Adoption By City

How to Adopt in Alaska

Alaska isn’t just home to the tallest mountain in North America and the famous Northern Lights; it’s also home to families seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey. Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be your guide to all things adoption in Alaska.

What you need to know about adopting a baby in Alaska

To get started on your adoption journey, it is important to understand some of the fundamental aspects and frequently asked question about the process. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption in Alaska.

What are the laws and requirements for adopting a baby in Alaska?

Any husband and wife or unmarried person may adopt a child in Alaska.

To be considered, applicants for adoption must show proof of completing any training or orientation required by an agency.

How much does it cost to adopt a baby in Alaska?

The cost to adopt a child in Alaska can vary depending on the type of adoption you decide to pursue. Adopting a child through a private agency may require more fees and expenses than fostering a child.

In Alaska, Prospective Adoptive Parents may be asked to pay for the following Birth Mother expenses in addition to agency fees:

  • Counseling services
  • Medical bills
  • Travel expenses
  • Rent
  • Legal representation

How do you become a foster parent in Alaska?

You must be 21 years or older to become a foster parent in Alaska.

The first step in becoming a foster parent is to obtain a foster care license. To receive your license, you must attend an orientation, fill out an application, get fingerprinted, complete background checks, complete an in-home visit, and attend training. After you complete these steps, you can get your foster care license and a child may be placed in your home.

To receive more information about fostering a child in Alaska, click here.

Can you finalize an international adoption in Alaska?

International adoptions may be finalized in Alaska and are subject to approval by court in this state. The state will issue the child a birth certificate after it receives the adoption report and information necessary to identify the original birth certificate. This birth certificate is not evidence of United States citizenship, but it will be amended to prove the child’s citizenship after the naturalization process is completed.

What you need to know about placing your baby for adoption in Alaska

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, understanding how the adoption process works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption for your child in Alaska.

Who must consent to an adoption in Alaska?

In Alaska, written consent to adoption is required by the following:

  • The Birth Mother
  • The father, if he was married to the mother when the child was conceived or he is the child’s father by adoption
  • Any person who is entitled to custody of the child
  • The spouse of the minor being adopted
  • The court having jurisdiction to determine custody of the minor, if the legal guardian or custodian of the person of the minor is not empowered to consent to the adoption
  • The child being adopted if they are 10 years or older

When is consent not necessary for adoption in Alaska?

Consent to adoption is not necessary in Alaska from:

  • A parent who has abandoned a child for 6 months
  • A parent who has relinquished the right to consent
  • A parent whose parental right has been terminated by court
  • A parent of the adoptee if the adoptee is 18 years or older
  • A parent judicially declared incompetent or mentally defective if the court dispenses with the parent's consent
  • A parent of a child in the custody of another, if the parent for a period of at least 1 year has failed significantly without justifiable cause, including but not limited to indigency:
    • communicate meaningfully with the child
    • To provide for the care and support of the child as required by law or judicial decree
  • A guardian or custodian who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent for a period of 60 days or who, after examination of the guardian's or custodian's written reasons for withholding consent, is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably
  • The spouse of the adoptee, if the requirement of consent to the adoption is waived by the court by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances constituting an unreasonable withholding of consent

How and when can Birth Parents consent to adoption in Alaska?

Consent to adoption may be given at any time after the child’s birth. The consent must happen before a court and is not valid unless it states the person consenting has the right with withdrawal consent and they acknowledge a receipt of copy of the form.

The consenting parent must acknowledge whether the child is a member of an Indian Tribe or child of an Indian Tribe member in the consent form so the court can determine if the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act apply.

Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in Alaska?

A consent to adoption may not be withdrawn after the entry of a decree of adoption.

A consent to adoption may be withdrawn before the entry of a decree of adoption, within 10 days after the consent is given, by written notice or after the 10-day period if the court finds the withdrawal to be in the best interest of the child.

What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in Alaska?

Paternity, and therefore parental rights, can be established in Alaska by a voluntary acknowledgement signed by both birth parents or through a law suit if the mother and alleged father cannot agree on paternity.

Home study and Post Placement Requirements in Alaska

Prospective Adoptive Parents in Alaska are required to complete a home study before beginning the adoption process and a postplacement assessment after the adoption takes place. Both will assess your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child you wish to adopt.

What is a home study and what happens during the process?

In Alaska, the home study process includes the following:

  • On onsite home visit
  • One face-to-face interviews will individuals living in the home
  • At least three positive written references, two of which must be from persons unrelated to the applicants
  • A State and Federal criminal background check for every adult living in the household
  • An assessment of the capabilities, willingness, readiness of the Prospective Adoptive Parents to parent a child

Information about the adoptive parents regarding the following are also included in the home study:

  • Motivation and preparedness for the adoption
  • Physical, mental, and emotional health status
  • Quality of marital and family relationships
  • Feelings about their childhood and any history of abuse or neglect
  • Feelings and practices regarding care and discipline
  • Attitude of friends and family regarding the adoption
  • Financial status and ability to support the child
  • Sensitivity to different socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic groups

Who oversees a home study in Alaska and who is included in it?

Home studies is Alaska will be conducted by the Department of Health and Social Services or an individual designated by the court.

The home study investigates all members of the Prospective Adoptive Family to be considered as the adoptive home.

Why would my home study not be approved in Alaska?

A person may not be approved to proceed with the adoption process in Alaska if:

  • The person has a record of committing a barrier crime
  • The person's name appears on the Alaska Sexual Offender Registry
  • The person has a significant physical or behavioral problem that poses a significant risk to the health and safety of the child
  • The person was the subject of prior adverse licensing action

Is a home study different for stepparent or relative adoptions in Alaska?

A home study investigation and report are not necessary for stepparent or relative adoptions within the fourth degree of lineal consanguinity of the child, unless required by the court.

What are the home study requirements for adopting a child from another state?

Placement of children in or from another State for possible adoption are subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

What is a post placement requirement for adoption in Alaska?

All changes in the Adoptive Families health, financial condition, and composition that may affect the child will be documented by an agency after the placement of the child.

Alaska Adoption Professionals

Alaska is home to some amazing adoption professionals who are ready to get your journey started. Whether you are interested in adopting a child or seeking resources to place your child for adoption, these professionals will guide you through the legal pathways and offer you support throughout your journey:

Adoption Network Law Center

1-866-595-9317

Office of Children's Services

1-800-478-7307

World Association for Children and Parents

(907) 338-7253

Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption

(907) 456-4729

Things to do in Alaska

If your adoption journey takes you to the beautiful state of Alaska, you might consider experiencing some of the most popular sites and excursions during your visit:

National Historic Totem Park in Sitka

Helicopter and Dog Sledding excursion in Juneau

Glacier Bay National Park

North Lights tour in Fairbanks

A note from Adoption Network Law Center

No matter your decision, we appreciate the time you have taken to read about how to adopt in Alaska. Adoption Network Law Center wishes you the best of luck and is available to answer any further questions you may have about the adoption process. Call 1-866-602-9541 to speak with one of our amazing team members or visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ to read more about our services. Whether you’re a soon-to-be Birth Parent or Prospective Adoptive Parent, ANLC wishes you the best on your adoption journey.