During the summer of 2012, The Adoption Law Firm met with key Alabama Legislators to improve foster care and adoption in Alabama. We put our heads together with Speaker Hubbard’s Office to put some proposals together to improve foster care and adoption in Alabama. Sam McLure of The Adoption Law Firm put out feelers into the foster care and adoption community to see what we could do to make things better.
We found that in the years between 2006 and 2012, Alabama’s foster care system dropped from 6th in the nation to 33rd. In addition, we found that 1,770 children a year die from abuse and neglect in America – and if you’re counting, that almost 5 children per day.
Our research led us to conclude that one of the biggest areas for improvement in Alabama was the time that it takes for a judge to make a decision on a petition to terminate the parental rights of biological parents that have been found to be unfit.
The culmination of this collaborative effort is a House Bill 115 proposed by Representative Jones. This bill would have four primary effects: 1) require DHR to file for Termination of Parental Rights within 12 of the last 22 months a child is in care (rather than the current 15 of the last 22 months), 2) require the trial judge to hear a Termination of Parental Rights case within 90 days after Termination of Parental Rights has been served, 3) require the trial judge to issue an order within 30 days after the case has been heard, and 4) require for the publication of Termination of Parental Rights filing if the case has not been heard in 45 days.
So, we want to extend a big THANK YOU to the Alabama foster care and adoption community that made progress this far possible. We also want to encourage you to call your representatives and senators to encourage them to vote “Yes” for House Bill 115.
To see the text of House Bill 115, click here.
 2012 Right for Kids Ranking, available at, http://rightforkids.org/files/8113/4064/8461/FGA-RightForKidsBook-web-single-pages.pdf.