Around 7 million Americans are adopted, with roughly 135,000 children adopted every year in the U.S. More than ever, Americans have some direct connection to adoption. According to Adoption Nation: How The Adoption Revolution Is Transforming America, by Adam Pertman, an estimated 100 million Americans are touched by adoption.
The decision to expand your family through adoption can bring lifelong rewards. However, this is also a huge decision with many different financial and legal implications.
Once you have made the executive decision to adopt, it is normal to want the process to move quickly. It is also normal for potential adoptive parents to become frustrated when they learn that the process can take months or years, especially when legal delays make the process last longer than anticipated.
The fact is that adoption is a process with highs and lows. It takes a significant amount of time because it should not be entered lightly – on both parties (prospective parents and biological parents).
Parental Rights in Arizona state, “The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right.” Which makes that decision to give that right to another person complex. Not to mention, the state has a legitimate interest in making sure that people that adopt are qualified parents who will provide an environment for children to thrive.
Fortunately, an attorney can significantly help you navigate through the process. Here are a few ways representation and counsel of an attorney can help.
Explain The Process To You In Detail
Adopting a child is not as simple as just finding a birth mother who is seeking a place for her child and then signing paperwork. Multiple steps must occur before parental rights can be transferred between different parties.
Once you meet with an adoption attorney, they will explain what the adoption process looks like within the state of Arizona, along with any potential issues that could arise. Having the big picture understanding will let you know what to expect and help you better prepare for procedural or legal hurdles that may fall in your path.
Guide You Through the Certification Process
Before you can become eligible to adopt a child in the state of Arizona, a court must first certify you as acceptable to adopt.
The process has multiples of steps such as submitting an application to the court, going through an adoption orientation and training (if you are adopting a child through foster care) and submitting a formal adoption home study for court approval. In the home study, Judges review several things including:
- Financial Situational
- References and Social History
- Moral History
- Whether you have been or subjected of any court of action regarding child abuse
- Your physical and mental health
- Whether you could pass a fingerprint-based criminal history check
- Any other additional criminal history
The investigation is comprehensive. Any evidence that indicates that you may not be fit to parent will likely be uncovered and slow the process down.
Represent You in Court Should Any Issues Arise
In some situations, adoption cases go to court. It is essential to have an attorney familiar with Arizona adoption law and procedure representing you when this does occur.
If you have already hired an adoption attorney, they will already be familiar with the facts of your case and ready to advocate for your position, maximizing the specific chances that you will obtain favorable outcomes.
Call Stuart & Blackwell Today to Discuss Your Case
Every adoption is as unique as the adoptive parents themselves, but the journey doesn’t have to be harrowing. At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand just how stressful the adoption process can be, and we’re here to help you find the path to adoption that’s right for you.
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.