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Arizona Adoption Laws

State Adoption Laws in General

Regulations and laws regarding adoption, including who may adopt and special requirements for adoptive parents, are similar among most states. While there may be minor differences in the statutes, states generally keep adoption regulations fairly uniform. For instance, virtually all states allow anyone to be adopted (even adults in some cases), while any adult who clears a background check may adopt. Also, most states require the consent of children over a certain age.

Arizona Adoption Laws at a Glance

Adoptive parents in Arizona must be certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children. The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) regulates adoption in the Grand Canyon State. The state DCS states that a certificate will be issued only after a department investigation and certification process that includes:

  • written application
  • adoption orientation and training
  • a certification investigation and report to the court that considers the prospective adoptive parents' fitness to adopt children and includes:
    • social history and references
    • finances
    • moral fitness
    • physical and mental health
    • any court action regarding child abuse
    • a valid fingerprint clearance card for you and every adult member of your household
    •  any other relevant information 

Below are some highlights of Arizona adoption laws. See Details on State Adoption Laws to learn more.

Code Section 8-101 to 8-145; No
Who May Be Adopted Any child under 18 years of age or foreign born person under age 21 who is not illegal alien; any adult person who is a stepchild, niece, cousin, nephew, or grandchild of the adopting person; an adult who was placed in the care of the adopting parent as a foster child as a juvenile. §8-132
Age that Child's Consent Needed 12 years and older in open court
Who May Adopt Any adult resident of the state is eligible to adopt; husband and wife may jointly adopt children. Adults may adopt adult relatives.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? No
State Agency/Court Economic Security/Superior, Juvenile Division
Statute of Limitations to Challenge 1 year

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Arizona health care attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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