Who may adopt in Arizona? Under Arizona law, there is no age requirement, there is no marriage requirement, and there is no preclusion regarding sexual orientation. Any Arizona resident may adopt so long as they are an adult who is capable of meeting the physical and emotional needs of a child and giving them a safe home.
Certain caveats apply
Even with minimal restrictions, stringent standards have to be met. First, a thorough background check is conducted for all persons 18 or older living in the prospective adoptive parent’s home.
This includes the criminal history record (or the lack thereof) from the state police, certification that the applicant’s name doesn’t come up in the central register concerning child abuse, and a fingerprint-based check for any federal criminal history.
The government then requires an in-depth dive into the prospective adoptive parent’s world. After the individual or couple that wants to adopt files a report of intention to adopt with the court, a preplacement report, also known as the home study, is created.
The home study is a rigorous exercise that includes documentation as well as in-home visits. A home study professional comes to one’s home to see that it’s a suitable, safe environment, and to interview everyone who is a part of the prospective family. The home study professional leaves with an in-depth take on one’s personal history, parenting style and understanding of adoption and the challenges thereto.
What’s more, this preplacement report must be kept current and updated every year until the adoptive parent is placed with a child.
It’s important to note that Arizona law recognizes that same-sex parents should have all the same child custody rights as opposite-sex parents should they later divorce. However, this principle may not necessarily apply in cases where one or both parents move out of state. Same-sex couples who are planning to adopt a child should consider having both spouses adopt.