure to claim the rights of a parent, or the failure to perform the duties of a parent.
(2) ADOPTEE. The person being adopted.
(3) ADULT. A person who is 19 years of age or older or who by statute is otherwise deemed an adult.
(4) CONSENT. Voluntarily agreeing to adoption.
(5) FATHER. A male person who is the biological father of the minor or is treated by law as the father.
(6) LICENSED CHILD PLACING AGENCY. Any adoption agency that is licensed under the provisions of the Alabama Child Care Act of 1971 or any adoption agency approved by the Department of Human Resources.
(7) MINOR. A person under the age of 19 or a person who is not an adult under the law in the jurisdiction where he or she resides. The term includes a minor parent only.
(8) MOTHER. A female person who is the biological mother of the minor or is treated by law as the mother.
(9) PARENT. Natural or legal father or mother.
(10) PARTIES IN INTEREST. The adoptive parents and the natural parents unless the rights of the natural parents have been terminated or relinquished for purposes of adoption then the agency that has custody becomes a party in interest. This phrase does not include the adoptee.
(11) PRESUMED FATHER. Any male person as defined in the Alabama Uniform Parentage Act.
(12) PUTATIVE FATHER. The alleged or reputed father.
(13) RELINQUISHMENT. Giving up the physical custody of a minor for purpose of placement for adoption to a licensed child placing agency or the Department of Human Resources.
(14) SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD. A child as defined by the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980.
Section 26-10A-5. Who May Adopt
(a) Any adult person or husband and wife jointly who are adults may petition the court to adopt a minor.
(1) No rule or regulation of the Department of Human Resources shall prevent an adoption by a person solely because the person is employed outside the home, provided however, the Department of Human Resources may exercise sound discretion in requiring the person to remain in the home with a minor for a reasonable period of time when a particular minor requires the presence of that person to ensure his or her adjustment. Provided, however, the reasonable period of time shall not exceed 60 consecutive calendar days.
(2) No rule or regulation of the Department of Human Resources or any agency shall prevent an adoption by a single person solely because such person is single or shall prevent an adoption solely because such person is of a certain age.
(3) Provided however, in cases, where one who purports to be the biological father marries the biological mother, on petition of the parties, the court shall order paternity tests to determine the true biological father. If the court determines by substantial evidence that the biological father is the man married to the biological mother, then the biological father shall be allowed to adopt the child without the consent of the man who was married to the biological mother at the time of the conception or birth of the child, or both, when the court finds the adoption to be in the best interest of the child.
(b) Any adult may petition the court to adopt another adult as provided in this chapter.
Section 26-10A-6. Who may be adopted
The following persons may be adopted:
(1) A minor.
(2) An adult under any one of the following conditions:
a. He or she is an individual with a total and permanent disability.
b. He or she is determined to be a person with an intellectual disability.
c. He or she consents in writing to be adopted and is related in any degree of kinship, as defined by the intestacy laws of Alabama, or is a stepchild by marriage.
d. He or she consents in writing to be adopted by an adult man and woman who are husband and wife.
Section 26-10A-7. Persons whose consents or relinquishment are required
(a) Consent to the petitioner’s adoption or relinquishment for adoption to the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency shall be required of the following:
(1) The adoptee, if 14 years of age or older, except where the court finds that the adoptee does not have the mental capacity to give consent;
(2) The adoptee’s mother;
(3) The adoptee’s presumed father, regardless of paternity, if:
a. He and the adoptee’s mother are or have been married to each other and the adoptee was born during the marriage, or within 300 days after the marriage was terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce, or after a decree of separation was entered by a court; or
b. Before the adoptee’s birth, he and the adoptee’s mother have attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and,
1. If the attempted marriage could be declared invalid only by a court, the adoptee was born during the attempted marriage, or within 300 days after its termination by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce; or
2. If the attempted marriage is invalid without a court order, the adoptee was born within 300 days after the termination of cohabitation; or
c. After the adoptee’s birth, he and the adoptee’s mother have married, or attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and
1. With his knowledge or consent, he was named as the adoptee’s father on the adoptee’s birth certificate; or
2. He is obligated to support the adoptee pursuant to a written voluntary promise or agreement or by court order; or
d. He received the adoptee into his home and openly held out the adoptee as his own child;
(4) The agency to which the adoptee has been relinquished or which holds permanent custody and which has placed the adoptee for adoption, except that the court may grant the adoption without the consent of the agency if the adoption is in the best interests of the adoptee and there is a finding that the agency has unreasonably withheld its consent; and
(5) The putative father if made known by the mother or is otherwise made known to the court provided he complies with Section 26-10C-1 and he responds within 30 days to the notice he receives under Section 26-10A-17(a)(10).
(b) A petition to adopt an adult may be granted only if written consent to adopt has been executed by the adult seeking to adopt and his or her spouse or by the guardian or conservator of the adult sought to be adopted pursuant to the requirements of Sections 26-10A-6 and 26-10A-11.
Section 26-10A-8. Consent or relinquishment by a minor parent
(a) Prior to a minor parent giving consent a guardian ad litem must be appointed to represent the interests of a minor parent whose consent is required. Any minor, 14 years of age and beyond, can nominate a guardian ad litem either prior to the birth of the baby or thereafter.
(b) A consent or relinquishment executed by a parent who is a minor shall not be subject to revocation by reason of such minority.
(c) A minor father may give his implied consent by his actions. If a court finds by conclusive evidence that a minor father has given implied consent to the adoption, notice and the appointment of a guardian ad litem shall not be necessary.
Section 26-10A-11. Consent or relinquishment
(a) A consent or relinquishment shall be in writing, signed by the person consenting or relinquishing, and shall state the following:
(1) The date, place, and time of execution.
(2) The date of birth or if prior to birth expected date of birth of the adoptee and any names by which the adoptee has been known.
(3) The relationship of the person consenting or relinquishing to the adoptee.
(4) The name of each petitioner, unless (i) the document is relinquishment of the adoptee to an agency, or (ii) the consent contains a statement that the person executing the consent knows that he or she has a right to know the identity of each petitioner but voluntarily waives this right.
(5) That the person executing the document is voluntarily and unequivocally consenting to the adoption of the named adoptee.
(6) That by signing the document and subsequent court order to ratify the consent, the person executing the document understands that he or she will forfeit all rights and obligations; that he or she understands the consent or relinquishment and executes it freely and voluntarily.
(7) That the person executing the document understands that the consent may be irrevocable, and should not execute it if he or she needs or desires psychological or legal advice, guidance, or counseling.
(8) The address of the court in which the petition for adoption has been or will be filed, if known, and if not known, the name and address of the agency, the petitioners or their attorney on whom notice of the withdrawal of consent may be served.
(9) In the case of relinquishment, the name and address of the agency to which the adoptee has been relinquished.
(10) That the person executing the same has received or been offered a copy of the consent or relinquishment.
(11) That the person executing a relinquishment waives further notice of the adoption proceeding.
(12) That the person executing a consent waives further notice of the adoption proceedings, unless there is a contest or appeal of the adoption proceeding.
(b) When the person sought to be adopted is an adult, only the sworn, written consent of the adult person sought to be adopted shall be required and no order of reference or any home studies need be issued. If the adult person to be adopted has been adjudicated incompetent, the written consent of the adult person’s guardian or conservator shall be required. If the adult person is without a spouse, guardian, or conservator and the court has reason to believe that the adult person is incompetent to give consent, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem who shall investigate the adult person’s circumstances and that guardian ad litem shall give or withhold consent. The guardian ad litem shall file a written report stating the basis for the decision and the court shall afford a hearing to all parties to present evidence as to the best interest of the adult person, and if the court determines upon clear and convincing evidence that the decision to withhold consent by the guardian ad litem is arbitrary and is not in the best interests of the incompetent adult person, it may proceed to make any other orders it deems necessary for the adult person’s welfare, including granting the petition for adoption.
Section 26-10A-25. Final decree; dispositional hearing
(a) When the pre-placement investigation has been completed and approved or the investigation has been waived for good cause shown, the petition for adoption shall be set for a dispositional hearing as soon as possible or no later than 90 days after the filing of the petition. When there has not been a pre-placement investigation or the investigation has not been waived for good cause shown or when the adoptee is a special needs child, the petition for adoption shall be set for a dispositional hearing as soon as possible or no later than 120 days after the filing of the petition. Upon good cause shown, the court may extend the time for the dispositional hearing and entry of the final decree.
(b) At the dispositional hearing, the court shall grant a final decree of adoption if it finds on clear and convincing evidence that:
(1) The adoptee has been in the actual physical custody of the petitioners for a period of 60 days, unless for good cause shown, this requirement is waived by the court;
(2) All necessary consents, relinquishments, terminations, or waivers have been obtained and, if appropriate, have been filed with the court;
(3) Service of the notice of pendency of the adoption proceeding has been made or dispensed with as to all persons entitled to receive notice under Section 26-10A-17;
(4) All contests brought under Section 26-10A-24 have been resolved in favor of the petitioner;
(5) That each petitioner is a suitable adopting parent and desires to establish a parent and child relationship between himself or herself and the adoptee;
(6) That the best interests of the adoptee are served by the adoption; and
(7) All other requirements of this chapter have been met.
(c) The court shall enter its finding in a written decree which shall also include the new name of the adoptee, and shall not include any other name by which the adoptee has been known or the names of the natural or presumed parents. The final decree shall further order that from the date of the decree, the adoptee shall be the child of the petitioners, and that the adoptee shall be accorded the status set forth in Section 26-10A-29.
(d) A final decree of adoption may not be collaterally attacked, except in cases of fraud or where the adoptee has been kidnapped, after the expiration of one year from the entry of the final decree and after all appeals, if any.
Section 26-10A-27. Stepparent adoptions
Any person may adopt his or her spouse’s child according to the provisions of this chapter, except that:
(1) Before the filing of the petition for adoption, the adoptee must have resided for a period of one year with the petitioner, unless this filing provision is waived by the court for good cause shown;
(2) No investigation under Section 26-10A-19 shall occur unless otherwise directed by the court, and
(3) No report of fees and charges under Section 26-10A-23 shall be made unless ordered by the court.
Section 26-10A-28. Adoption by other relatives
A grandfather, a grandmother, great-grandfather, great-grandmother, great-uncle, great-aunt, a brother, or a half-brother, a sister, a half-sister, an aunt or an uncle of the first degree and their respective spouses, if any may adopt a minor grandchild, a minor brother, a minor half-brother, a minor sister, a minor half-sister, a minor nephew, a minor niece, a minor great-grandchild, a minor great niece or a minor great nephew, according to the provisions of this chapter, except that:
(1) Before the filing of the petition for adoption, the adoptee must have resided for a period of one year with the petitioner, unless this filing provision is waived by the court for good cause shown;
(2) No investigation under Section 26-10A-19 shall occur unless otherwise directed by the court; and
(3) No report of fees and charges under Section 26-10A-23 shall be made unless ordered by the court.
Section 26-10A-29. Name and status of adoptee
(a) The adoptee shall take the name designated by the petitioner. After adoption, the adoptee shall be treated as the natural child of the adopting parent or parents and shall have all rights and be subject to all of the duties arising from that relation, including the right of inheritance.
(b) Upon the final decree of adoption, the natural parents of the adoptee, except for a natural parent who is the spouse of the adopting parent are relieved of all parental responsibility for the adoptee and will have no parental rights over the adoptee.
Section 26-10A-38. Application to existing adoptions
Final orders of adoptions entered prior to January 1, 1991, remain in effect on January 1, 1991, even though the statute under which the adoption was made may be repealed or modified by this chapter. Those adoptions continue in effect as they existed prior to this chapter except that proceedings after final orders of adoption previously entered will be governed under this chapter.