Is It Possible To Reverse An Adoption In Arizona?

Adoption can often be a long process and it can take months or years to complete. After a court finalizes an adoption, adoptive parents can often breathe a sigh of relief that their family is legally solidified.

However, the question often arises from both birth parents and adoptive parents – can an adoption be reversed after it is finalized by the courts?

A petition for a reversal of an adoption can cause extreme stress on adoptive parents who believe they are now the legal parents of a child. If someone has requested a reversal of an adoption, it is critical that an experienced adoption attorney who understands reversal laws in Arizona is called immediately.

The following are the rare circumstances under which an adoption may be reversed.

Strict Requirements in Arizona

Some state laws simply have set time periods during which a birth parent can revoke their consent to an adoption. These time periods can range from 72 hours in Nevada to one year in the state of Washington.

Other states, such as Nebraska and Oklahoma, allow a court to revoke an adoption if it finds that the adoption is not in the best interests of the child. Arizona, however, only allows a reversal in very specific circumstances, including the following:

Issues regarding consent

There are some situations in which a birth parent may not have properly given consent to the adoption when such consent should have been required under the law.

For example, a birth mother may claim that the birth father abandoned the child long ago and so the court may rule that consent is not needed. In reality, the other parent may have simply not received adequate notice of the adoption.

The law has specific requirements for providing notice and if a parent fails to comply with those laws, the other parent may request that the adoption be set aside so they can be heard by the court.

Error by the court

Judges can make mistake and misapply the law in some cases. If a court rules that a parent abandoned their child or that consent is not necessary for another reason and there is sufficient evidence to prove otherwise, the non-consenting parent may appeal the decision.

For instance, a court may again rule that a parent legally abandoned a child and thus no consent is required. If that parent provides evidence that they tried to contact the child within the past two years, the abandonment ruling may be deemed erroneous by an appellate court and the parent would need to consent for the adoption to remain.

Fraud, duress, or misrepresentation

Any fraudulent tactics to obtain consent for an adoption from a birth parent can render the consent to be void. This can include making threats or placing the parent under other types of duress to convince them to sign over consent.

In addition, if false information is provided to a birth parent or there are other misrepresentations about the situation or adoptive process, consent may be reversed.

Arizona limits the cases in which one can reverse an adoption because it is recognized how difficult a reversal can be on the adoptive parents.

However, the state also recognizes that if consent was not provided voluntarily when it was legally necessary, that birth parent should not be deprived of their parental rights when it is not otherwise justified.

One way to help prevent the possibility of a reversal of an adoption is to be represented by an experienced adoption attorney throughout the process.

A lawyer can recognize when the circumstances regarding consent may not be right and can work to make sure consent given is valid and legal before an adoption is finalized. This is only one of many ways a skilled adoption law firm can help.

Consult with an Arizona Adoption Attorney for Assistance Today

The entire adoption process can be emotional for both birth parents and adopting parents. At the law firm of Stuart & Blackwell, our goal is to help you accomplish what is best for you and the child involved. We represent parents on both sides of an adoption and strive to make the process as stress-free and successful as possible for you.

Our Arizona adoption lawyers thoroughly understand all adoption laws and requirements and how to apply them to your set of circumstances. Please call our office at 480-409-3630 to learn more about how we can help you with an adoption.

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