Every state regulates its own adoption laws, meaning the laws for adoption in Arizona may not be the same in other states. If you plan to adopt across state lines, you will want to familiarize yourself with both states’ adoption laws.
If you have any questions about Arizona’s adoption laws, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION for free information. Remember that the information contained in this article is not intended as legal advice. For that, you should consult your attorney.
The following is a basic overview of the domestic adoption laws in Arizona, and how they may affect your domestic adoption process:
Any adult who is a resident of Arizona is eligible to adopt, as long as they can meet the physical, emotional and safety needs of the child. Single adults may adopt, and a married couple may file jointly. However, if all factors are equal and the choice of adoptive parents is between a single, certified adult and a certified married man and woman, the couple will receive preference. Same-sex couples can also petition for joint adoption.
Any adult wishing to adopt in Arizona must be approved by an Arizona adoption home study. This includes financial records, criminal background checks, home visits and more.
Adoption professionals also have requirements that potential adoptive parents must meet. Depending on the type of adoption you are pursuing (international, domestic, or foster care adoption), there may be more requirements to fulfill.
In Arizona, any minor child may be adopted if their birth parents’ parental rights have been terminated. According to Arizona adoption laws, birth parents may consent to adoption 72 hours after the birth of the child. Consent must be given in writing, signed by the birth parents and witnessed by two or more credible witnesses who are over age 18.
In Arizona, consent must be given by the birth mother and the birth father, if he was married to the mother at the time of conception or has otherwise established paternity.
Adults and children over age 12 may be adopted with their consent.
Arizona statutes do not address using advertisements in adoption.
Only licensed adoption agencies (like American Adoptions) and their employees can work to obtain or locate a child for adoption, or to help in the placement of a child for adoption.
An attorney licensed to practice law in Arizona may assist and participate in direct adoption placements, but may not be involved in the choice of a specific adoptive parent. Attorneys must file an affidavit stating they have been compliant with these regulations when assisting in placement or adoption of a child.
In Arizona, the adoptive family is financially responsible for:
medical and hospital care
living expenses for the prospective birth mother
other costs the court finds reasonable and necessary
If living expenses exceed $1,000, the adoptive parents must file a motion with the court to allow the payment.
In Arizona, the court decides what living expenses are necessary and reasonable. It will take into account the birth family’s current standard of living, and the standard of living necessary to protect the health and welfare of the child and birth mother. Expenses vary on a case-by-case basis, and expenses deemed unreasonable will not be approved by the court.
At least 10 days prior to the adoption petition being heard, the adoptive parents must file a verified account of all expenses paid or agreed to be paid in connection with the adoption. The birth mother must also sign an affidavit stating she understands that the payment of these expenses does not mean she must place her child for adoption. Should she decide to parent her child, she will not be required to repay the expenses to the potential adoptive family.
American Adoptions has a Risk-Sharing Program that protects adoptive families financially, in the event of a disrupted adoption.
To learn more about the adoption laws in Arizona, or to understand which laws pertain to your individual circumstances, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak to an adoption specialist.
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