What Are the Requirements to Be an Adoptive Parent in AZ?
Becoming an adoptive parent is fulfilling, especially if you are unable to have children of your own or if you are looking to expand your family. Every state and agency have their own requirements that adoptive parent candidates must meet in order to qualify. What are the requirements for Arizona adoptive parents?
Who Is Eligible to Be an Adoptive Parent in Arizona?
Any adult, 18 years of age and older, can adopt in the state of Arizona if they are a legal resident. The adult does not have to be married.
Law allows those who are unmarried, divorced, widowed, legally separated, and same-sex couples are allowed to apply to be adoptive parents.
If a couple is married, they can file jointly to be adoptive parents.
What Is Required to Adopt in Arizona?
To adopt in the state of Arizona, all prospective adoptive parents must be seen as acceptable for adoption in the eyes of the court. The certification process requires that the applicants fill out a written application and attend adoption orientation and training.
An investigation will be done regarding the applicants and it will bring its findings to the court on the capability of the applicants to fulfill the duties of adopting a child.
Investigations take a thorough look at:
- The applicant’s social history and the references provided in the written application.
- If the applicants are financially able to care for a child.
- The overall mental, physical, and moral health of the applicant.
- Background checks and criminal checks regarding child abuse or neglect charges. This will also supply the court with any criminal charges that have been brought against the applicants, if any.
- Any other information that the investigator believes could be pertinent to the case.
How Are Adoptive Homes Chosen?
The Arizona Department of Child Safety considers what the child needs before finding a home to place them with. They want to find an adoptive home that is going to be supportive and conducive to the child’s wellbeing and nurturing.
DCS will analyze prospective adoptive homes and place children in the homes that will meet all of their physical, mental, emotional, social, and safety needs.
The important thing to remember about the children in DCS custody that you are applying to adopt aren’t like puppies at the pound. DCS is trying to find families for these children, not let you pick through the litter. That may be a harsh analogy, but that is what a lot of adoptive parents expect to happen because of private adoption agency promotions.
There are also other factors in a child’s life that must be considered when adopting.
- Does the child have other siblings in the system who need to be adopted as well and are you willing to adopt them?
- Are there any relatives that may try to adopt the child?
- Is there already a support system in place that the child is a part of?
- Does the child want me to adopt them?
The last one is important. Children who are 12 years of age and older in the state of Arizona have the right to choose if someone adopts them or not.
If you are considering going through the adoptive process, reach out to an attorney who specializes in family law to make sure that you are protected every step of the way. You want to provide a loving home to a child and if something stands in the way, you want counsel who is experienced in that area of the law.