While adoption for same-sex couples may have been difficult in the past, it is now a common way for LGBT parents to grow their families with the same adoption rights and parental rights as any other couple.
Below you’ll find some more information about what to expect from an LGBT adoption in Arizona. (Learn about LGBT families building their family through assisted reproduction, too.)
Adopting Jointly as a Married Couple
If you are a married same-sex couple in Arizona, you can complete the typical adoption process (whether that’s through the foster system, private domestic infant adoption, or international adoption) in the same manner as any other married couple. Depending on your preferences, you can choose to adopt from foster care, work with an adoption agency, or complete an adoption independently with an Arizona adoption lawyer.
When you choose to pursue an adoption in Arizona as a married couple, you should make sure you choose an adoption professional with whom you feel comfortable. We can only provide the necessary legal services for a LGBT adoption and provide you with references to gay-friendly adoption professionals we trust.
Adopting a Child through a Stepparent Adoption
If you married someone who previously adopted a child on their own or if you and your spouse were unable to adopt jointly at the time your child came into your home, you can still become a legal parent of that child, as well. Additionally, if you brought a child into your marriage through sperm, egg, or embryo donation, you will want to protect your parental rights through a stepparent same-sex adoption.
The stepparent adoption process is the same for all couples.
Adopting as an Unmarried Couple or Single Person
Unfortunately, if you are not married, you cannot jointly adopt a child in Arizona. While some states allow for second-parent adoptions for unmarried couples, in Arizona, you will need to be married for both partners to be recognized as legal parents in a same-sex adoption. After you are married, you can complete a stepparent adoption or adopt jointly together.
But if you’re not in a relationship at all, that doesn’t prevent you from adopting a child. Just like any straight, single person, you can adopt a child in Arizona as long as you are over the age of 18. You will also have to undergo an adoption home study and other background clearances. As long as you can prove you are capable as caring for a child (financially, emotionally, and physically), you should not encounter any additional challenges to your LGBT adoption in Arizona.
Concerns You May Have About LGBTQ Adoption in Arizona
With today’s political climate, it is understandable that you may worry about the future of same-sex adoption laws in Arizona and nationwide. That’s why it’s highly recommended you complete your same-sex adoption today to protect your parental rights for years to come. The legalities of a same-sex adoption, however, may not be your only worry.
For example, you may wonder if a prospective birth mother would even pick a same-sex couple to adopt her child. There are plenty of open-minded prospective birth mothers who are excited about placing their child with an LGBT couple. Being gay is rarely a reason to not be picked by a prospective birth mother; in fact, a same-sex couple might even stand out as more attractive to a prospective birth mother than another heterosexual couple.
Another thing to consider if you’re completing an adoption of a child who’s biologically related to one of the members of a couple: Just because your name is on your child’s birth certificate does not mean you are the legal parent of that child. The child’s other biological parent’s rights may still be intact, so it’s important to work closely with a legal professional like us to protect your parental rights now—and in the case that LGBT adoption laws change in the future. We can tell you if an adoption or parentage order is the best path for your situation.