Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through agencies in Arizona. They can help prospective adoptive parents to adopt domestically. Click here to connect with an adoption professional.
International Adoptions must be completed through agencies in Arizona. They can help prospective adoptive parents to adopt internationally. You can learn more about international adoption here.
Foster Care Adoptions in Arizona can be completed through the Department of Child Safety (877-543-7633).
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Looking for more resources in your area? Check out the Adoption Directory for a listing of adoption professionals in your state.
Some of the happiest days of our lives are when we adopted our children. Taking photos with the judge, dressing our children in cool outfits, inviting family and friends, and receiving gifts from those who helped us along the way was a really cool experience. My wife and I have personally adopted 3 children in Arizona, and it has been a great experience! Of course, all experiences vary, but here is what you need to know if you want to adopt in the Grand Canyon State.
1) You don’t need to go broke when adopting in Arizona!
Our family explored the possibility of adopting internationally at one time, but the costs involved were astronomical. One alternative for us was adopting through the foster care system, which cost virtually nothing! We found out that application fees, home study fees, pre-service training fees, and most attorney fees are waived. The only costs we incurred were improvements to our home and property, first aid/CPR training, fingerprinting, adoption physicals, and other minor costs. Another alternative for us was adopting privately through our local county attorney’s office. This cost us hundreds of dollars rather than thousands. Of course, it helped that we already had an identified child when pursuing this option.
2) Teens need homes too!
Babies are so cute and cuddly! When we think of adoption, babies are the first to come to mind. But adolescents need permanency as well. According to the Children’s Bureau, toddlers aged 1-5 are adopted most often. In Arizona, toddlers are adopted 53% of the time vs. teens aged 11-15, who are adopted 12% of the time. Teens aged 16 and up are adopted only 3% of the time. This means the younger a child is, the more likely he or she is to receive a forever home. This opposite prospect is much worse. The longer a teen stays in foster care, the more likely he is to bounce from home to home. If he “ages out” of the system (leaves foster care at age 18) without being adopted, the more likely he is to become unemployed, homeless, or incarcerated.
Find more information on The Children’s Bureau site.
3) ASU has a great scholarship program!
One of the things that keep parents up at night is “How am I going to pay for my child’s college education?” This is not a for us because we adopted from the foster care system. In Arizona, children who have entered foster care as a teen can receive full-ride scholarships to Arizona State University. This should be a source of relief for adoptive parents. There are also scholarships for Native American foster youth who hope to attend college too.
For more information on ASU’s Arizona Foster Youth Programs, visit their site here.
4) The vast majority of adoptive parents receive an adoption subsidy.
We receive an adoption subsidy for two of the children we adopted in Arizona. It comes in handy because our children are considered special needs, and it helps to offset the costs that come along with special needs. In Arizona, about 75% of all adoptive parents receive an adoption subsidy. An “adoption subsidy” is a grant distributed on a monthly basis that is provided to a child with special needs. Special needs may include any type of physical, mental, or developmental disability or emotional disturbance. According Arizona Statute Chapter 1, Article 2, 8-144, “The adoption subsidy may continue through the age of twenty-one if the individual is enrolled in and regularly attending school unless the person has received a high school diploma or certificate of equivalency.” The subsidy varies from child to child depending on his or her special needs.
Visit their site for more information on the Arizona Revised Statutes.
Adoption has been a great experience for us. In some cases, we were armed with knowledge and were properly informed. In other cases, we learned “on the job.” Either way, if you choose to adopt in Arizona, search for resources you will need before making the leap. By doing this you will set yourself up for a successful adoption and create a truly “forever family.”
Hopeful adoptive parents need to be at least 18 in order to adopt, 21 to foster. You can be single, married, or divorced. In Arizona certification for adoption comes from the courts in the county where parents currently reside (parents can still adopt from anywhere in the state). Parents need to file a written application, complete adoption training, and pass a home study. At the completion of the home study, the agency will send their report back to the court containing the following:
-financial state of the family
-physical and mental health
-any court action regarding child abuse
-criminal background checks for all adults in the home
Advertising: In Arizona, only licensed agencies or attorneys can place a child for adoption and receive payment for their services. No laws regulate the use of advertising during the adoption process.
Relinquishment: Consent is irrevocable unless obtained by fraud, duress, or undue influence.
Birth parent expenses: Adoption related expenses, such as medical, hospital, counseling, legal fees, agency fees, living expenses, and any other expenses the court finds necessary to the adoption are permitted in Arizona. Living expenses are cleared up to $1,000. Individuals wishing to give more than this amount will need to file a motion with the courts.
Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements regulate the amount of communication between the birth and adoptive families after adoption finalization. Agreements are not enforceable unless in writing and approved by the courts. The agreement needs to include the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the adopted child. Children over the age of 12 may make their wishes known in the post-adoption contact agreement. Broken contact agreements never nullify an adoption or revoke consent.
Birth father rights: There is a birth father registry in Arizona. Fathers wishing to receive notice of adoption proceedings can file their name with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
Finalization: The child must live with the adoptive parents for at least 6 months before the adoption can be finalized.
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Arizona have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Arizona, payments range from $600-1075 a month, depending upon the age and type of needs for your child. To see if your child qualifies for an adoption subsidy, please visit NACAC.org.
It is always possible to adopt a child from outside the US. After an IR-3 visa has been issued (signifying the adoption has been completed abroad), the parents may readopt the child in the state of Arizona. Parents will need to submit to the court a certified court order of adoption in Arizona and either the child’s original birth certificate or any other written documentation that establishes the child’s birth place and date.
Be sure to contact your local adoption agency for help completing an intercountry adoption.
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=state&range=4
State subsidy contact person:
Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Adoptions in Arizona can be completed through the Department of Child Safety.
Hopeful adoptive parents need to be at least 18 to adopt, 21 to foster. You can be single, married, or divorced. In Arizona, certification for adoption comes from the courts in the county where parents currently reside. Parents need to pass a home study.
In Arizona, only licensed agencies or attorneys can place a child for adoption and receive payment for their services.
Adoption related expenses such as medical, hospital, counseling, legal, agency, living, and any other expenses the court finds necessary to the adoption are permitted.
Written contract agreements are legally enforceable in Arizona. A birth father registry exists in Arizona.
The child must live with the adoptive parents for at least 6 months before the adoption can be finalized.