Adoption in Arizona is very popular because the state has many children in foster care who need a permanent home. Many of these kids are unable to return to their biological parents for a variety of reasons and need the best possible loving home they can get. Of course, many prospective adoptive parents have normal worries and fears that come into play when they are going through the adoption process. It is important to know what takes place when you are waiting to adopt a child in Arizona.
Adoption Process in Arizona
Adoption is a good option for plenty of candidates in Arizona. If you already have kids and want another, or if you have dealt with the stress of infertility or if you simply want to enrich the life of a child who needs a loving family, adoption in Arizona is a great option for both you and a child. You will have to follow a few basic steps toward adoption that include choosing the type of adoption, selecting an agency, completing a home study, waiting for placement and adoption finalization.
Generally speaking, the adoption process can take place through a public or private agency. It is up to you to decide which one you prefer. To that end, it is absolutely essential that you do thorough research on the two types of adoption agencies. Once you have settled on one agency, you will be required to call and attend an orientation. At orientation, you will have to provide certain viable information about yourself and your situation. It is advisable to go to the orientation of more than one adoption agency so that you can compare their practices and see which one best suits your needs and with which one you will feel most comfortable. After orientation, you will receive an application that must be completed that you will return, possibly along with a registration fee.
Once an agency has reviewed and accepted your adoption application, the next step is a home study. This is a process that involves a social worker visiting your home to assess the environment and whether it is appropriate and acceptable for a child. The agency has the option of bringing in a social worker or providing you with classes with other adoptive parents or families. In addition, you will have to undergo a physical exam, background check and have your fingerprints taken. On average, a home study takes up to three months to be complete.
Following the home study, you will have to wait for a child to become available for adoption. In many instances, if you are looking to adopt a Caucasian newborn, the wait can be anywhere from two to five years. The reason for the delay is so that the adoptive parent(s) and the birth mother can be matched according to the requirements of both parties. Another option is to adopt a child of another race or even a child from another country. The former usually has a shorter waiting period, while the latter depends on the requirements of the country.
In the finalization process of adoption, the child will have been in the home of the adoptive parents for at least six months. A judge will finalize the process after a social worker submits a recommendation for approval and then all of the legal responsibilities and rights will be awarded to the adoptive parents. With an international adoption, additional work comes into play, such as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Stepparent or other adoptions
In Arizona, adoption petitions fall into several different categories depending on whether or not the petitioner is related to the child in question. In cases where the parent(s) of the child are still living, the court must first sever or terminate the parental rights before the adoption can be granted. This can be a complicated legal issue involving agents from Child Protective Services (CPS), mental health institutions or any number of professional agencies.
While it may seem counterintuitive to contact a Phoenix divorce lawyer when you are attempting to add a child to the family, our family law handles all matters of family law. The attorneys at Cantor Law Group have handled countless adoption cases in our 70 years of experience and are happy to help you bring your family together.
Why do I need a Lawyer for Adoption?
The entire adoption process can be very overwhelming and hiring a lawyer can ease the stress of the situation. There are many legal hurdles to jump in an adoption and hiring the right lawyer who is experienced in adoption will only help your chances of a successful adoption. When termination of parental rights (TPR) is needed before an adoption can continue, our experienced staff of paralegals will collect all of the necessary documentation and deliver it to our staff. One of the most common cases comes after a divorce when one parent wishes to marry and have the new spouse adopt. These cases are often contested and we understand that they can be complicated. Our proven track record in adoption and TPR cases, and dedication to what is best for your children, will keep us at your side until the case is resolved. Once the TPR is granted, we can guide you through the process of completing a home study, if needed. These studies are often conducted by a social worker and then submitted to the court. This study is a very powerful piece of evidence in the court and in almost all cases the judge will follow the recommendations of the social worker.
With years of experience with Adoption in Arizona, the Cantor Law Group is ready to help you grow your family. Give us a call today at (602) 254-8880 or send us an email, to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.