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Your Guide to Fostering Before Adoption in Arizona

Have you heard the term “foster to adopt in Arizona and wondered what it meant? If you’re seeking a low-cost way of starting a family, you may consider fostering before adoption in AZ. Though there’s a ton of information online about adoption and fostering to adopt in Arizona, you probably still have questions.


If you’re interested in learning more about fostering with a view to adoption in Arizona, there are some considerations you should bear in mind: 

  • How long it takes to adopt through foster care adoption
  • The pros and cons of adopting a child you are fostering in AZ
  • Whether it’s the best way to grow your family

While Arizona foster parents adopting a child can find it a rewarding way to build a family, the process isn’t without challenges that can make private domestic adoption a better path for you.

One of the best ways to determine your way forward is to speak with an adoption professional. The good news is we can help. If you want to speak with one of our specialists today, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete our free online form. For now, read through this general overview of adopting a child you’re fostering in AZ, intended to help you make the right decision for your family.

What is Foster to Adopt in Arizona, and What Could It Mean for You?

When taking the initial steps in your personal adoption journey, it’s natural to have questions such as:

  • What is foster care adoption, and how does it work?
  • Is adopting your foster child in AZ part of the foster care adoption process?
  • Is fostering before adoption in AZ the right option for me?
  • In Arizona, can you foster only to adopt a child?
  • And others

First, we need to define foster care adoption clearly. It’s the adoption of a child in foster care after the parental rights of the biological parents are terminated by the family court. The foster parents or another adoptive family that has met the state’s eligibility requirements can adopt the child after that happens. Most children in the foster care system have endured some degree of adversity in their biological home.

It’s possible to pursue a straight adoption from foster care without first becoming a foster parent before adoption in AZ.  Also, foster parents who want to adopt in AZ can do so after the child is eligible for permanent adoption. The latter situation is known as foster to adopt in Arizona.

Many hopeful parents find their path to family growth through foster parenting or foster care adoption. Each year, more than 13,500 children are in foster care in Arizona. In 2020, 6,548 children were eligible for adoption in the Arizona foster care system. Of that number, 2,905 were adopted.

How Does the Process of Fostering to Adopt in Arizona Work?

The main goal of the foster care system is to provide safe, stable homes for children in foster care pending reunification with their biological families. In most cases, a judge provides the birth parents with a path to reunification in the form of a corrective action plan.

There are cases in which reunification is impossible, however. Under such circumstances, the birth parent’s parental rights are terminated by the court and permanent adoption through foster care becomes an option.

When that occurs, the professionals with the foster system can begin to look for a permanent family to adopt the child. The first choice is usually placing the child with relatives. However, if there are none able or willing to take custody of the child, Arizona foster parents planning to adopt can adopt the child they’ve been fostering.

Who Are the Kids in Pre-Adoption Foster Care in Arizona?

The children available for fostering before adoption in AZ come from many different backgrounds. One thing they have in common, though, is their age. Adopting an infant from foster care is possible but unlikely. That’s because children eligible for adoption are usually beyond infancy when their parent’s rights are terminated. Most children in foster care are beyond the age of 2, and many are older than 8 years. The average age of a child in foster care is 7.7 years old.

There are also differences in characteristics like:

  • Race  
  • Gender  
  • Medical background
  • Age
  • Special needs

Foster children often have attachment and developmental issues stemming from abuse and neglect from their previous home environment. Foster parents planning to adopt in AZ should be ready to patiently support kids dealing with this kind of trauma.

Another common trait of kids in foster care is that they may be part of sibling groups in need of foster parents considering adoption in AZ. The state always seeks to place siblings together, making sibling placements more difficult. 

Who Are the People Who Become Foster to Adopt Parents in Arizona?

Private domestic adoption is a great way to expand your family, but some hopeful parents feel a strong calling that fostering before adoption in Arizona is best for them. That may include these kinds of families:

  • Families currently fostering a child who can’t be reunited with their birth family
  • Families seeking to adopt a waiting child without a preference for age, race, gender or special needs
  • Families wishing to provide a deserving child with a stable, loving home despite the chance of reunification with the biological family
  • People wanting to adopt who have limited funds for more costly adoption methods

What Are the Requirements for Arizona Adoption and Fostering to Adopt?

The requirements to adopt from foster care in Arizona are:

  • Are single, married, divorced or widowed
  • Meet minimum age requirements (21 to foster, 18 to adopt)
  • Own or rent your home or apartment
  • Pass an FBI and local criminal background check and have a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • Are lawfully present in the United States
  • Complete the required training to become a foster parent/ adoptive parent

Like in any adoption, you must complete an adoption home study before you become eligible to foster to adopt in AZ. The home study includes interviews and background checks performed for each family member residing in your home. If you want to learn more about your home study for an Arizona foster-to-adopt scenario, please visit

Though American Adoptions doesn’t perform foster care adoptions, we respect and support any family choosing this type of adoption. We also want you to know we’re fully licensed in Arizona to perform your home study. To learn more about working with us on this part of your AZ foster-to-adopt placement process, please complete our free info form or call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time.

What’s the Cost of Adopting Your Foster Child in Arizona?

One of the biggest advantages of fostering before adoption in Arizona is the low cost. When compared with other methods of building a family, fostering with a view to adoption in Arizona can be quite cost-effective. Costs range from $0 to $2,500.

In many cases, there’s no cost associated with foster care adoption. However, if you do encounter fees, they may stem from:

  • Home Study – The required adoption home study sometimes involves a fee, even in foster care adoption. However, the good news is that many states cover home study fees for families fostering before adoption.
  • Home Preparations and Amendments – Sometimes, the home visit reveals deficiencies or safety issues in your home that must be addressed. In those cases, there may be a cost for those amendments.
  • Minimal Legal Costs – An adoptive family may be required to pay legal fees that are usually negligible. Again, many states cover those costs for families fostering before adoption.

In addition to the negligible cost of the AZ foster-to-adopt process, there’s a chance you may get a monthly stipend to help cover the costs of raising a kid. The amount will depend on any special needs your foster child may have.

Private Infant Adoption vs. Fostering Before Adoption in AZ [Similarities and Differences]

Both private domestic adoption and fostering before adoption in AZ offer great paths to starting your own family. However, they have a few important distinctions that you should consider.

The most significant difference between foster-to-adopt placement in AZ and private adoption is the age of the adoptees. The majority of AZ foster-to-adopt situations involve older kids instead of infants. There may also be greater uncertainty when fostering before adoption in AZ because you can’t know when or if the birth parent’s parental rights will be terminated. That means a permanent adoption opportunity may never come to fruition. 

If that concern associated with the AZ foster-to-adopt path gives you pause, you should know working with American Adoptions to find a private infant adoption opportunity can give you a direct, certain path to building your family.  In a private adoption, birth parents voluntarily relinquish their parental rights to the child. Once adoption papers are signed, and legal procedures are followed, the child can be placed in your home, and finalization can occur.

To learn more about the advantages of private domestic infant adoption with American Adoption, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or completes our free information form.

Read on below to learn a little more about the similarities and differences between private infant adoption and fostering before adoption in AZ.


  • You give a child in need a safe home and loving family.
  • You get full parental rights to your child.
  • You choose the adoption situations you’re prepared to handle.
  • You must complete an adoption home study to become eligible to adopt a child.


  • Kids in AZ foster-to-adopt scenarios are generally older, and some may have siblings or special needs. If you’re set on adopting an infant, you should pursue private domestic adoption
  • Fostering before adoption in AZ is the least expensive type of adoption. Conversely, the cost of domestic infant adoption is high and includes agency fees, advertising and matching services, medical fees, and other expenses.
  • Domestic infant adoption allows ties to the birth parents to be retained through open or semi-open adoption. That doesn’t usually happen in fostering before adoption in AZ, and ongoing contact with the birth parents varies.
  • Most kids in AZ foster-to-adopt situations have experienced abuse, neglect, or other adverse conditions. That’s not the case in private infant adoption because you’re adopting an infant.

Where Can You Find Arizona Foster to adopt Agencies?

Again, American Adoptions doesn’t facilitate foster-to-adopt placements in Arizona. However, there are some dedicated agencies that do. Please see the below agencies for more information:

Next Steps in Fostering Before Adoption in Arizona

Fostering before adoption in AZ can represent a rewarding and challenging journey, but for some parents, it’s the right way to expand their family and undertake a noble act of loving kindness for a child in need.

If you think it may be right for you, be sure to consider the pros and cons before deciding whether private adoption or foster-to-adopt placement in AZ will best suit your family’s needs. Speaking with an adoption professional can be helpful, and you can connect with one of our specialists today by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or completing our free online form.

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

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