Your interest in adopting may be the most important step in providing a
good life for a child who, in the absence of adoption, faces a difficult future.
Phoenix adoption attorney
Luane Rosen represents
adoptive parents in most adoption scenarios, including:
foster care/DCS adoption
stepparent adoption, including same-sex parent
grandparent adoption (and adoption by other
private adoption, with or without an
contested and uncontested adoption
Luane Rosen's adoption services include all aspects of filing for the adoption through the final adoption hearing. She also assists adoptive parents in termination of parental rights by one or both birth parents (consent, severance, etc.) and, where appropriate, facilitating communications and arrangements between adoptive parents and birth parents.
Frequently Asked Questions about Adoption in Arizona
What are the qualifications and requirements for
adopting a child in Arizona?
You must be an adult (age 18 or older) and a legal
Arizona resident. You may be married, unmarried or legally separated.
What is the adoption process?
If you are a stepparent, grandparent or other
close relative, you start by filing a Petition to Adopt and complying
with Arizona’s requirements relating to fingerprints, Arizona Department of
Child Safety records, and the putative father’s registry search.
For all others, you start by getting certified to adopt a child in Arizona. Certification is obtained through an adoption home study, conducted by a private or public adoption agency, that determines your fitness to adopt. Factors influencing your fitness include your physical and mental health, financial condition, life expectancy, criminal record, etc. A home study generally takes two to three months for a domestic adoption and somewhat longer for a foreign adoption.
How long does an adoption take?
There are many factors that affect the time
required to complete the adoption, and there is no official duration. It
is not uncommon for stepparent and relative adoptions to be completed in
four to six months and for other domestic adoptions to be completed in
about a year. Foreign adoptions generally take longer.
How much does an adoption cost?
The costs of adopting a child vary greatly with
the circumstances. Private adoption can involve legal fees, agency fees,
travel expenses, court-approved birth mother expenses, health insurance
co-pays and deductibles, etc. Where needed, costs would also include
legal fees for terminating the rights of one or both birth parents.
How does one get information about children who
are available for adoption?
The three main sources are (1) adoption agencies,
(2) a birth mother who wishes to place her unborn child for adoption,
and (3) for foster adoption, the Department of Child Safety.
What types of consent are required from the
child’s birth parents or other individuals?
State law (A.R.S.
§ 8-106) requires that consent be obtained from the child’s birth or
adoptive mother (if she is living), and, under certain conditions, from
the child’s father. Those conditions include any of the following: (a)
the father was married to the child's mother at the time of conception
or at any time between conception and the child's birth (with certain
statutory exceptions); (b) the father has adopted the child; or (c) the
father's paternity has been established.
Under certain circumstances, consent may be
required from (a) the child, if he or she is age 12 or older; (b) the
child’s legal guardian, if one has been appointed; and/or (c) an
adoption agency that has received legal consent to place the child for
Can a parent change their mind after they have
terminated their parental rights?
They might have second thoughts, but if they were
of a sound mind and free of undue influence when they signed properly
prepared severance documents, in the great majority of cases the courts
will enforce the termination of parental rights.
I have heard of “closed,” “semi-open” and “open”
adoptions. What do those terms mean?
In a “closed” adoption, you have no knowledge of
the birth parents, nor do they have any knowledge of you.
A “semi-open” adoption generally pertains to a
situation in which the adoptive parents and the birth mother become
acquainted before the baby is born, but, after birth, the birth mother
generally has no direct contact with the child.
In an “open” adoption, the adoptive family and the
birth family stay in touch, allowing the child to have a relationship
How is the adoption finalized?
In Arizona, adoptions are within the jurisdiction
of the Juvenile Court system. After the adoption Petition has been filed
and all legal requirements have been met, you and your adoptive child
appear in court for the formality of the signing of the adoption papers.