Gov. Bentley Signs Law Streamlining Adoption for Foster Children


By Ellis Eskew

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

It's a win for adoptive parents like Beverly Owings and her husband who had to wait four years before they could adopt.

 "I never thought I would be a mom once I found out there was infertility issues and then we had a friend that told us to check with DHR that there were children in foster care ready to be adopted," said Owings.

Now they have four adopted children.
Governor Bentely is also a strong supporter of the new law because he and his wife have two adopted children along with their two biological ones.

"The day we got our first little boy and we went to pick him up, and that little blue blanket and they put him in my arms.... It was like he was born biologically to us," said Gov. Bentley.

The law now shortens the time a child is in state custody from 15 months to 12 months.
Courts will have 90 days to determine the parental rights of the child.
And a  final order will be due within 30 days of the trial.
 The law is designed to make it easier on the foster children and the adoptive parents.

As for people considering adopting, Owings is a strong advocate.

 "I would encourage them to adopt. I would share our story, especially adopting older children. Many people have a lot of fears and anxiety about adopting older children, and I frequently ask: How many of you needed your parents after you turned 18? Children need parents regardless of their age," said Owings.

There are approximately 5,300 children without a permanent home in custody of Alabama Department of Human Resources.



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