(a) Termination of parental rights cases shall be given priority over other cases. The trial on the petition for termination of parental rights shall be completed within 90 days after service of process has been perfected. The trial court judge shall enter a final order within 30 days of the completion of the trial.

Terms Used In Alabama Code 12-15-320

  • child: An individual under the age of 18 years, or under 21 years of age and before the juvenile court for a delinquency matter arising before that individual's 18th birthday. See Alabama Code 45-36-248
  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • JUVENILE COURT: The juvenile or family court division of the circuit or district court having jurisdiction over matters as provided by this chapter. See Alabama Code 45-36-248
  • LEGAL CUSTODY: A legal status created by order of the juvenile court which vests in a legal custodian the right to have physical custody of a child under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to this chapter and the right and duty to protect, train, and discipline the child and to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care, all subject to the powers, rights, duties, and responsibilities of the legal guardian of the person of the child and subject to any residual parental rights and responsibilities. See Alabama Code 45-36-248
  • Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.

(b) If the juvenile court determines that the parents of a child are unwilling or unable to act as parents and terminates their parental rights, it may do the following:

(1) Transfer or continue the permanent legal custody of the child to the Department of Human Resources or to any public or private licensed child-placing agency able and willing to assume the care and maintenance of the child. An order of the juvenile court which terminates parental rights and awards permanent legal custody to the Department of Human Resources or to a licensed child-placing agency shall mean that the Department of Human Resources or the licensed child-placing agency shall have authority to make permanent plans for the child, including the authority to place for adoption and consent to adoption.

(2) Transfer or continue the permanent legal custody of the child to the petitioner who, after study by the Department of Human Resources, is found to be able to properly receive and care for the child.

(Acts 1984, No. 84-261, p. 442, §8; §26-18-8; amended and renumbered by Act 2008-277, p. 441, §19; Act 2013-157, p. 297, §2.)