Adoption Attorneys in Glendale & Tucson, Arizona
Adoption is a beautiful and life-changing process for families all around the world. Those looking to adopt in Arizona need to understand the different types of adoption available and know what steps to take to adopt a child. Individuals and couples considering adoption must meet certain requirements set forth by the state in order to qualify as adoptive parents.
Our family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C., can assist you during the adoption process. With offices in Glendale and Tucson, Arizona, we’re able to serve clients in the Phoenix Metro Area and across the state.
What Are Some Types of Adoption?
As you consider adoption, it's important to have a solid understanding of your options. Below is an overview of the different types of adoption available in Arizona:
State adoption. In the state of Arizona, individuals or couples looking to adopt can go through the Department of Child Safety (DCS). DCS works with foster care families to find permanent homes for children currently in foster care. DCS also provides resources such as financial assistance, counseling services, and more to make the adoption process as smooth as possible.
Private adoption. This type of adoption involves a direct placement without the use of an adoption agency. The placement occurs between the child’s birth mother and the prospective parent(s). Many parents prefer private adoption because it gives them more control over the process.
International adoption. If you’re looking to adopt from another country, you will need to work with an international adoption agency licensed by the state of Arizona. It is important to ensure that any agency you work with follows all applicable laws and regulations when it comes to international adoptions. Additionally, it may take longer than most domestic adoptions due to additional paperwork and processing times required by foreign governments.
Step-parent and adult adoption. Step-parent/adult adoptions involve adopting a child who is already part of your family — for example, adopting your partner’s child from a previous relationship or adopting an adult family member such as a grandchild or niece/nephew. These types of adoptions are typically much simpler than other types since they don’t require finding a birth mother who wishes to put their child up for adoption or navigating complex international laws.
Surrogacy adoption. Surrogacy is when another woman carries and gives birth to a baby on behalf of an intended couple or individual who cannot carry their own. In order for surrogacy arrangements in the United States (including Arizona) to be legal, there must be an agreement between two parties — the surrogate mother and the intended parent(s). Surrogacy arrangements must also be approved by a court before they can become legally binding agreements, so it’s crucial that all parties understand their rights before entering into any type of surrogacy arrangement.
It is essential that those considering any type of adoption do their research thoroughly so they have all the information necessary before making any decisions about which path is best for them and their family’s situation.
Arizona Adoption Laws
In Arizona, both single people and married couples can adopt children. To qualify as an adoptive parent in Arizona, an applicant must:
Be at least 18 years old;
Lawfully reside in the United States;
Own or rent a home/apartment; and
Not have any legal barriers preventing them from adopting (such as certain types of criminal convictions).
In Arizona, any child under 18 years old who is not married or emancipated may be adopted. It may be possible to adopt an adult in Arizona under certain circumstances. Adults can be adopted as long as they are not older than 21 and are the former/current step-child, cousin, niece/nephew, or grandchild of the adoptive individual.
In most cases, consent from both birth parents is required before the adoption process can begin. However, there are some circumstances in which one parent’s consent is sufficient — for example, if the other parent has abandoned the child or has had their parental rights terminated by court order. Similarly, if one parent is deceased or otherwise unavailable (e.g., due to incarceration), then only one parent needs to give consent for an adoption to occur.
Overview of the Adoption Process
The adoption process in Arizona is governed by state statutes and regulations. Generally speaking, there are five main steps involved in the adoption process:
Choose the type of adoption. The first step involves selecting the type of adoption you wish to pursue.
Complete an application and home study. Once you have selected a type of adoption, you will need to complete an application and home study. The home study includes an evaluation of your home environment as well as background checks for both prospective parents.
Find a child/birth parent. Next, you will need to find a child or birth parent that meets your criteria for placement. This can include searching for children available for adoption through state agencies or identifying potential birth parents through private arrangements.
File the paperwork. After finding a suitable match, all relevant paperwork must be filed with the court. Legal representation may be necessary during this stage if either party wishes to have it present.
Execute the adoption agreement. Finally, once all paperwork has been approved by the court, all necessary parties have consented to the adoption, and the agreement has been executed, your new family member can legally become part of your life.
Adopting a child is an exciting yet complex endeavor that requires plenty of research beforehand to ensure it goes smoothly. Consider contacting a knowledgeable adoption attorney to help you navigate the various aspects of the process.
Adoption Attorneys in Glendale & Tucson, Arizona
Adoption is an incredibly rewarding experience that allows people to form loving family units, but it’s important to understand what’s involved before taking steps toward making it happen. Our adoption attorneys can provide you with proper guidance throughout each step along your journey. Reach out to our office at Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C., to discuss your concerns and adoption plans. We proudly serve clients in Glendale, Tucson, and throughout Arizona.