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Adoption Laws in Arizona [What You Should Know]

Are you an expectant birth mother or prospective adoptive family considering adoption in Arizona? If so, you’ve probably already discovered that Arizona adoption laws can seem like a confusing tangle of legalese.

Every state has its own laws and regulations surrounding the practice of adoption, and Arizona is no different. Adoption law in Arizona is indeed complex, but it serves the purpose of protecting all parties throughout the adoption process. The law must also be dynamic enough to encompass all adoption scenarios, since every adoption situation is unique.

Fortunately, you’re not alone in navigating the complicated legal landscape surrounding adoption law in Arizona. American Adoptions is fully licensed in the state of Arizona to assist both expectant birth parents and prospective adoptive parents. American Adoptions has the scope of a national organization and the personalized touch of a local agency.

In nearly 30 years of working with birth parents and adoptive families across the country, we’ve learned what elements create a successful adoption. Our adoption specialists understand the challenges and triumphs inherent in the adoption process, and we would be honored to bring that experience to your adoption journey.

Understanding Arizona adoption code is easier when you have our team of adoption specialists working on your behalf. Contact one of our compassionate specialists today to get started by calling 1-800-ADOPTION. Or, get free information by clicking here.

In the meantime, read on to learn a few of the things you should know about Arizona adoption codes and how they may shape your personal adoption experience. Remember, this information is not to be considered legal advice, and you should contact an adoption attorney or adoption professional before proceeding with your adoption plan.

6 Laws on Adoption in Arizona You Need to Know

Arizona state adoption law is complex, as it must cover a wide range of adoption situations. That’s why it’s important to consult with an adoption professional or attorney. Whether you’re an expectant birth parent or a prospective adoptive family, an adoption professional will help you understand the legal requirements and regulations for adopting in Arizona.

Though the list of adoption regulations would fill an entire book, we’ve condensed information on the most important Arizona adoption laws into this list.

1. Who is eligible to participate in adoption in Arizona?

Arizona adoption statutes don’t prohibit many people from adopting if they have the means to do so and haven’t been convicted of a few specific felonies in the past. You can adopt whether you’re married or single. There’s no minimum or maximum age limit for adults, and same-sex couples can adopt. There are no eligibility requirements for birth parents to place a child for adoption.   

There are some regulations established in the Arizona adoption code that may lead prospective adoptive parents to be disqualified. One such disqualifier involves felony convictions related to a class of crimes.

The regulations to adopt a child in Arizona require all prospective adoptive parents to complete a home study performed by a licensed professional. The home study includes a criminal background check. Prospective parents who have been convicted of assault, human trafficking of any kind, or drug related offenses will not be allowed to adopt.

Also, though Arizona adoption laws don’t specifically set eligibility requirements for adoption, private agencies can create their own requirements for prospective parents. For example, a private adoption agency may require prospective parents to be married for a period before adopting. Other agencies may require prospective parents to be a certain age.

Make sure to ask about specific eligibility requirements when searching for an adoption agency.

2. Can same-sex couples adopt in Arizona?

Same-sex couples are allowed to adopt a child in the state of Arizona as long as the couple meets the other eligibility requirements. Not only is the right for same-sex adoption protected by Arizona adoption statute, it is also guaranteed nationwide thanks to the landmark Supreme Court decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges.

Married same-sex couples can adopt in Arizona like any other couple. However, if you are part of an unmarried same-sex couple, you may not be able to jointly adopt a child. Speak with an adoption attorney or adoption professional to learn more about adopting if you’re part of a same-sex couple.

However, though discrimination in public adoptions is disallowed, state of Arizona adoption law allows private adoption agencies to discriminate regarding placement of children with same-sex couples. It’s important to determine which agencies support same-sex adoption. American Adoptions welcomes same-sex couples who wish to adopt.

3. Is there a maximum or minimum age to adopt in Arizona?

Adoption laws in Arizona do not establish a minimum or maximum age for adoption eligibility. According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, Arizona private adoption laws allow anyone who is 18 or older to adopt. For foster care adoptions, Arizona DCS requires foster parents to be at least 21 years old. There is no upper age limit.  

However, individual private agencies may have more narrow eligibility requirements for prospective parents. For example, American Adoptions prefers that prospective adoptive parents be between the ages of 22 and 50 to adopt. Exceptions are sometimes made, so be sure to ask your adoption specialist about age-related eligibility requirements.

4. Who gives legal consent to adopt and how is it provided under Arizona adoption code?

In Arizona, consent to adoption must be provided by the birth parents before any adoption can move forward. There is no adoption waiting period in Arizona, so birth parents can sign adoption papers as soon as 72 hours after the child’s birth.

While birth mother consent to adoption in Arizona is always needed unless parental rights have been terminated by the court, the same is not true for paternal consent. The only time birth father consent is required by law is if he was married to the birth mother in the 10 months preceding birth of the child or if the birth mother named him as the father.

Once given, the birth parent consent is irrevocable unless undue duress can be proven to the court. Consent to adoption given under duress in Arizona can result in revocation of the consent. Revocation of consent can lead to a contested adoption in Arizona

In foster care adoptions, the parental rights of the birth parents have usually been terminated before a child in foster care is eligible for adoption. However, if the child is over the age of 12, they must provide consent to be adopted by a prospective adoptive family before the adoption can be finalized.

5. Are there laws governing adoption advertising in Arizona?

When it comes to adoption, Arizona laws don’t stipulate whether advertising is legally allowed. However, Arizona adoption statutes do specify that only licensed adoption agencies and their employees can assist prospective adoptive families in finding a child to adopt.

That’s why working with a skilled, experience adoption agency like American Adoptions can be vital to your adoption journey. Whether you’re a birth parent or adoptive family, the adoption specialists at American Adoption understand the sensitive nature of the regulations to adopt a child in Arizona. You can feel confident and safe because we’ll ensure everything is done in compliance with the law.

Adoption attorneys in Arizona can also assist with direct adoptions under Arizona adoption laws, but they may not be involved in any way in the selection of an adoptive family. Attorneys who work with families in direct adoption placement must file an attestation with the court that they acted in compliance with Arizona adoption regulations.

6. Does adoption law in Arizona allow payment of birth mother expenses?

The financial impact of carrying an unexpected pregnancy to term can be significant for an expectant birth mother. Fortunately, Arizona adoption laws allow prospective adoptive parents to provide financial assistance during pregnancy as long as it falls into one of the categories of expenses allowed by Arizona adoption code.

In Arizona, the prospective adoptive family can take financial responsibility for the following types of expenses:

  • Living expenses for the birth mother

  • Healthcare costs

  • Legal fees

  • Agency fees

  • Hospital and delivery costs

  • Counseling fees

  • Other costs that are deemed necessary and reasonable by the court.

Arizona adoption laws give the court the leeway to determine what birth mother expenses can be considered reasonable and necessary. The court considers a list of factors that can include the birth parents’ financial status and the cost of maintaining the safety and wellness of both the birth mother and the unborn child.

If you’re a woman considering adoption for your baby, you can feel confident because of our agency. We will make sure you receive all of the legally allowable adoption financial assistance you need. You are making a brave choice, and we will always look out for your needs.

While paying for adoption financial assistance may create some anxiety for prospective adoptive parents, it’s important to note that American Adoptions has a risk-sharing program for prospective adoptive families. It’s built on our nearly three decades of experience in facilitating successful adoptions and can offer prospective adoptive parents a measure of comfort in the adoption process.

How to find out more about adoption law in Arizona

This primer on adoption laws in Arizona has been meant as an introduction and should not be construed as legal advice. If you plan to place a child for adoption or expand your family by adopting a child in Arizona, you should speak with an adoption attorney or adoption professional early in your adoption journey.

Though understanding the web of laws and regulations surrounding adoption in Arizona can seem daunting, help is available. Contact one of our experienced adoption specialists today to learn more about Arizona adoption laws. You can call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption specialist directly, or you can get free information by clicking here.

Disclaimer
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