5 Important Arizona Adoption Requirements to Know
What Do I Need to Adopt a Child in Arizona?
When hopeful parents begin thinking about adding to their families through adoption, one of the first steps is determining that this is a real possibility for them. After all, not just anyone can adopt — families must be deemed eligible first. So, if this is something you’ve been considering, you’re probably wondering: “Can I adopt a child in Arizona?”
The requirements for adopting a child in Arizona vary depending on the type of adoption you are pursuing and the professional you work with. For example, adopting an infant in AZ will have different requirements than adopting a child from foster care. Likewise, there are different requirements for adopting a child internationally than adopting a child domestically.
However, the most important adoption requirements in Arizona are always the same: that a family can meet the social, physical, emotional, safety, and mental health needs of the child. Understanding this and the other requirements to adopt in Arizona is one of the first steps to take if you are thinking about adopting a child.
To learn more about the requirements for adoption in Arizona, you can always call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free information here. In the meantime, here are some answers to the most common questions potential adoptive parents have regarding adoption requirements in Arizona:
Do you have to be married to adopt in Arizona?
Any adult resident of Arizona, regardless of marital status (single, married, separated, divorced or widowed), may adopt. Husbands and wives may adopt jointly. However, according to Arizona statutes, “If all relevant factors are equal and the choice is between a married man and woman certified to adopt and a single adult certified to adopt, placement preference shall be with a married man and woman.”
Additionally, many adoption agencies have certain marriage requirements for hopeful adoptive parents. For more information about American Adoptions’ marriage requirements for adoption in Arizona, and whether exceptions can be made, contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION.
Can same-sex couples adopt in Arizona?
Yes. Same-sex couples can petition for joint adoption, just as heterosexual couples. LGBT couples are welcome to adopt through American Adoptions in Arizona. If you look into other adoption agencies, this is a question you should always ask. Even though the law allows LGBT couples to adopt, some agencies may still hold outdated biases. You deserve full support from your agency.
How old do you have to be to adopt in Arizona? Is there an adoption age limit?
According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS), any adult age 18 or older is eligible to adopt. However, adoption professionals may have different preferences about what is a suitable age range for being an adoptive parent. For example, American Adoptions prefers potential adoptive parents to be between age 22 and 50, but exceptions have been made. The Arizona DCS requires adults to be at least 21 years old to become a foster parent.
Can a felon adopt a child in Arizona? Can I adopt a child if I am awaiting trial?
During the home study, the prospective adoptive parents and any adult living in the home must confirm whether they are awaiting trial or have been convicted of a criminal offense. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, in Arizona, a person convicted of assault or battery or human, labor, or sex trafficking will not be approved. Persons convicted of a drug-related crime will also be disqualified.
Depending on a number of factors, other criminal charges or convictions may or may not impact a person’s ability to adopt. Ask your adoption home study worker for more information about Arizona’s requirements for adopting a child and whether your situation might disqualify you.
If their home study is denied, the applicant will receive written notice as to why, and an explanation of their right to petition the court.
What else do I need to adopt a child in Arizona? How hard is it to adopt a baby in AZ?
In addition to the requirements above, there are some more general qualifications for adoption in Arizona that must be met to adopt a child. Potential adoptive families should also prepare for the following factors to be taken into consideration by adoption agencies:
You don’t need to be in perfect health to adopt a child in AZ, but you do need to be able to meet the physical demands of raising an infant or child. During the home study process, you must submit a physician’s report of physical health. The overall health of your family will be considered by adoption agencies like American Adoptions.
You don’t need to be wealthy to adopt a child. But, as part of your home study, you will be required to submit a financial statement indicating that you are fiscally stable enough to afford the adoption process and the costs of providing for a new child. In Arizona, you may own or rent your house or apartment.
The emotional requirements are potentially the most important adoption qualifications in AZ. While you can’t submit a simple document proving you are emotionally prepared to adopt a child, your adoption professional will be assessing your overall readiness as you start this process. To ensure your adoption experience is as smooth and successful as possible, it’s important to meet the following emotional requirements to adopt:
You have moved on from the grief of infertility and have fully embraced the dream of having a child through adoption instead of biologically.
You are on the same page as your spouse regarding your intention to adopt and your plans for doing so. An adoption can only be successful if both partners share the same enthusiasm and goals for the adoption.
You have educated yourself about the Arizona adoption process and are prepared to handle the ups and downs that come with it.
You are prepared for and excited about the relationship you will have with your child’s birth family, and you understand that you will need to let go of the expectations of being biologically related to your child.
You will remain excited about and committed to adoption, through the good times and the bad times. The success of your adoption is dependent upon this enthusiasm.
To find out if you meet the qualifications to adopt a child in Arizona, call 1-800-ADOPTION now or request more free adoption information online.
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