Establishing Forever Homes

Guiding Families Through the Adoption Process.

Adoption is an exciting time for any family considering caring for a child in need of a forever home. However, the journey from deciding to adopt to bringing home that beautiful child or acquiring adoption status of a child in custody can be intimidating. At UMCH, our Adoption Services program offers the guidance and experience of a licensed social worker who is knowledgeable about the many considerations affecting both adoptive families and birth families. We work with both parties to ensure they’re equipped with the knowledge they need and are ready to make a major life decision on behalf of a child being adopted.

What is a Home Study?

A home study is required for anyone pursuing an adoption of a minor child in the State of Alabama unless that person is an immediate relative. To conduct the home study, our program manager will be required to get an overview of the adoptive family’s life – including criminal background checks, finances and even personal relationships. We use the Alabama Adoption Code as a guideline for our home study requirements, and the court system will use this information to assess if a stable environment exists for a family to receive an adoptive child.

Home studies for adoption are often one of the lengthiest steps of the entire process. This is because it requires extensive reviews of important documents, such as birth certificates and marriage licenses, that can take time for some families to acquire. We encourage families to begin the home study process as soon as possible, as this important step is often required by adoption professionals before they will begin the process of connecting a family with an with a child or a mother expecting a child.

People We Serve

We assist adoptive families or individuals in Alabama with domestic or international home studies necessary for the adoptions process. Our ministry also offers Birth Parent interviews and Birth Parent Relinquishments as well as other legal paperwork needed for in state or ICPC adoptions. For birth parent consents and interviews, we work closely with attorneys and often adoption agencies outside of the State of Alabama. To best summarize it, we serve both parties by acting as a “go-between” to ensure the placement is ideal and in the best interest of the child being adopted.

How We Serve

To begin the process, an adoptive family will receive an application and information upon contacting our Adoptions Services program. During this step, adoptive families learn the details of the way Alabama conducts the home study process. They will also begin filling out information that our program manager and licensed social worker will need in order to complete the study. This is a good time for the family to gather needed documentation such as medical records, tax records and proof of income that may be reviewed during this process.

After the application has been filed and the documentation has been reviewed, our program manager will conduct in-home visits, interviews and reference checks. The interviews are meant to aid in getting to know adoptive families and understand their motivation to adopt. Our program manager will also assess their parenting style, adoption readiness and general personality. Meanwhile, reference questionnaires are sent to employers, ministers, family and friends to ensure these individuals view those desiring to adopt as strong candidates. During the home inspection for adoption, our program manager will review their living situation to make sure it is safe for a child. Leading up to the in-home study, it’s helpful for an adoptive family to baby-proof their house.

The end result of the home study is a report written that our agency requires in order for adoptive families to become an “active family,” which is the term for families whose profiles are being shown to prospective birth mothers. This report is also required by the State of Alabama and courts to ensure the legality of the placement. Most families are asked to review the report and verify all information as the final step of the home study process.

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Where We Serve

Our Adoptions Services program is managed from Auburn but we serve families spanning numerous counties in Alabama.

Andalusia, AL

Quick Facts

Success Story

Success Story

“It just helps to have someone who knows what’s going on, and is on your side throughout the process."

Other Resources

Learn more about adoption services in our Helpful Links portal.

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