Immigration Law Center, L.L.C.
P.O. Box 11032
Montgomery, Alabama 36111-0032 U.S.A.

Telephone:  (334) 832-9090
E-mail: usvisa@visaus.com

Kentucky custody battle demonstrates need for termination
of parental rights upon birthparents' consent to adopt

By BOYD F. CAMPBELL
Attorney at Law and Civil Law Notary

    Alabama adoption law does not provide for termination of parental rights by operation of law where birthparents give their written consent to adopt, even if that consent is taken before a probate judge or family court judge.  A recent Kentucky case demonstrates the need for state statutes that provide for termination of parental rights upon birthparents' consent to adoption taken before a judge.  Birthparents and adoptive parents are entitled to know that what they want done cannot be undone later, thus making the child a "football" in a legal battle.
    An excerpt of the story, published by the Associated Press, appears below.  It was published on September 17, 2000.
    "The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that a 3 1/2-year-old boy, whose biological parents are seeking to regain custody of him, should remain with his adoptive parents in Ohio.  The boy, Justin, has lived with Cheryl and Richard Asente in their home for more than two years.  The couple have also adopted Justin's brother.  The boy's biological parents, Regina Moore and Jerry Dorning, of Florence, Ky., signed consent-to-adopt forms but then changed their minds.
    "The appeals court ruled that the forms the couple signed made it clear they were relinquishing parental rights and agreeing to give up their child for adoption.  The ruling overturned a lower court order that Justin be returned to his birthparents."

    Boyd F. Campbell is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Alabama State Bar (ASB).  He is a past Chair of the Immigration Law Committee of the ABA's General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Lawyers Section, and was a member of the ABA's Coordinating Committee on Immigration Law from 1994 to 1998.  He served as Chair of the ASBís International Law Section from 2000 to 2002, and was a founding member of that Section.  He has practiced domestic and international adoption law, private international law, immigration and nationality law, and federal employment law in Montgomery, Alabama, since 1988.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to:
Immigration Law Center, L.L.C.
P.O. Box 11032
Montgomery, Alabama 36111-0032 USA

Telephone:  (334) 832-9090
E-mail: usvisa@visaus.com

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