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Legal Requirements to Adopt a Child in Arizona

Posted By Legal Team | June 27 2023 | Firm News

You and your partner are excited to begin or expand your family and have decided adoption is the best avenue for you to achieve your dream. Knowing where to start and understanding the legal requirements might seem overwhelming, but there is a process everyone must follow.

The first step is to choose an Arizona family law attorney who is passionate about families and their best interests. We want to help you pursue adoption and make your dream become a reality.

Determining Eligibility

You must be determined eligible by the state to adopt in Arizona. The state retains a specific responsibility to ensure that when a child is placed in a home, they will receive appropriate care that facilitates a safe environment that values both mental and physical health.

The requirements that must be fulfilled apply to each avenue of adoption. There are three ways to adopt in Arizona, but the requirements establish your ability as a new parent to raise a child. Meeting these requirements allows the state to certify and license you to adopt.

  • A minimum of 18 years old
  • Single, married, divorced, and windowed applicants can apply
  • Own or rent a home or apartment
  • Reside in the United States lawfully
  • Successfully pass background checks, including FBI and local criminal checks
  • Possess a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card issued by the Department of Public Safety in Arizona

Disqualifiers in the Adoption Process

Some incidents will disqualify you from adopting. These disqualifiers are for the child’s safety and welfare.

Violent Criminal Charges

Anyone living in your home that is 14 or older will be screened for a criminal record with violent charges. This screening process prevents a child from being placed in harm’s way. Violent crimes that relate to children will automatically disqualify you from adopting.

Certain Felony Charges

Felony crime convictions are taken seriously in adoptions. A conviction may result in your disqualification for adoption unless you are the child’s birth parent. Some of those felony charges include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Drug convictions
  • Sex and human trafficking

Agency Requirements

Eligibility requirements may vary depending on the agency you work with in Arizona. Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all list of requirements that applies. Speaking with representatives from varying adoption agencies or state adoption representatives will ensure you understand the requirements to work toward the most appropriate adoption situation for your family.

One of the strongest allies in your adoption journey is an Arizona family law attorney. Whether you choose to work with the foster care system, private adoption agency, or international adoption organization, you can feel confident when you have experienced representation ready to assist you.

Legal Guidance in Arizona Adoptions

The adoption process can be a happy occasion but filled with anxiety and uncertainty. There may be incidents when you suspect you have been discriminated against in the adoption process. No matter your concern, an in-depth knowledge of Arizona family laws can remove any questions so that we can help you proceed in the adoption process.

An attorney should be ready to set you up for success, helping you check off the requirements necessary to become a legal parent under Arizona law. What distinguishes the team at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau is our steadfast commitment to our clients while upholding the law and achieving the best results for your family.

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