Adopting a child in Arizona requires that you meet certain criteria in order to qualify. Unlike some states, you don’t have to be married to adopt in Arizona and LGBT couples are equally eligible so long as they meet the requirements. You do need to be over the age of 18 to adopt in Arizona and different adoption professionals may have preferences about how old a potential adoptive parent should be.
The main requirements which you should consider fall into the categories of health, finance, and emotional readiness. These are factors which you should consider long before you approach an adoption professional. Additionally, if you have a criminal record then you will have additional considerations to go over first as well.
What are the Health and Financial Requirements to Adopt in Arizona?
You don’t have to have perfect health in order to adopt a child in Arizona but you do need to be reasonably healthy. Raising an infant or a child can be exhausting at times and requires a lot of physical effort on your part. If you are unable to manage this level of physicality then you are most likely unable to properly care for a child.
Before looking to adopt a child, you should first get a physician’s report on your physical health. Most adoption agencies will want to see this report as part of their home study process wherein they consider these different factors. Make sure you consider your own physical health before beginning the process by asking yourself if you are physically fit enough to care for the needs of a rambunctious child.
Equally important is your financial health. Just like you don’t need to be in perfect physical health to adopt, you also don’t need to be rich in order to adopt but you do need to be financially stable. Remember that you don’t just need to provide for the child financially but that the adoption process also has costs associated with it that you’ll be expected to pay.
Before the home study, get a financial statement that you can provide to show that you have enough financial stability to add an extra family member into your household. Also, don’t take the term “household” too seriously: you are still able to adopt even if you are renting an apartment and not an actual house.
What are the Emotional Requirements to Adopt in Arizona?
The emotional requirements for adoption are incredibly important but they can be much harder to prepare yourself for. With the financial and health requirements, you can get documentation to prove conclusively whether you are capable of adopting a child in regards to those criteria. But the emotional requirements for adopting a child can’t be judged based on any form. They require interviews and close attention on the part of the adoption professional you’re meeting with.
With that said, there are certain lines of inquiry that are pretty typical when it comes to judging a potential adoptive parent’s emotional readiness. By considering these lines of inquiry ahead of time you will be better equipped to show your emotional readiness to the adoption professional you work with. But more importantly, you’ll also have a better sense of whether or not you are ready for adoption yourself.
Different emotional requirements which will be considered during the adoption process are:
- How excited you are about adopting and how committed you are to the idea. They want to know if you’ll stick it out through the bad as well as the good.
- How you feel about your relationship with the child’s birth family, whatever that might be in a particular case.
- Do you understand the adoption process here in Arizona and are you prepared to deal with the issues it entails?
- Are you over any difficulties with fertility that you are dealing with? Are you excited about adopting a child rather than mourning a failure to conceive biologically?
- Are you and your spouse (if married) on the same page when it comes to adopting?
Can I Adopt a Child in Arizona if I Have a Criminal Record?
If you have a criminal record then this could prevent you from being able to adopt depending on what the charges were. Even charges which do not immediately bar you from adopting can prevent you from being able to depending on the home study of the adoption professional. If you have a criminal record then you should consider how you can show the adoption professional that you have learned, grown, and changed since being charged.
If you were convicted of an assault or likely other violent crimes or a drug-related crime then you will not be able to adopt a child in Arizona. However, other criminal charges could allow you to adopt. But, again, there is no guarantee that your charges won’t be used against you as a reason to deny the adoption.
If you are denied the adoption certification, adoption professionals are required to provide you with a written notice that explains why the certification was denied. It is also required that the written notice inform you of your right to petition the court on the matter. So if you are denied because of a criminal charge in your past, you still have a chance of winning your right to adopt. But for that, you’re going to need an experienced adoption attorney.
Should I Work with an Attorney to Adopt
Even if you don’t have a criminal record that could prevent you from adopting, it is still a smart idea to work with an attorney. There’s a lot of legal paperwork to sort through that an experienced lawyer will make a thousand times easier. That way you can focus on preparing mentally and emotionally to introduce a new member to your family.
If you’re considering adopting here in Arizona then reach out to Arizona Family Law Attorneys at (480) 448-0608 to learn more about how our knowledgeable attorneys can help you with the process.