How to Adopt a Baby in Arizona
Infant domestic adoption is the adoption of a newborn baby who has been voluntarily placed by his or her birth parents. We have helped hundreds of adoptive families throughout Arizona complete their adoptions of domestic newborns.
We know that the information available about infant domestic adoption is overwhelming. We can break it down, educate you about your options, and give you resources to help you take the next step in your adoption journey. It is never too early to call us and you are never obligated to retain us.
What Type of People Usually Adopt a Baby Through Infant Domestic Adoption?
Domestic infant adoption has provided people of all backgrounds with a chance to realize their dreams of parenthood. There is no “type.” Married or single, 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 safety, social, emotional, physical, and mental health needs of the adopted child.
What Services Do We Offer to Those Who Want to Adopt a Baby in Arizona?
At its heart, adoption is a legal process to create the legally recognized relationship of parent to child. We work with your family to help you craft a journey that fits your needs and ensure that every aspect of your adoption is completed ethically and in accordance with Arizona law. This includes providing the following services:
- Introduction to adoption options
- Resources for matching with expectant parents
- Resources for adoption financing options
- Legal counsel throughout the adoption process
- Legal and ethical termination of the birth father’s rights
- 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 birth certificate amendments
What is the Process to Adopt a Baby in Arizona?
CONSULTATION – The Arizona adoption process begins with a consultation. It is never too early to meet with an attorney. We will explain the different types of adoption to you, provide an overview of the adoption process, walk you through the steps required to make your adoption plan a reality, and answer all your questions to help you decide whether adoption is right for you. You are never obligated to retain us.
ADOPTION HOME STUDY AND CERTIFICATION PROCESS – Once you have decided adoption is best for you, you will then need to be Certified to Adopt by the Court before an infant 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 2-3 months of gathering documentation, interviews, passing federal and state criminal background checks, and having your home inspected by your Arizona-licensed adoption agency social worker, your home study will be submitted to the Court for the judge to review. The judge’s review of the home study can take another 60 days, and if approved, you will receive your Certification to Adopt.
RESOURCES FOR MATCHING WITH EXPECTANT PARENTS – If you have not yet found an adoption opportunity, the next step will be to connect with an expectant mother. We have professional relationships with several adoption professionals who are experts at locating adoption situations. Alternatively, we have the know-how and resources to help you locate your own adoption opportunity.
ADOPTION PLACEMENT AND POST-PLACEMENT VISITS – Under Arizona law, the birth mother must wait 72 hours before she may validly consent to the adoption. Once her consent is signed, her consent is irrevocable unless obtain through fraud, duress, or undue influence. After the consent is signed, you will be granted physical custody of the baby. However, the placement with you must be supervised through post-placement visits by an Arizona-licensed adoption agency 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.
ADOPTION EXPENSES AND LIVING EXPENSES FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS – State laws regulate the expenses that can be paid on behalf of an expectant mother in connection with an adoption. In Arizona, adoptive families pay for the following:
- Medical and hospital care for the expectant mother and baby
- Counseling fees for the expectant mother
- Legal representation for the expectant mother
- Reasonable and necessary living expenses for the expectant mother. These moneys are intended to help an expectant mother financially during her pregnancy maintain her current standard of living and to preserve the health of the birth parent and the baby. Typical expenses include rent, groceries, utilities, transportation, and maternity clothes. Living expenses totaling over $1,000 must be approved by a judge.
FINALIZATION OF THE ADOPTION – For an adoption to be legally finalized, each step of the adoption must 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, a recommendation to adopt, and more. Finalization hearings are time for celebration and we will be there with you to ensure everything goes smoothly and to join in the celebration.
Additional Resources for Arizona Adoptive Families
There are many resources available to hopeful adoptive parents. If you are interested in domestic infant adoption in Arizona, the following resources provide valuable information about the adoption process, adoption costs, adoption support, and more:
Adoptive Families – “Adoptive Families” is an award-winning resource for parents-to-be navigating the adoption process and for parents raising children through adoption.
Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys – AAAA is a professional organization of over 400 attorneys nationwide who are deemed experts in the field. All Fellows must adhere to the highest of ethical standards. The website is full a great information about family formation.
Creating a Family – This organization offers adoption, foster care, and infertility education and support, including podcasts and online training.
Families for Private Adoption – FPA’s mission is to provide support and education to those seeking to build their families through domestic private adoption. They have adoption training courses online.
My Adoption Advisor – My Adoption Advisor helps adopting parents connect with expectant parents who are considering adoption. The company offers eLearning courses and profile design, website development, and online advertising service.
National Council for Adoption – NCFA is a leading expert on adoption issues, providing resources and education for all people and organizations in the adoption world, and advocating for sound policies so that every child can thrive in a nurturing, permanent family.
“Heather and her staff were so amazing. Everything went so fast and accordingly. She even handled the birth certificate, so it was one less thing we had to do. If we are privileged to adopt again, we definitely will be coming back!”
Michelle & Matt
“Super helpful, friendly staff. My adoption went so smoothly because of them!”
“Heather Strickland has done an excellent job with my case. She has been extremely helpful and has done everything in a timely manner. I would highly recommend her to everyone I know.”