Stepparent & Relative Adoptions

Why Do A Stepparent or Relative Adoption?

There are many reasons to consider having a stepparent or family member adopt a child. Some of the reasons are legal and some are emotional. For example:

• Stepparent adoptions can help a child feel like a whole part of the family and allow him or her to have the same surname as the rest of his family.

• It allows the stepparent to have custody in the event of the natural parents’ death.

• It gives the child inheritance rights and the right to social security should the stepparent die.

• An adoption will give that stepparent or family member the legal authority to talk to the child’s schools, to pick a child up at school or daycare, and to make emergency medical decisions for the child.

Process for a Stepparent or Relative Adoption.

A child is available for a stepparent adoption if either that child’s natural parent is deceased, signs a consent for the adoption or has his rights terminated by a court of law, following a hearing.

New Developments in Stepparent Adoptions.

On March 13, 2012, the Arizona Legislature amended Arizona Revised Statute Section 8-112 to provide that the social study required for an adoption of a child by a stepparent or immediate relative shall consist only of a state and federal criminal records check (i.e. fingerprinting) and a central registry check (i.e. child abuse clearance) if:

1. The prospective adoptive parent is the child’s stepparent who has been legally married to the child’s birth or legal parent for at least one year and has resided with the child for at least six months.

2. The prospective adoptive parent is the child’s adult sibling by whole or half blood or is the child’s aunt, uncle, grandparent or great-grandparent and the child has resided with the prospective adoptive relative for at least six months.

What this means is that if you qualify, you no longer need to do a full home study or adoption certification for a stepparent and family member adoption. This makes the process less expensive and less intrusive on the family.


Relative Adoption


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