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What Is Involved in the Finalization of an Adoption?

Posted by on Apr 15, 2018 in Adoption | 0 comments

What Is Involved in the Finalization of an Adoption?

Finalization of an adoption is the last official step before the adoption is made legal, and the adoptive parents and child are made a forever family. However, what is involved in the finalization of a legal adoption?

Requirements to Finalize Adoption

Arizona laws must be followed through each step of the way to get to finalization of the adoption, but these requirements include:

  • Both birth parents have either signed away their legal rights, or these have been terminated legally by a court.
  • All compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) has been made and clearance given. The ICWA is a federal law that requires certain legal proceedings if an adoption involves a child of any federally-recognized tribe.
  • Clearance has been given via Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children if the child crossed state lines for the purpose of the adoption.
  • Post-placement visits have been made with the adoptive family and appropriately reported to the court.

Once all of these and other required steps have been made, the next step is the final adoption hearing.

What to Expect at the Finalization Hearing

The final adoption hearing is the event the family has been waiting for, and it is normally set approximately three months after the child is placed with the adoptive family and after all Arizona post-placement requirements have been met.

The attorney will notify the court that all requirements are complete and that the family is ready for the final hearing. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes, and the attorney will ensure that all of the required paperwork is submitted to the judge in advance. Therefore, the adoption hearing itself can focus solely on the adoptive family and not the paperwork.

A finalization hearing will normally last around 10-15 minutes. At that time, the adoptive family and possibly the social workers involved will be sworn in before the court. The adoption attorney will question the family on their motivation to adopt and their understanding that adoption is a permanent event. The family will also be asked to explain why they feel they will be able to provide a forever and loving home to the child being adopted.

If the child is older, sometimes the judge will want to ask the older child questions about how he or she feels about the adoption. Depending on the type of adoption and the circumstances surrounding it, the judge may have a few additional questions of the family, but do not worry.

The questions being asked are not going to be tough questions. In fact, if the family has been wanting this finalization for a long time now, these will be some of the easiest questions they will ever have to answer. The judge simply needs these statements and reassurances that this child will be forever brought into a stable and loving family on the record.

The hearing will conclude by the judge signing the final adoption decree. Many times, the judge will also allow for pictures with the new family. After this point, it is time to celebrate the new, forever family that has been created.

What Happens After the Finalization Hearing?

A few more steps need to be taken before everything is finished. The adoption is legal and complete, so now the family needs to apply for a new birth certificate for the child and a social security card.

If any issues come up while the adoptive family is trying to finish these last few steps, the adoption attorney or placement agency can be of assistance.

The term finalization can be deceiving in that it signifies that something is coming to an end. That could not be any farther from the truth when it comes to an adoption. The finalization process is actually the start of something beautiful and amazing as you begin your lives as a permanent, forever family.

If You Are Thinking Adoption, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand just how stressful the adoption process can be. We’re here to help you find the path to adoption that’s right for you. Every adoption is as unique as the adoptive parents themselves, but the journey doesn’t have to be harrowing.

We specialize in Arizona adoption law, and we have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help you welcome your child into your loving home. Contact us at (480) 420 2900 today for your free consultation.

7 Common Myths Regarding Adoption in Arizona

Posted by on Apr 1, 2018 in Adoption | 0 comments

7 Common Myths Regarding Adoption in Arizona

Many myths surround adoption, and it is often because of these myths that people will be hesitant to proceed with an adoption or even consider the process. It is best to put these myths to rest and avoid any concerns or issues potential adoptive parents may have that are holding them back from making this life-changing and amazing decision.

1. The mother does not love the baby, and that is why she is giving her child up for adoption.

This myth could not be further from the truth. Many times, the mother chooses to give her baby up for adoption because she knows that it is the best option for the child. If a mother is not able to take care of herself and her baby, adoption may be the only safe and stable option available. It actually shows a great deal of love and care and is not an easy decision to make.

2. The birth mother can come back for the baby later.

Potential adoptive parents often fear this possibility that once the adoption paperwork is signed and consent is given, the mother can come back and take back the child. Once the adoption consent is signed, the biological parents cannot reverse their decisions.

3. The birth parents never see their child again after the adoption

Most adoptions are now open to some extent, meaning that the birth mother and the adoptive parents have contact before the child is born, during the adoption process, and even after the adoption is complete. Communication and contact can vary from once a year letters to in-person meetings, depending on the parties and their comfort level.

4. International adoptions are easier

In the past this myth may have been factually-based to an extent, but it is no longer the case. In fact, it is another common misconception that international adoptions are easier than U.S. adoptions. However, several great options exist for American adoptions ranging from adoption agencies to foster care adoptions.

5. Adopted children never know that they are actually adopted.

It is actually healthier for the child to know that they are adopted and understand where they come from than it is to hide the fact that they are adopted. Many adoptive parents choose to tell their children all about their adoptive story, as well as information about their birth families, as the children grow up.

Much more harm can come from hiding the fact from the child only for him or her to discover this major fact as an adult.

6. The birth mothers are paid to place children up for adoption.

In many adoptions, birth mothers do receive compensation for their living expenses or any pregnancy expenses. However, they cannot receive payment for a placing a child for adoption. State laws govern what constitutes living expenses in an effort to avoid making it appear like the mother is being paid to sell her child.

7. Adoption costs too much.

The fear of adoption costing too much can be enough to keep potential adoptive parents from proceeding with an adoption. However, most adoption agencies and private attorneys are willing to work on an adoption budget that works for the prospective parents.

Similarly, assistance does exist for adoptive parent, many times through an employer adoption expense reimbursement programs. Sometimes adopting through the foster care system can be another way of making the costs lower.

Whatever the available options are, adoption agencies and attorneys are willing to work with prospective parents to make their dream of creating a forever family a real possibility. It simply can take some research into what options are out there for these concerns to be eliminated.

If You Are Thinking Adoption, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand just how stressful the adoption process can be. We’re here to help you find the path to adoption that’s right for you. Every adoption is as unique as the adoptive parents themselves, but the journey doesn’t have to be harrowing.

We specialize in Arizona adoption law, and we have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help you welcome your child into your loving home. Contact us at (480) 420 2900 today for your free consultation.

Understanding the Putative Father Registry

Posted by on Mar 15, 2018 in Adoption | 0 comments

Understanding the Putative Father Registry

Many steps must be taken when it comes to completing a legal adoption, and one of these is a search on the Putative Father Registry. However, not many individuals know what a putative father is and why this individual has a right to step into an adoption proceeding.

That being said, searching for a putative father is an important step in finalizing a legal adoption. Not following the proper procedure can keep an adoption from being successful and can also harm a father who has absolutely no idea that a child of his exists.

What Is the Putative Father Registry?

The term “putative father” refers to a man whose legal relationship to the child is not fully established. However, the man either claims to be the biological father or is alleged to be the father to a child born to a woman he was not married to at the time of the child’s birth.

The purpose of the Putative Father Registry is to protect the rights of these alleged fathers who may be unaware of the existence of their children in the event an adoption later occurs. This registry keeps the putative father’s rights from being terminated in the event an adoption occurs.

The father must register within a certain period of time if he has concerns that a child was conceived out of a sexual relationship. This registration then goes on the Putative Father Registry.

Putative fathers are able to complete these forms through the Department of Health Services, the office of the clerk of the board of supervisors in every Arizona county, every hospital, licensed child placement agency, the department of child safety, jails, prisons, department of correction facilities, department of economic security, or department of juvenile corrections facilities.

How Does the Putative Father Registry Work?

If the father is fairly certain that a child was conceived, he may file a notice of a claim of paternity before the child is even born. However, he only has 30 days from after the child was born to file this notice of claim of paternity. This notice will be signed by the putative father and will include his contact information, as well as the last known address of the birth mother and the probable month and year of the child’s birth.

It is extremely important that the father notify the registrar of vital statistics of any later change of address. This information is kept confidential, but if a father is not known, any adoption agency or adoption attorney must make a written inquiry of the registry to ensure no “putative father” exists. If he does, the father must be notified.

Once a putative father registers, he will receive notification of any adoption proceedings that affect the mother he lists on the registration. He has the right to seek paternity once alerted of the child’s existence and has the right to declare his willingness to support the child with the state registrar of vital statistics.

If an official request was made of the registry and no putative father is found, the adoption agency or attorney will receive a certificate stating that no father was located. This certificate will be required for the adoption to be finalized.

What If the Father Is Not the Father?

If a putative father steps up and claims to be the father of a child, but the court determines that this man is not the child’s father, the court must notify the department of health services and order that person’s name to be removed from the putative father registry.

If You Are Thinking Adoption, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand just how stressful the adoption process can be. We’re here to help you find the path to adoption that’s right for you. Every adoption is as unique as the adoptive parents themselves, but the journey doesn’t have to be harrowing.

We specialize in Arizona adoption law, and we have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help you welcome your child into your loving home. Contact us at (480) 420 2900 today for your free consultation.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of an Open or Closed Adoption

Posted by on Mar 1, 2018 in Adoption | 0 comments

Weighing the Pros and Cons of an Open or Closed Adoption

Many decisions need to be made when considering an adoption, and most of them are far from easy. One of the toughest decisions that need to be made is deciding whether the adoption will be closed or open.

Benefits and negative aspects exist to both options, and it is important that all parties carefully weigh these factors before making an informed decision.

What Is an Open Adoption?

The concept of an open adoption is not always common, but it is quickly growing in popularity for adoptive parents looking to maintain a connection with the biological parents of the adopted child. Open adoptions allow the birth parents to have contact with the child to a certain level throughout the adoption process and even after the adoption is finalized.

Arizona does not give a specific requirement for what an open adoption is. The law does allow for the birth and adoptive parents to come to a written, legally-binding contract that gives the details for how communication between all parties will work.

This communication can include visits with the biological parents, including describing how often they are, emails, letters or phone calls with the biological parents. The communication may be throughout the child’s life or later, when he or she reaches a certain age or maturity level.

Advantages to Open Adoption

An open adoption allows for the child to have some type of contact with his or her birth parents later in life. Many children want this contact later, and an open adoption makes the process easier.

An open adoption also gives the adoptive parents more information about the birth parents, which may prove to be helpful later in the event medical or other information is needed. It also allows for the adoptive parents to be more open with the child about his or her biological family in the event the child inquires as he or she grows up.

Disadvantages to Open Adoption

Like many things, disadvantages also exist to open adoptions. One disadvantage is the different expectations of the parties. The adoptive parents and biological parents may have different ideas on how communication should be.

The child may also not want to have contact with his or her birth parents later in life and may resent the fact that he or she was not made a part of the decision to proceed with the open adoption process. Further, it may also complicate matters for the child, putting him or her in a position where the child feels competing loyalties to the different sets of parents.

What Is a Closed Adoption?

As opposed to an open adoption, a closed adoption does not allow the biological, birth parents any right to maintain communication with the child or the adoptive family.

Essentially, when a birth parent agrees to a closed adoption, he or she is waiving any right to any type of communication with the child.

The term closed adoption implies confidentiality, and closed adoptions tend to be done through a third-party adoption agency that may seal information related to the birth parents or adoptive parents. This information is also sealed from the child, as well.

Advantages to a Closed Adoption

In a closed adoption, the rights of the adoptive parents are protected more than in an open adoption. The adoptive parents are not required to maintain lines of communication with the birth parents, which relieves the anxiety and burden that often comes along with having to do so.

Further, the adoptive parents do not have to worry about the birth parents later intruding in their lives and their ability to raise the adopted child as they see fit.

Disadvantages to a Closed Adoption

Some disadvantages do exist for a closed adoption, however. Many times, the adopted child wants to have some knowledge of where he or she came from and what his or her birth parents were like. With a closed adoption, this information is sealed and kept confidential from the child. Therefore, if he or she has later questions about the biological family that only the birth parents can answer, these questions will go unanswered.

If the child later decides that he or she wants to communicate with the birth parents, this process can be nearly impossible for the child, the birth parents or the adopting parents.

If You Are Thinking Adoption, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand just how stressful the adoption process can be. We’re here to help you find the path to adoption that’s right for you. Every adoption is as unique as the adoptive parents themselves, but the journey doesn’t have to be harrowing.

We specialize in Arizona adoption law, and we have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help you welcome your child into your loving home. Contact us at (480) 420 2900 today for your free consultation.

Arizona Adoptions and Termination of Parental Rights

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Adoption | 0 comments

Arizona Adoptions and Termination of Parental Rights

The termination of parental rights is integral to any Arizona adoption. While no adoption can be effected without such termination, the termination of parental rights doesn’t necessarily lead to adoption.

If you’re considering an Arizona adoption, it helps to understand the role that the termination of parental rights will play in the process.

Voluntary Vs. Involuntary Termination

The termination of parental rights can be either voluntary or involuntary.

A voluntary termination is usually a reasonably clear-cut process in which one or both the child’s parents choose to relinquish their parental rights. After the legal documents are executed, the child will either be appointed a guardian or placed in someone’s legal custody (or in the legal custody of an authorized agency). When parental rights are voluntarily terminated, the adoption process often proceeds relatively smoothly.

On the other hand, in an involuntary termination, a third party must petition a court to terminate parental rights. In order to do so, the court must determine that one or both parents are either unfit or that the child’s best interests are served by severing the relationship –usually based on health and safety concerns involving a range of determinative factors (that relate to one or both parents):

  • The parent’s abandonment of the child;
  • The parent’s failure to support or stay in contact with the child;
  • The parent’s chronic abuse (physical or sexual) or neglect of the child;
  • The parent’s debilitating mental disorder; or
  • The parent’s felony conviction.

Termination of Parental Rights Requires Meeting a High Burden of Proof

The involuntary termination of parental rights is a complicated legal process, and even in extreme cases, the petitioner has specific burdens it must pursue before terminating this most basic right. A court may only terminate parental rights if it finds clear and convincing evidence that one of the accepted ground for termination exists.

Their burden includes exhausting all other viable options – such as alternate placement of the child and treatment and corrective services for the parent(s) in question.

If, however, the parent(s) who are at risk of having their parental rights terminated, don’t appear for their court date, the court will consider their absence an admission of the allegations outlined in the petition and may directly proceed with the termination.

The Importance Of Retaining An Attorney

The Arizona adoption process is complex but is an extremely worthwhile and gratifying pursuit. An experienced Arizona adoption attorney can help guide you on the path to opening your heart and your home to a new family member through adoption.

If you are a party who is considering seeking the involuntary termination of parental rights in order to adopt a child, it is essential that you retain an experienced lawyer. These cases are usually hotly contested and require the presentation of significant evidence to be successful.

Likewise, if you are a parent whose parental rights are being threatened, you need to do everything you can to ensure that your case is resolved as favorably as possible. If the allegations against you are completely unfounded, an attorney will usually be able to provide evidence of the frivolous nature of the action and have your case dismissed.

In the event that there is some merit to the claims made in the petition, a lawyer can often help parents take steps to establish that they are fit and that it is in the best interest of the child to remain with them.

Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

Choosing to adopt is a momentous decision, and the experienced adoption attorneys at Stuart & Blackwell are here to help you every step of the way. Adoption is a complicated process, but our skilled legal team has the compassion and commitment to help you successfully navigate the legal intricacies and grow your family through adoption.

Contact us at 480-420-2900 for a free consultation today.

Adoption Vs. Legal Guardianship Options In Arizona

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Adoption | 0 comments

Adoption Vs. Legal Guardianship Options In Arizona

Many people are confused by the differences between adoption and legal guardianship, but when considering either of these options in Arizona, it’s helpful to better understand some of the details.

When you bring a child into a family – through either adoption or guardianship – you open your heart to an invaluably enriching and rewarding experience. By becoming better informed about the distinctions between the two, you’ll help ensure that your experience goes more smoothly.

Legal Status

In an adoption, the birth parents either voluntarily relinquish their parental rights or have their parental rights terminated by the court. As such, all those parental rights are passed to the adoptive parents.

In other words, adoption – much like giving birth to a child – represents a permanent legal relationship.

Guardianship, on the other hand, doesn’t provide the same level of legal status, and that legal status can vary dependent upon the situation:

• The birth parents’ rights may have been relinquished voluntarily or terminated involuntarily prior to guardianship – but this isn’t always the case.
• If the birth parents haven’t been relieved of their parental rights, they retain the right to request that the court remove their child from guardianship and return him or her to them.
• The guardian takes on the legal responsibility of taking custody of the child and of providing him or her with care and supervision.

Making Decisions Related to the Child

Adoptive parents assume all rights and responsibilities related to making decisions about the adoptive child. A guardian is usually granted the right to make most major decisions, including those related to the child’s education, medical care, and other important life decisions.

The Child’s Legal Name

When you adopt a child, you’re allowed to choose your adoptive child’s name, which means that your child can share your last name. If you become a child’s guardian, the child will usually retain his or her last name.

The Child’s Inheritance

An adopted child has all the rights of inheritance that a child born to you would have (if you have no Will). If you have a valid Will, your adoptive child’s rights will be established via your stated wishes (just as they would be for any children born to you). If a child of whom you are a guardian isn’t specifically included in your will, he or she has no legal rights of inheritance.

Adoptions and guardianships both serve important functions in children’s lives (and in the lives of their adoptive parents and guardians). An experienced Arizona adoption attorney will help you better understand your legal options and the path toward welcoming a child into your home and heart.

The Importance Of Discussing Your Options With An Attorney

While guardianship and adoption are similar, they confer significantly different rights and responsibilities upon either guardians or adoptive parents. In addition, the legal procedures and consequences of the two are vastly different, so it is important to fully consider all of your options.

A lawyer familiar with Arizona adoption and guardian law will be able to walk you through the process and help you determine whether pursuing a guardianship or adoption is appropriate in your case.

In addition, should you already bye the guardian or adoptive parent of a child, a lawyer can be of great assistance in ensuring that your legal relationship reflects your wishes with regard to issues such as benefits, the inheritance of property, or the ability to make important decisions regarding healthcare.

To Learn More About Arizona Adoption and Guardianship, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

Choosing to bring a child into your family through either adoption or guardianship is an enriching and rewarding experience, but it’s also a complex process. At Stuart & Blackwell, we work closely with our clients and take the time to fully understand their circumstances and goals. We have a thorough understanding of Arizona adoption law, ensuring we can resolve our clients’ issues quickly, efficiently, and favorably.

Allow the experienced adoption attorneys at Stuart & Blackwell to answer your questions and to knowledgeably guide you on the path toward welcoming a new child into your life. We’re here to help, so schedule your free consultation today by calling 480-420-2900.

Varying Degrees Of Openness In Arizona Adoptions

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Adoption | 0 comments

Varying Degrees Of Openness In Arizona Adoptions

If you’re on an adoption journey, you know how exciting that is. Adding a new baby to your family is one of life’s most rewarding experiences.

Many couples who are new to adoption are leery of open adoption, but open adoptions come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s sure to be an option that works for your family.

An experienced Arizona adoption attorney can help you better understand open adoptions and their varying degrees of openness.

Openness In Adoption

The level of openness in an adoption relates to the amount of contact that the birth parents or parent and the adoptive parents (and thus the adoptive child) maintain. The amount of contact can vary from adoption to adoption and can even vary within the same adoption – over time.

The level of communication between the two parties can range significantly:

• The two families may have little or no contact;
• The two families may engage in contact that’s mediated through a third party;
• The two families may share occasional information through anonymous email accounts, the adoption agency, or a post office box;
• The two families may engage in ongoing open communication (sharing identifying information) via phone calls, texts, and/or social media; or
• The two families may even engage in occasional scheduled meetings, such as birthday or holiday visits (when both parties agree).

Open Adoption

Almost all domestic infant adoptions in the United States are open to some degree. In most such adoptions, the birth mother (or parents) meet with prospective adoptive parents – and can even choose their infant’s adoptive parents.

In many of these adoptions, some degree of openness remains after the adoption is finalized. Determining the level of openness that both parties feel comfortable with is a critical factor in making healthy adoption matches.

Due to the personal experiences of adult adoptees and to emerging mental health research, open adoption has evolved over the past several decades. In fact, research and personal stories suggest that more-open adoptions are better for everyone – the adoptive child, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents.

Adoptive Parent Anxiety

Many couples in the process of adopting are fearful of open adoptions. Better understanding how open adoptions work, however, can help you allay your fears and help you embrace what open adoption has to offer you, your adoptive child, and the birth parents.

If You’re Considering Adoption, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

The decision to embark on an adoption journey is one of the most exciting and rewarding decisions you’ll ever make. Many couples, however, fear the unknown element of an open adoption.

At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand your trepidation, and we’re here to help you overcome your fears. Open adoptions come in varying degrees, and once you find the level of openness that you’re comfortable with, you’ll be that much closer to finding your adoption match.

The experienced adoption attorneys at Stuart & Blackwell are here to help, so please contact us to schedule your free consultation by calling (480) 420 2900 today.

Answers For The Birth-Mother-To-Be In Arizona Adoptions

Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in Adoption | 0 comments

Answers For The Birth-Mother-To-Be In Arizona Adoptions

If you’re a birth-mother-to-be who’s planning on placing your newborn for adoption, you’re certain to be going through a very emotional experience. If you’re not sure about your decision, it can be more emotional still.

Experienced Arizona adoption attorneys, however, have the compassion and commitment to help you determine what’s best for you and your child and to help you calmly navigate through the process– if you do determine that adoption’s right for you.

At Stuart & Blackwell, we represent the rights of birth mothers and do everything we can to ensure that their experience goes as smoothly as possible.

As our client, all of our communication will be confidential, and if necessary we will put you in contact with free adoption counselors.

Your Rights As A Parent

Your rights as a parent in the United States are nearly unbreakable. If you’re grappling with the very difficult decision of consenting to place your child with another family, it’s important to remember that it’s entirely your decision (in nearly every situation).

A skilled adoption attorney can help you carefully consider your options and come to the decisions that are right for you. There are also, however, answers to some commonly asked questions that may help you feel more comfortable with the process:

Can I Choose My Child’s Adoptive Parents?

In private adoptions, you – as the birth mother – can choose the adoptive parents for your child. The adoption agency you’re working with will guide you through the necessary steps. Being able to choose adoptive parents whom you feel comfortable with can help make a difficult decision less difficult.

I’m Under 18; Do My Parents Need To Sign Off On My Decision To Place My Child In Adoption?

If you’re a minor, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to get your parents’ permission to place your newborn for adoption. Every adoption is unique, however, and a knowledgeable adoption attorney will help you better understand your specific situation.

What If I Change My Mind After I Sign The Necessary Paperwork?

Once you’ve determined that you’re prepared to go through with the adoption and have signed the consent, it can be extremely difficult to reverse. Only in very limited circumstances, such as if your consent was obtained via fraud, will you be able to revoke your consent.

Talk to your adoption attorney, and make sure that you’re comfortable with your decision to place your child for adoption.

What We Can Do To Help

Stuart & Blackwell is committed to helping birth mothers reach the decision that is right for them and offers and compassionate legal advice free from judgment.

If, after learning as much as you would like about the process, you chose to place your child for adoptions, there are many things that we can do to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Some of the services we offer birth mothers include the following:

• Financial assistance with housing, living expenses, and medical care
• Assistance choosing the adoptive family that matches your preferences
• A free evaluation of your specific needs
• Creation of an adoption plan that is tailored to meet your needs

When you meet with us, we will explain the adoption plan in detail and make sure that you are fully aware of every step in an Arizona adoption.

If You’re A Birth-Mother-To-Be Who’s Considering Adoption, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

Deciding to place your child for adoption is one of the most difficult decisions that you’ll ever have to make, but sometimes it’s the best decision. At Stuart & Blackwell, we have the experience, commitment, and compassion to help you determine if adoption is right for you and your child.

We focus our practice exclusively on Arizona adoption law and we are committed to providing effective and solution-oriented legal advice and representation to individuals who are considering placing their child for adoptions. and we’re here to help – so please call us for a free consultation at (480) 420 2900 today.

Arizona Adoption: 5 Special Ways To Find A Match

Posted by on Dec 15, 2017 in Adoption | 0 comments

Arizona Adoption: 5 Special Ways To Find A Match

Once a family has determined that adoption is right for them, they are no doubt in a rush to bring that new family member home. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that adoption is not a race but, instead, is a process that takes time.

Getting matched in an Arizona adoption can be a lengthy process, but it is, of course, worth the wait.

While the adoption match process can take a considerable amount of time, there are special questions to consider in advance about one’s abilities as a potential caregiver. In the quest to bring home a new family member, special situations can occur and families can provide for a child in need.

The following are just a few of the special situations and considerations that come into play when it comes to finding a match during the adoption process.

1. Babies With Prenatal Exposure To Alcohol Or Drugs

Babies with prenatal exposure often have a shorter wait period. Prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs can lead to considerable physical and emotional hardships, but these infants need loving parents.

Every adoption, just like every child, is different. Adopters should carefully consider the risks they feel comfortable taking on, and determine whether they are a good candidate to adopt a baby with prenatal exposure.

2. Babies From Families With A History Of Mental Illness

When a baby’s birth parent(s) or extended family has a history of mental illness, that baby may need placement quickly. Mental illness can have devastating effects on a child and a family, and there are inherent risks.

Because many mental illnesses may have a genetic component, it’s important for adopters to carefully take stock of their capacity to effectively parent a child who could potentially be more prone to mental illness.

3. Children Of Another Race

Sadly, non-Caucasian babies and children are harder to place. Being open to bringing a child of another race into the family allows the family and that child to experience diversity and acceptance right from the start in their own home.

Take time to consider how to bring the history and culture of the child’s biological background into the adoptive family. Talking to other families who’ve made this choice is a good place to start. An experienced adoption attorney and adoption case worker are also great resources.

4. Offer Support For Mom Prenatally

Arizona allows for a birth mother’s expenses to be paid by the adoptive family. So a family who is willing and able to afford to cover a mother’s expenses from early in the pregnancy may be considered a better match.

5. Timing, Luck, & Word Of Mouth

As with much else in life, luck plays a role in adoptions. Being ready, willing, and able to adopt when a baby becomes available or a child is in need is sometimes just the luck needed.

Also know that the birth mothers in most U.S. domestic infant adoptions choose the adoptive parents, so it’s in your best interest to get out there and network – talk about the desire to adopt (someone might just know somebody.) This could lead to being the lucky parents who are matched next!

It is important for anyone considering adoption to remember that adoption is fundamentally a legal process through which the adopter (and their spouse if applicable) form a legal relationship with another human being that will last for years.

Arizona adoption law underpins every aspect of the process from start to finish, so it is extremely helpful to have the advice and guidance of an attorney familiar with Arizona adoptions.

At Stuart & Blackwell, we work closely with individuals and families looking to adopt and do everything we can to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

We are qualified to help determine whether any issues may arise when trying to adopt, whether an open or private adoption is the right choice for a situation, and whether there is anything that can be done to maximize your chances that an adoption will go off without a hitch.

In addition, should any legal arise during the process, our lawyers will zealously represent your interests in court and ensure that your case is brought to the most favorable resolution possible.

Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

Choosing to adopt a child is likely the most gratifying decision you’ll ever make. While the adoption match process can be daunting, the experienced adoption attorneys at Stuart & Blackwell are here to help.

We have the compassion, knowledge, and dedication to help you get matched. At Stuart & Blackwell, we specialize in adoption law so call us for your free consultation at (480) 420 2900  today.

6 Tips For Single-Parent Adoptions In Arizona

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in Adoption | 0 comments

6 Tips For Single-Parent Adoptions In Arizona

Families make the world go around, but happy, loving families come in all varieties and sizes – and that sometimes means single-parent families. Do not be deterred if considering parenthood as a single person.

Arizona law allows any adult of any marital status to adopt a child – provided that certain conditions are met. While the world may seem to still prioritize the traditional family, single-parent Arizona adoptions are viable and worth pursuing.

In an Arizona adoption there are some tips to follow to help bolster single-parent adoption odds.

1. Prepare

When ready for the challenge of single parenting, one may face people with more traditional views who disagree. Prepare to face such disagreement in a calm but reasoned manner.

It is important to remember that the primary consideration of adoption authorities is the well-being of the child, so do everything possible to show the ability to providing a nurturing stable home environment that will allow a child to thrive.

2. Build Support Systems

Every parent – single or otherwise – needs a support system. Build support systems by sharing plans with family, friends, and loved ones. Raising happy, healthy kids truly takes a village.

Discuss plans to adopt with family members and find a way to have the support required to raise a child while continuing with existing obligations.

3. Consider Childcare Options

Most single parents are also working parents. Carefully consider childcare arrangements ahead of time. Being prepared, after all, is what parenting is all about.

If it’s feasible, talk to employers about plans and the options that may be available for adjusting schedules to maximize the time able to be spent with a new baby. In addition, make sure that finances can handle child care.

4. Research Different Types Of Adoption

Adopting as a single parent is nearly always a lengthy process, but researching the different types of adoption in Arizona – including open, closed, and foster-care adoptions – can improve the chance of shortening the wait.

An experienced adoption attorney can help determine the best adoption path and can help potential adopters do everything possible to prepare for the process.

5. Connect With Other Adoptive Single Parents

The adoption process can run very long, and this is often even more true for adoptive single parents. Connect with others who are walking the same path. Sharing the journey can help, and may also grow after-adoption support systems.

The internet is a great place to start, but also try to find in-person groups that can help teach more about adoption as a single parent and assist in the growth of child care support system.

6. Grow From The Experience

If facing disappointment such as being turned down by a birth mother or by another bump in the process, try to chalk it up to a learning experience and move on. Adoptions can be difficult and are almost always lengthy and unpredictable.

However once the momentous decision has been made to start a new family, the effort put into the process will not be regretted. Be resilient through the process!

These are just a few things that single people can do to prepare for adoption and maximize their chances of successfully becoming an adoptive parent.

The single most effective thing that can be done to make the process of adoption go as quickly, smoothly, and efficiently as possible is to retain an attorney from the outset.

Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

Nothing can come close to the joy of starting a new family, but the adoption process is complicated and nearly always lengthy. If pursuing a single-parent adoption, the wait can be even longer.

Don’t let this fact get you down – the experienced adoption attorneys at Stuart & Blackwell are here to help. We have the compassion, skill, and commitment to help successfully maneuver the path toward a single-parent adoption.

At Stuart & Blackwell, we specialize in adoption law so call us at (480) 420 2900 today for your free consultation.

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