Child adoptions in Arizona are a joyful event – once you reach the courhouse. If you are a step-parent or guardian of a child and you want to adopt the child in Arizona, Arizona Revised Statute §8-103 tells you who may adopt.

Moshier Law does handle child adoptions and we have successfully represented parents in the adoption of the children they wanted to adopt.  This is a statute that tells you who may adopt, so that you can see if you are qualified to adopt.

A. Any adult resident of this state, whether married, unmarried or legally separated, is eligible to qualify to adopt children. A husband and wife may jointly adopt children.

B. An adult nonresident of this state, whether married, unmarried or legally separated, is eligible to qualify to adopt a child if all of the following apply:

1. The child is a dependent child and currently under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court in this state.

2. The child currently resides in the home of the applicant.

3. The department placed the child in the home of the applicant pursuant to section 8-548.

4. The department recommends the adoption of the child by the applicant.

5. The foster care review board has reviewed the child’s case as required by section 8-515.03, except that the court may not delay the child’s adoption if the foster care review board has not reviewed the child’s case.

C. Pursuant to rules adopted by the department, the department or adoption agency shall place a child in an adoptive home that best meets the safety, social, emotional, physical and mental health needs of the child. Other relevant factors for consideration, in no order of preference, shall include:

1. The marital status and the length and stability of the marital relationship of the prospective adoptive parents.

2. Placement with the child’s siblings pursuant to section 8-862.

3. Established relationships between the child and the prospective adoptive family as described in section 8-862, including placement with a grandparent or another member of the child’s extended family, including a person or foster parent who has a significant relationship with the child.

4. The prospective adoptive family’s ability to meet the child’s safety, social, emotional, physical and mental health needs and the ability to financially provide for the child.

5. The wishes of the child who is twelve years of age or older.

6. The wishes of the child’s birth parents unless the rights of the parent have been terminated or the court has established a case plan of severance and adoption.

7. The availability of relatives, the child’s current or former foster parents or other significant persons to provide support to the prospective adoptive family and child.

D. If all relevant factors are equal and the choice is between a married man and woman certified to adopt and a single adult certified to adopt, placement preference shall be with a married man and woman.

E. In each adoption proceeding, the court shall make findings on the record regarding the best interests of the child pursuant to law.

Want more information about an adoption of a child in Arizona, such as what you must say in the petition?  Click here.