Infant domestic adoption is the adoption of a newborn baby who has been voluntarily placed by his or her birth parents.
MyersStrickland has helped hundreds of adoptive families complete their adoptions of domestic newborns. We work with all types of families throughout Arizona, and exclusively focus our practice on adoption law. If you are considering growing your family through adoption, read the following for more information about adoption in Arizona and learn how MyersStrickland can help you through every step of the process.
What type of people usually adopt a baby through infant domestic adoption?
Each state has laws concerning who is eligible to adopt. In Arizona, any adult resident of the state may adopt, as long as they successfully complete the adoption certification process and are able to meet the child’s needs.
Domestic infant adoption has provided people of all backgrounds with a chance to realize their dreams of parenthood. Some people who commonly choose adoption include:
- Couples who have struggled with infertility
- Same-sex couples who are unable to have children biologically
- Unmarried people who want to become parents
- People who want to provide a child a wonderful life and help a woman who isn’t ready to parent
What services does MyersStrickland offer to those who want to adopt a baby in Arizona?
Many legal services are involved throughout the adoption process. MyersStrickland can work with your family to ensure that every aspect of your adoption is completed in accordance with Arizona law. This includes providing the following services:
- Legal counsel throughout the adoption process
- Legal and ethical termination of the birth father’s rights
- Referral for finding an adoption situation
- Assurance that living expenses are paid in accordance with Arizona law
- Filing of all required paperwork with the appropriate Court
- Assurance that ICPC clearances have been properly performed and approved
- Attendance at finalization hearing
- Assistance with receiving amended birth certificate
What is the Arizona adoption process to adopt a baby with MyersStrickland?
From your first phone call to your finalization hearing, MyersStrickland can help prospective adoptive parents through each stage of the adoption process to ensure your Arizona adoption is completed legally and ethically.
The Arizona adoption process begins with a simple phone call or email to our firm. One of our adoption attorneys will answer all of your questions, explain the adoption process to you, and walk you through the steps required to make your adoption plan a reality. We will explain to you what it means to adopt, the necessary legal services required to adopt a baby, and answer any additional questions you may have to help you decide whether adoption is right for you.
Adoption Home Study and Certification Process
Once you have fully committed to an adoption plan, you will then need to be Certified to Adopt by the Court before a child can be placed in your care. To become certified, you must complete an adoption home study. The home study is an evaluation of you, the prospective adoptive parents, and any adult members of your home to determine whether you are fit and ready to adopt.
After 6 to 8 weeks of gathering documentation, passing federal and state criminal background checks, and having your home inspected by your home study social worker, your home study will be submitted to the Court for the judge to review. The judge’s review of the home study may take another eight weeks, and if approved, you will receive your Certification to Adopt by the judge.
Referral for Matching Services
If you have not yet found an adoption opportunity, the next step will be to connect with a prospective birth family. MyersStrickland partners with several placing agencies who are experts at locating adoption situations, including local agencies Adoption Choices of Arizona, Christian Family Care, and Oasis and national adoption agency American Adoptions.
Prior to the baby’s birth, you may agree to participate in pre-placement contact with the birth mother. This may be several weeks or months prior to the baby’s arrival, but before you know it, the due date will arrive and the baby will be born!
Adoption Placement and Post-Placement Visits
Under Arizona law, the birth mother must wait 72 hours before she may legally consent to the adoption. After the consent is taken, you will then be granted physical custody of the child, but must complete a post-placement visit within 30 days of placement and every 90 days until finalization.
These post-placement visits will include interviews with all members of the household to discuss the child’s relationship with the adoptive family, each family member’s adjustment to the adoptive placement, the child’s and family’s needs, and more.
Handling of Living Expenses
In modern adoptions, adoptive families often cover all adoption services, including the birth mother’s living expenses. These moneys are intended to help a birth mother financially during her pregnancy to help pay for items such as rent/mortgage, groceries, utilities, transportation and maternity clothes. Living expenses totaling over $1,000 must be approved by a judge. We will ensure all living expenses are provided under Arizona law and used for their intended purpose.
Finalization of the Adoption
For an adoption to be legally finalized, each step of the adoption has to be conducted in accordance with Arizona law. These items include a valid home study, a certification to adopt, legal termination of both birth parents’ parental rights, an appropriate number of post-placement visits, and more. Finalization hearings are usually held every Monday morning, and we will be there with you to ensure everything goes smoothly and to join in the celebration.
What are the laws for adopting a baby in Arizona?
Our firm has helped hundreds of families grow through the adoption process. If you are considering adopting an infant in Arizona, MyersStrickland will work with you to help you understand adoption laws and requirements and ensure your adoption is completed safely and legally. The following provides an overview of questions adoptive families commonly have about Arizona adoption law.
1. Am I eligible to adopt a child in Arizona?
Arizona statutes state that any adult resident of the state may adopt. Married couples may adopt jointly. All adoptive applicants will need to undergo an adoption home study to ensure they can meet the safety, social, emotional, physical and mental health needs of the adopted child.
2. What adoption expenses am I responsible for?
State laws regulate the expenses that can be paid in connection with an adoption. In Arizona, adoptive families pay for the following:
- Medical and hospital care for the birth mother and baby
- Counseling fees
- Legal fees
- Agency fees
- Up to $1,000 in reasonable and necessary living expenses for the birth mother
“Reasonable and necessary living expenses” are determined by the court based on the birth parents’ current standard of living, the standard of living necessary to preserve the health of the birth parent and the baby, and any alternative financial resources available to the birth parent. If these expenses exceed $1,000, the adoptive family must file a motion with the court to approve the payment.
3. How can I find a birth mother?
In Arizona, only licensed adoption agencies can work with adoptive parents to identify adoption opportunities. If you have not already identified a birth mother to work with, MyersStrickland can refer you to one of our partner agencies who are experts at locating adoption situations.
4. Can the birth parents change their mind after the adoption?
Birth mothers must wait 72 hours after their baby’s birth before signing the adoption paperwork, and they may change their mind about their adoption plan up until the consent is signed. However, consent is generally irrevocable upon signing.
Please read the following for more information about Arizona adoption laws for adoptive families.
Additional Resources for Arizona Adoptive Families
There are many resources available to hopeful adoptive parents and families raising adopted children. If you are interested in domestic infant adoption in Arizona, the following resources provide valuable information about the adoption process, adoption costs, adoption laws, and more:
- American Adoptions
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- Arizona Association for Foster & Adoptive Parents
- Adoptive Families Circle
- Arizona Family Institute
If you choose MyersStrickland to help you adopt a baby in Arizona, you can be sure that every step of the adoption process is completed in accordance to Arizona law. We are with you every step of the way, right up until you receive the amended birth certificate of your newborn baby, and beyond.
Click the following to contact us about adopting a baby in Arizona.