What Are the Requirements to Adopt a Child in Arizona?
The rules governing who is eligible to adopt a child in Arizona are covered in A.R.S. 8-103. Generally, any Arizona resident at least 18 years old, whether single, married, divorced, or in a same-sex relationship, is able to apply to adopt.
Additionally, adult non-residents of Arizona may also apply to adopt if:
- The child to be adopted is currently under the jurisdiction of the Arizona juvenile court.
- The child currently resides in the applicant’s home.
- The Department of Child Safety placed the child in the applicant’s home or has recommended adoption by the applicant, and the Foster Care Review Board has reviewed the case.
Children will be placed in an adoptive home “that best meets the safety, social, emotional, physical, and mental health needs of the child.” This can include factors such as:
- Placing the child in a home with their siblings.
- Already established relationships between the child and the potential adopter’s family.
- Input from the child him/herself, if they are 12 years old or older.
- Input from the birth parents, except in cases where their parental rights were terminated or severed.
- Marital status of the potential adopter.
When faced with a decision between a married couple or a single adopter, with all other factors equal in nature, adoption preference will be given to the married couple.
Per A.R.S. 8-105, prospective adoptive applicants who are not blood relatives of the child must also become certified to adopt, which involves a home study and the following items regarding the applicant:
- Financial statement and condition.
- Statement of physical and mental health by a physician or nurse practitioner.
- Valid fingerprint clearance card.
- State and federal criminal background check.
- Complete social history.
- Moral fitness.
- Religious background.
You can be disqualified from adopting in Arizona for failing any of the aforementioned requirements. In particular, certain felony convictions discovered in your background check can prevent you from adopting. This includes certain drug-related crimes, as well as assault, battery, and various forms of trafficking.
If you are looking to adopt a child in Arizona, call Rideout Law Group to work with you through the process and ensure that all your application requirements are met. Adoptions are often one of the most fulfilling areas of law, and Rideout Law Group holds the ability to play a part in this special union of families in high esteem.
Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling adoption cases. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.