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4 Arizona Adoption Laws You Need to Know

And How They Could Impact Your Adoption

Adoption isn’t something that can be done haphazardly because parents who want to adopt a child in Arizona will be asked to meet a number of requirements, complete a number of steps and adhere to a number of rules and regulations throughout the process.

It makes sense; adoption affects real lives, and it’s important that every child who is adopted is placed in a secure, stable and loving home. That’s why Arizona adoption laws exist — to protect these children, as well as adoptive families and birth parents.

It helps to be familiar with the most important laws in the process because it will give you a better sense of what to expect and a greater understanding of why certain steps are necessary. Even though you will have an adoption specialist helping you at every turn, having some idea of what’s happening helps to make the process less stressful. That’s why we created this guide to Arizona adoption laws; our hope is that it can give you a sense of confidence about your adoption.

While we’ve done our best to include helpful, up-to-date information about Arizona adoption laws below, please remember that this article cannot take the place of a qualified local adoption attorney. Nothing on this page should be taken as legal advice. Instead, if you have any questions about adoption laws in Arizona, you should reach out to an adoption attorney near you. You can also start your adoption process with our agency any time by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or get free information here.

The following is a basic overview of the adoption laws in Arizona and how they may affect your domestic adoption process:

1. Who Can Adopt a Child in Arizona?

Arizona adoption laws state that 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 a child. Single adults may adopt, and a married couple may file jointly.

Same-sex couples can also adopt in Arizona. It’s important to ask any agency you choose to work with whether or not they are fully supportive of LGBT adoption. Even though the law does not restrict you from adopting, some agencies may hold outdated prejudices. American Adoptions is proud to help many LGBT couples fulfill their dream of becoming parents.

Any adult wishing to adopt in Arizona must be approved by an Arizona adoption home study. This process includes a review of a family’s financial records, criminal background checks, home visits and more.

Individual adoption professionals may also have requirements that potential adoptive parents must meet. You can learn more about the requirements to join American Adoptions’ program here.

2. Who Can be Adopted in Arizona?

In Arizona, a child may be adopted if their birth parents’ legal 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.

3. Arizona Adoption Laws for Advertising

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. This is a sensitive process, and doing it the right way is absolutely vital to a successful adoption. American Adoptions has been completing successful adoptions for more than 25 years, and our processes for advertising have continually improved. Additionally, as a fully licensed agency, you can also rest assured that we do things the right way, held to the highest ethical standards.

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 the placement or adoption of a child.

4. Arizona Adoption Laws for Birth Parent Expenses

In Arizona, the adoptive family can be financially responsible for:

  • Medical and hospital care

  • Counseling fees

  • Legal fees

  • Agency fees

  • 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. This is something your adoption attorney or agency will help you do.

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 adopting in Arizona through our agency, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak to an adoption specialist or get more free information online.

Disclaimer
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.