Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

03/08/2023, Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Children

If an adoption is contested, the court must appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) for the adoptee. Ala. Stat. § 26-10A-22(b).  The appointment may occur before or after the filing of the adoption petition. Although the Adoption Code does not define "guardian ad litem," the title of the section is "Attorney participation and appointment of attorney for the adoptee or other party," so it seems that a GAL must be an attorney.  Additionally, the Comment to this section of the code specifies, “In a contested adoption, appointment of an independent attorney is mandated to ensure the best interest of the minor is protected.”


For adoptees where the adoption is uncontested, the court may appoint a GAL for the adoptee upon the motion of any party or upon the court's own motion.  Id.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes