(a) Unless service has been previously waived, notice of pendency of the adoption proceeding shall be served by the petitioner on:
(1) Any person, agency, or institution whose consent or relinquishment is required by Section 26-10A-7, unless parental rights have been terminated pursuant to Section 12-15-319.
(2) The legally appointed custodian or guardian of the adoptee.
(3) The spouse of any petitioner who has not joined in the petition.
(4) The spouse of the adoptee.
(5) The surviving parent or parents of a deceased parent of the adoptee unless parental rights have been terminated pursuant to Section 12-15-319.
(6) Any person known to the petitioners as currently having physical custody of the adoptee, excluding foster parents or other private licensed agencies, or having visitation rights with the adoptee under an existing court order.
(7) The agency or individual authorized to investigate the adoption under Section 26-10A-19.
(8) Any other person designated by the court.
(9) The State of Alabama Department of Human Resources.
(10) The father and putative father of the adoptee if made known by the mother or otherwise known by the court unless the court finds that the father or putative father has given implied consent to the adoption, as defined in Section 26-10A-9, or unless parental rights have been terminated pursuant to Section 12-15-319.
(b) The notice shall specifically state that the person served must respond to the petitioner within 30 days if he or she intends to contest the adoption. A copy of the petition for adoption shall be delivered to those individuals or agencies in subdivisions (a)(2) through (a)(10). Any notice required by this chapter may be served on a natural parent prior to birth.
(c) Service of the notice shall be made in the following manner:
(1) Service of process shall be made in accordance with the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure except as otherwise provided by the Alabama Rules of Juvenile Procedure. If the identity or whereabouts of the parent is unknown, or if one parent fails or refuses to disclose the identity or whereabouts of the other parent, the court shall then issue an order providing for service by publication, by posting, or by any other substituted service.
(2) As to the agency or individual referred to in subdivisions (a)(7) and (a)(9), notice shall be by certified mail.
(3) As to any other person for whom notice is required under subsection (a), service by certified mail, return receipt requested, shall be sufficient. If such service cannot be completed after two attempts, the court shall issue an order providing for service by publication, by posting, or by any other substituted service.
(d) The notice required by this section may be waived in writing by the person entitled to receive notice.
(e) Proof of service of the notice on all persons for whom notice is required by this section must be filed with the court before the adjudicational hearing, provided in Section 26-10A-24.
Last modified: May 3, 2021