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Arizona Adoption Requirements

Adoption requirements in Arizona are necessary because they keep children safe while preparing you for life as a potential adoptive parent.

Have you thought about growing your family through adoption?

If you have, then you need to understand the requirements for adoption in Arizona. You may have questions about eligibility to adopt, such as:

One way to find answers to these questions is by contacting adoption professionals in Arizona. Another is by reading this guide. Read more to learn what you should know about adoption requirements in Arizona.

Getting Started

Adoption offers a fulfilling method for family growth while giving a child a loving home. When beginning your adoption journey, you must define your goals and adoption wishes.

First, consider the steps in the adoption process and which type of adoption best matches your family. The requirements to adopt a child in Arizona differ in each case, but when starting out, there are key factors to consider, such as:

  • The type of adoption you’d like to pursue
  • Which adoption agencies you’ll work with
  • Your adoption budget
  • Your desired adoption timeline
  • Your comfort level with birth parent contact
  • And many others

Answering these questions marks the first step in your adoption journey. Use the answers to guide your future steps.

General Legal Requirements to Adopt a Child in Arizona

The three primary types of child adoption in Arizona are private domestic adoption, foster care adoption and international adoption. Each has specific requirements. However, there are qualifications for adoption in Arizona that apply regardless of type.

Married and Single Adoption

In Arizona, the law doesn’t require prospective adoptive parents to be married. Single or unmarried parents can adopt if they meet the other adoption requirements.

Though single parent adoption is allowed under the requirements to adopt a child in Arizona, that doesn’t mean that single parents are always able to adopt.

Some private adoption agencies may consider marriage as one of the in-house adoption qualifications in Arizona. Likewise, in some international adoptions, birth nations may prefer that children only be adopted by married couples.

Individual agencies may have other requirements related to marriage. For instance, if a couple is married, an agency may prefer that the couple is married several years before adopting.

A common question about the criteria for adopting a child in Arizona is whether same-sex couples can adopt. The answer is yes. Same-sex couples in Arizona can adopt. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking Obergefell decision, same-sex adoption is now protected by federal law in every state.

Individual agencies might not be supportive of same-sex adoptions. Make sure to consider this factor when selecting an adoption agency and find an agency that will always have your best interests at heart.

Adoption Age — Minimum and Maximum

At what age can you adopt a child in Arizona? As with marriage, there is no legal stipulation regarding the age of the prospective adoptive parent, so long as the parent is an adult.

There isn’t a maximum or minimum age set in the requirements to adopt a child in Arizona. However, adoption professionals in the state may consider the age of prospective adoptive parents when placing a child.

Foster care adoption qualifications in Arizona mandate that adoptive parents must be 21 years or older to foster or adopt. In some cases, private agencies may not want to place a child permanently with a senior citizen, even though such an adoption is legal in Arizona.

Can an 18-year-old adopt a baby in Arizona? The answer is yes, at least in private domestic adoptions. But those adoptions aren’t common, and agencies may use judgment when determining the best placements for children.

Criminal History

Regarding adoption requirements in Arizona, some prospective parents ask, “Can a felon adopt a child in Arizona?”

In some situations yes; but in others, no. It’s not impossible for felons to adopt in Arizona. But there are certain types of offenses that may prevent prospective adoptive parents with felonies from adopting.

Adoption requirements in Arizona prohibit a child from being placed with a non-parental adult who has been convicted of certain felony crimes such as assault, battery, human trafficking, sex trafficking, or drug offenses.

The adoption home study is one of the qualifications to adopt a child in Arizona. It includes a criminal background check to protect the safety of the child in the adoptive home.

If the home study background check reveals a record of violent crimes, domestic abuse, child neglect, sexual abuse or abandonment by anyone over the age of 14 in the household, it could disqualify a prospective adoptive family.

Prospective parents with felony convictions aren’t necessarily prohibited from adopting under state of Arizona adoption requirements. Adoption professionals and the courts have leeway to consider the details of each situation during the adoption process. However, prospective parents with felonies may encounter more obstacles to adoption.

Other Adoption Requirements in Arizona

State of Arizona adoption requirements establish loose guidelines for adoption eligibility for prospective adoptive families. Outside of the official criteria for adopting a child in Arizona, parents need to know other things about adoption.

Adoption agencies strive to place children in safe, loving homes that will provide them with a life full of future opportunities. As a result, there are non-legal criteria that could be considered during the adoption process.

Health Requirements

Though not spelled out in the adoption requirements in Arizona, your health is important when adopting. There are physical aspects to raising a child. Your health will play some role in the quality of life an adopted child may enjoy in your family.

During the adoption home study portion of the requirements for adoption in Arizona, recent medical records will be reviewed. Adoption professionals may want to establish that you’re in good health because health can contribute to the stability of your home.

It’s worth noting that Arizona law prohibits discrimination against prospective adoptive parents who may have physical disabilities.

Financial Requirements

Again, the adoption requirements feature no statutory financial criteria for adopting a child in Arizona. But your financial ability to care for a child may be considered by adoption professionals.

The cost associated with adoption varies from type to type. International adoptions and private adoptions can be costly, but foster care adoption is more affordable.

There’s also the ongoing cost of providing for the needs of a child. You don’t have to be wealthy to adopt, but you must be able to afford the costs associated with raising a child, such as food, shelter, and clothing.

If you’re between jobs, you may have wondered, “Can I adopt a child without a job in Arizona?” The answer is yes. Potential adoptive parents are rarely disqualified on financial grounds alone. If you can meet your family’s financial obligations, you are eligible to adopt.

Emotional Requirements

Adoption professionals strive to place children in stable homes where they will be loved and nurtured. Therefore, the emotional environment of a prospective adoptive home must be assessed.

Though not one of the legal requirements for adoption in Arizona, you must make sure you’re emotionally prepared for the adoption process. Your adoption professional can help you prepare.

To evaluate your own emotional preparedness to adopt, you may want to consider the following:

  • Address past disappointments with infertility or miscarriage: Don’t let the past shade your future when it comes to adopting. It’s important to deal with your feelings about miscarriages or infertility and move on from your grief. This process can take years, and it’s okay to take your time.
  • Understand the adoption process: Comprehending the legal requirements for adoption in Arizona is critical, but so is understanding the emotions you may experience during your adoption journey. Seek a support group and consult adoption professionals when setting your expectations.
  • Communicate with your spouse: Adoption is a big responsibility. Make sure that, if you’re married, you and your spouse are both fully invested. Communicate honestly and vocalize any concerns. When you adopt, move forward together.
  • Accept the responsibility: Everyone in your family must fully grasp the responsibility that comes with adoption. Adoption is a lifetime commitment, and everyone involved must be on board. Speak openly with one another and don’t proceed until your family is prepared to fully open your home to a waiting child.

Parting Thoughts

Adoption offers a fulfilling path to family growth. It also provides a home to a waiting child. Protecting the child is critical throughout the process, which is why the state of Arizona adoption requirements were created.

Understanding adoption requirements in Arizona requires research and counseling. There are also adoption professionals available to help you wade through the process and accept your role in it.

To learn more about who can adopt in Arizona and what will be required as you navigate your adoption journey, contact an Arizona adoption agency today.