Domestic Adoption Qualifications Guidelines
Candidate families for adoption must meet certain criteria. The basic guidelines are listed below. Interested families should contact our office by email here OR by phone at 205.967.0811 for additional information.
A. Parenting Ability: The applicants must give evidence of a mutual desire and love for children. They must be able to provide for the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of the child being adopted.
B. Religion: Adopting parents must rely on Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross as their only means to salvation. Both husband and wife must be growing in their faith and active members in the same church community. We ask that parents have a firm commitment to live according to God’s Word and teach their child the truth about who Jesus Christ is as their Lord and Savior. Applicants should be pro-life. Applicants must agree with Lifeline’s doctrinal statements.
C. Health: Applicants must be in good physical and mental health as determined by a doctor’s examination. They must be able to physically and emotionally undertake the responsibility of parenthood.
D. Age: The applicants should not be more than 50 years older than the adopted child.
E. Financial Stability: The applicants must have sufficient income to meet the expenses incurred by adding another family member. They must also be able to make reasonable provision for future financial stability. Medical insurance coverage is required.
F. Housing: The applicants’ home must provide adequate space and living conditions necessary to promote the health and well-being of the family members. Ownership is not required.
G. Pregnancy: If a pregnancy does occur during the process and prior to the placement of a child, the prospective parents’ application will be placed on hold pending the outcome of the pregnancy.
H. Working Parents: If both parents work outside the home, one of the parents should be able to remain at home with the child for a reasonable amount of time following the placement. (The exact length of time can be discussed with a social worker at the time of the home study. A general rule we suggest is that one parent take six to eight weeks, usually the allotted amount of maternity leave provided by most companies. FMLA standards require adoptive parents the same amount of leave.) This is to provide for the nurturing and security of the child, while he/she assimilates into the home. When the parent returns to work, there must be a plan for responsible child care so that the security of the child can be sustained.
I. Prior History of Felony Convictions: Criminal background checks will be conducted for each adult member of the family. Any criminal history in your past should be addressed with an agency representative prior to making an application. All prior legal convictions should be disclosed with the agency representative before starting your home study.
J. Marriage: A husband and wife should be married at least three years prior to filing an application.
K. Domestic Training: Each family in the domestic program is required to attend Lifeline’s domestic adoption conference in Birmingham, Alabama. This conference is a two day interactive training which will prepare and equip families for the joys and challenges of domestic adoption. This training includes a panel of adoptive parents, a birthmother that has placed for adoption, an adult adoptee, and other speakers and breakout sessions.
L. Correspondence: Lifeline requires that correspondence be sent to the birth family from the adoptive family through the agency. There is also a requirement that the adoptive family meet the birth family (a meeting hosted by Lifeline) if the birth family so desires.
Basic Doctrinal Statement:
- We affirm the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God.
- We believe in God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God.
- We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that all who believe in Him are justified on the basis of His shed blood.
- We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are children of God, and there is no other way of salvation. Baptism, Christian living, and church membership serve only as outward symbols and/or evidence of the individual’s true commitment to Christ.
- Those who are truly saved are eternally secure and cannot lose their salvation.