Governor signs bill making foster child adoptions easier - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Governor signs bill making foster child adoptions easier

Posted: Updated:
Governor Robert Bentley signing the Best Interest of the Child Act Wednesday in Montgomery, Ala. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Bentley's Office) Governor Robert Bentley signing the Best Interest of the Child Act Wednesday in Montgomery, Ala. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Bentley's Office)

Adoptions involving foster children will be streamlined in Alabama under a new law that Gov. Robert Bentley has signed. 

Bentley and legislative leaders say the Best Interest of the Child Act will prevent foster families from having to wait several years before being able to adopt children in their care.

The law shortens from 15 months to 12 months the time that must pass after a child is in state custody before a court can consider a request to terminate parental rights.

Courts will now have just 90 days from receiving a petition to hold a trial on the question of parental rights. A final order will be due within 30 days of the trial.

The governor praised the law, noting that two of his four children were adopted.

Release from the Office of Governor Robert Bentley:

Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday held a ceremonial bill signing for Senate Bill 307, a measure that helps expedite the process for children to be adopted into permanent homes.

"This bill cuts down on the time it takes to move children out of foster care and into permanent, loving homes," Governor Bentley said.  "Dianne and I are the parents of two adopted sons, and we know the love and joy that adopted children bring to families.  All children deserve a safe and stable home environment, and this legislation will make that available to more children."

The legislation requires the Department of Human Resources to file a petition to terminate the parental rights of a parent (or parents) of a child who has been in the foster care system for 12 of the most recent 22 months.  Prior to the passage of SB307, filing a petition to terminate parental rights was based on 15 of the most recent 22 months.

SB307 also requires the completion of a termination of parental rights trial within 90 days after the petition has been served and requires the trial court judge to enter a final order within 30 days of the completion of the termination of parental rights trial.

"The safety and care of Alabama children is always our number-one priority," Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) said.  "This law is the result of months of research and work to pinpoint the best way to improve foster care and adoption in our state.  I am proud that our efforts will have an immediate, positive and long-term impact in the lives of Alabama children and families across the state."

The legislation was sponsored by Senator Jerry Fielding and Representative Mike Jones.

"As a former juvenile court judge, I've seen first-hand the stress that drawn-out foster care proceedings can have on a child," Sen. Fielding (R-Sylacauga) said.  "That's why I was proud to sponsor this bill that will streamline the process and ensure a child is placed in a stable environment in a timely fashion."

"As a family law professional, I see first-hand the amount of time Alabama children can spend waiting in foster care, and I knew something must be done," Rep. Jones (R-Andalusia) said.  "The ‘Best Interests of the Child Act' takes great strides toward speeding up the adoption process and ensuring children in foster care are placed in a permanent, loving home much more quickly."

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Fire danger rises for Labor Day weekend

    Fire danger rises for Labor Day weekend

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:59:40 GMT
    Our recent dry weather has created the perfect conditions for fire danger. More >>
    Our recent dry weather has created the perfect conditions for fire danger. More >>
  • Talladega parents allege school employee wrote racist Facebook posts

    Talladega parents allege school employee wrote racist Facebook posts

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:32 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:32:28 GMT
    Several parents and community members in Talladega are upset Friday over allegations of racial comments made from a school employee's Facebook page.More >>
    Several parents and community members in Talladega are upset Friday over allegations of racial comments made from a school employee's Facebook page.More >>
  • Hackleburg High School preps for first home game in three years

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:57 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:57:25 GMT
    Tonight is a homecoming three years in the making for Hackleburg High School. The team takes the field tonight in their new stadium, finally completed after an E-F five tornado destroyed it on April 27, 2011.It is sure to be a packed house at Ray Stadium as the Hackleburg panthers take on Marion County, tonight at 7:00 p.m. This is going to be an emotional night, not only for the school, but for the community as well. "This is going to be an emotional game, an emotional crowd. This field ho...More >>
    Tonight is a homecoming three years in the making for Hackleburg High School. The team takes the field tonight in their new stadium, finally completed after an E-F five tornado destroyed it on April 27, 2011.It is sure to be a packed house at Ray Stadium as the Hackleburg panthers take on Marion County, tonight at 7:00 p.m. This is going to be an emotional night, not only for the school, but for the community as well. "This is going to be an emotional game, an emotional crowd. This field ho...More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
  • Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:37:31 GMT
    William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...