Arizona legalized same-sex marriage in 2014. LGBTQ couples who wish to adopt have the same rights as any other married couple. However, you might have questions about the process and what it entails.
According to the United States Census Bureau, same-sex couples adopt at four times the rate of opposite-sex couples. If you are a same-sex couple in Arizona, this article provides a brief overview of your adoption options.
Married joint adoption
Arizona does not recognize second-parent adoptions. This means same-sex couples must marry first to adopt a child together. However, gay marriage adoptions proceed in the same way as heterosexual adoption. To start the process, you must contact an adoption agency. Alternatively, you can reach out to an attorney who knows about the adoption process. This may be your best option because a lawyer can recommend certain agencies and help you with the process so you do not feel overwhelmed.
It might be the case that your spouse already has a child. To legally adopt your spouse’s child, you need to sever the other parent’s rights as a parent. If the other parent does not want to lose their parental rights, a judge must agree to involuntary severing the parental rights. This is only possible if the other parent showed negligence over a certain period. The court always tries to rule in favor of the child’s best interest.
Same-sex marriages bring the same complications and legal questions as opposite-sex marriages. If you want to adopt a child, you must prove to legal bodies that you are a responsible couple and capable parents.