Adoption By City

How to Adopt in Arizona

Arizona isn't just home to the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world; it's also home to families seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey. Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be your guide to all things adoption in Arizona.

What you need to know about adopting a baby in Arizona

To get started on your adoption journey, it is important to understand some of the fundamental aspects and frequently asked question about the process. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption in Arizona.

What are the laws and requirements for adopting a baby in Arizona?

Any Arizona resident, single or married, may adopt as long as they meet the social, emotional, safety, physical, and mental health needs of the child.

How much does it cost to adopt a baby in Arizona?

Prospective Parents are permitted to pay for reasonable expenses related to the adoption or Birth Mother. Related expenses may include medical costs, travel, rent, counseling, general living necessities, and agency fees.

An Adoptive Parent wishes to pay the living expenses of a Birth Parent that exceed $1,000 shall file a motion with the court to permit that payment. A maximum of $1,000 may be advanced for Birth Parent living expenses without a motion.

Expenses found unreasonable or unauthorized by court are not allowed.

How do you become a foster parent in Arizona?

To become a foster parent in Arizona, you will need meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be a legal U.S. and Arizona resident
  • Own or rent an apartment or home
  • Pass a fingerprint-based criminal background check

If you meet these requirements, you must then attend an orientation, choose a licensing agency, complete a home study and home safety evaluation, and attend training. After you have completed these steps, a foster child may be placed into your home.

Can you finalize an international adoption in Arizona?

The State Registrar will create a certificate of foreign birth for an adopted person who shows that he or she:

  • Was born in a foreign country
  • Is not a U.S. citizen
  • Has gone through a completed adoption process in a foreign country before coming to the United States
  • Has an IR-3 stamped passport

Before the State Registrar creates a certificate of foreign birth, a State court, an adoptive parent, or an adult adopted person must submit the following:

  • An adoption decree or other official document finalizing the adoption from the country of the adopted person's birth that has been translated into English
  • A copy of the passport page showing the IR-3 stamp

What you need to know about placing your baby for adoption in Arizona

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, understanding how the adoption process works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption for your child in Arizona.

Who must consent to an adoption in Arizona?

Consent to adoption in Arizona is required by the following:

  • The birth mother
  • The father if he:
    • Was married to the mother at the time of conception
    • Is the adoptive father
    • Has otherwise established paternity
  • Any guardian or agency who was given the child to place for adoption
  • The guardian of an adult parent if one has been appointed
  • Any child being placed for adoption who is 12 years or older, in an open court

When is consent not necessary for adoption in Arizona?

In Arizona, consent to adopt is not necessary for the following:

  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated by the court
  • An adult parent for whom a guardian is currently appointed
  • A parent who has previously consented to an agency's or the division's placement of the child for adoption

A potential father who fails to file a paternity action and who does not comply with all applicable service requirements within 30 days after completion of service of notice waives his right to be notified of any judicial hearing regarding the child's adoption or the termination of parental rights, and his consent to the adoption or termination is not required.

How and when can Birth Parents consent to adoption in Arizona?

Consent to adoption must be made in writing no sooner than 72 hours after the child's birth and witnessed before two people, 18 years or older.

Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in Arizona?

In Arizona, consent to adoption is irrevocable by the child's Birth Parents unless it was obtained by fraud, duress, or undue influence.

What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in Arizona?

In Arizona, a man is presumed the Birth Father, and therefore is granted parental rights if:

  • Genetic testing affirms at least 95% probability of paternity
  • He and the mother of the child were married at any time in the 10 months immediately preceding the birth or the child is born within 10 months after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity or dissolution of marriage, or after the court enters a decree of legal separation
  • The birth certificate is signed by the mother and father out of wedlock
  • A statement is signed by both parents acknowledging paternity

A person who is seeking paternity, who wants to receive notice of adoption proceedings, and who is the father or claims to be the father of a child shall file notice of a claim of paternity and of his willingness and intent to support the child to the best of his ability with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics in the Department of Health Services.

Home study and Post Placement Requirements in Arizona

Prospective Adoptive Parents in Arizona are required to complete a home study before beginning the adoption process and a postplacement assessment after the adoption takes place. Both will assess your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child you wish to adopt.

What is a home study and what happens during the process?

The home study is a critical component to the adoption process. While it is to ensure your home will provide a child with stability, safety, and support, it is also a resource for Prospective Adoptive Parents to asks questions and prepare for the adoption.

In Arizona, the home study process will include the following:

  • A complete social history
  • The financial condition of the applicant
  • The moral fitness of the applicant
  • The religious background of the applicant
  • Physical and mental health conditions of the applicant
  • Any court action for or adjudication of child abuse, abandonment of children, dependency or termination of parent-child relationship
  • All other facts bearing on the issue of the fitness of the prospective adoptive parents
  • Interviews with the Prospective Parents

In addition to the home study, a social study must be submitted to court 10 days before the adoption hearing and should include:

  • The child's adjustment to the adoptive parent(s)' home
  • The prospective adoptive parent's suitability to adopt
  • The existing and proposed arrangements regarding the child's custody
  • State and Federal criminal records checks and a central registry records check, including any history of child welfare referrals, of the prospective adoptive parent and each adult who is living permanently with the prospective adoptive parent
  • Any other information that is pertinent to the adoption proceedings

Who oversees a home study in Arizona and who is included in it?

In Arizona, the home study can be conducted by the agency or a person designated by the court.

The Prospective Adoptive Parents and all other adults living in the household are included in the process.

Why would my home study not be approved in Arizona?

If certain elements during the home study are found to be unfit for the child, it may not be approved. A note will also be made during the home study process for an applicant who has been charged, convicted or is awaiting a trial for certain criminal charges or if they have lost parental rights to a child in the past.

If the home study is denied, the Prospective Parents will receive a written notice with an explanation and given the opportunity to petition to court for review.

Is a home study different for stepparent or relative adoptions in Arizona?

The home study certification is not required for stepparent and relative adoptions in the state of Arizona.

The social study will only require the criminal background check and central registry records check if:

  • The prospective adoptive parent is the child’s stepparent who has been legally married to the child’s birth or legal parent for at least 1 year, and the child has resided with the stepparent and parent for at least 1 year.
  • The prospective adoptive parent is the child’s adult sibling, by whole or half blood, or the child’s aunt, uncle, grandparent, or great-grandparent, and the child has resided with the prospective adoptive parent for at least 1 year.

What are the home study requirements for adopting a baby from another state?

Placements of children for adoption in or from another State are subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

What is a post placement requirement and what happens during the process?

A post placement study in Arizona should occur within 30 days of a child being placed into a home. It is put in place to ensure the adoptive parents received all available non-identifying information on the child, the family has addressed the child's educational needs, appropriate child care arrangements have been made if the parents work, and to address any questions or concerns the Adoptive Parents may have.

Following the initial placement visit, a case manager shall:

  • Visit the adoptive family at least once every 3 months until the adoption is finalized, except when the adoptive child is a child with special needs the visits shall occur at least once a month
  • Discuss the following issues with the adoptive parent if appropriate in light of the child's age and development:
    • How the presence of the child has changed familial relationships
    • How the child and the extended family view each other
    • The role each family member has assumed regarding child care and discipline
    • How the parent is coping with the needs and demands of the placed child
    • How the child challenges or tests the placement and how the family reacts to these episodes, including any feelings of insecurity about the propriety of the family members' response
    • How the family perceives the child’s sense of identity and the need to fill in gaps in the child's history
    • How the child has adjusted to the school environment
  • If developmentally appropriate, privately interview the child about the child's feelings about the adoption and the matters listed above

Arizona Adoption Professionals

Arizona is home to some amazing adoption professionals who are ready to get your journey started. Whether you are interested in adopting a child or seeking resources to place your child for adoption, these professionals will guide you through the legal pathways and offer you support throughout your journey:

Building Arizona Families

(623) 936-4729

Arizona Adoption Help

(602) 271-9899

Christian Family Care

(602) 234-1935

Things to do in Arizona

If your adoption journey leads you to the deserts of Arizona, be sure to visit some of its most treasured hot spots:

Horseshoe Bend in Page

Antelope Canyon in Page

The Grand Canyon

Bearizona in Williams

A note from Adoption Network Law Center

No matter your decision, we appreciate the time you have taken to read about how to adopt in Arizona. Adoption Network Law Center wishes you the best of luck and is available to answer any further questions you may have about the adoption process. Call 1-866-602-9541 to speak with one of our amazing team members or visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ to read more about our services. Whether you’re a soon-to-be Birth Parent or Prospective Adoptive Parent, ANLC wishes you the best on your adoption journey.