Adoption is a big step for a family to take. We understand that you want to have all the facts before you make this momentous decision. This guide is meant to help you discover if adoption is right for you and give you important information that will help make the process go as quickly and painlessly as possible.
It is important to think about the reasons why you are wanting to adopt. If your dream is to become a parent, then adoption is a good choice for you. If you want to give a child a safe, secure, and happy home, then adoption is a good choice for you. If you realize that some aspects of life are better when shared with a child, then adoption is right for you.
If you want to help take a child out of his current situation and give him a better hope for the future, then adoption is right for you. Many children in Arizona are without a home or a family. If you are in a position where you can give a child the love, attention, and time that he or she deserves, then adoption is right for you.
What Is Required to Adopt in Arizona?
In Arizona, you must be twenty-one years of age or older as well as a legal US and Arizona resident in order to adopt a child. In addition, you must be certified by the court as a person suitable to adopt a child (although there are some exceptions for family adoptions). In order to be certified, you must:
- provide a written application
- go through adoption orientation and training (if adopting through the State)
- provide a report of suitability that includes:
- social history and references
- moral fitness
- physical and mental health
- history of child abuse
- every member of household passing a criminal background check
What Is Orientation?
Orientations are group meetings where you will learn about the children in need of homes, the requirements to be an adoptive parent, the roles and responsibilities of these parents, the process of becoming an adoptive parent, and the support groups and resources available to adoptive parents. These group meetings are meant to be a resource to you in helping you make a decision; feel free to ask questions! Orientations are offered in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties. Individual orientations can be set up by appointment.
What Is the Role of Licensing Agencies?
Licensing agencies provide a worker that will help you understand the role and responsibility of being an adoptive parent. They will help you with all of the necessary paperwork, as well as assist the court with various evaluations of your home. It is important to pick your licensing agency carefully, because they will be very involved with the adoptive process.
How Are Adoptive Homes Selected for Foster Children?
Once you’ve gone through all the necessary background checks and gotten approved, all you can do is wait for a child to be matched to your home. For many prospective parents, this is the hardest part. Keep in mind that there are several different factors the DCS (Department of Child Services) considers when looking at homes for foster children. Factors include:
- Whether the home meets the safety, social, emotional, physical, and mental health of the child
- Placement with child’s siblings and/or relatives
- Existing relationship between the child and the prospective parents
- The wishes of the child (12 years and older)
How Are Adoptive Homes Selected for Privately Placed Children?
Through our office, we hold adoptive family profiles and share them with potential birth moms who are looking for the right family for their child. The birth mom can select a family from the profiles or she can request to meet several of the families to get to know them better before making her decision. For many prospective parents, this can be nerve racking, but it can also be a wonderful experience to meet the woman who is carrying your future child. Every birth mother is looking for different attributes in an adoptive family. For example:
- Some prefer a home that already has at least one child, others want their child to be the first child for the adoptive family
- Some prefer a home with a particular religious belief
- Some prefer a family in their general area to allow for openness and visits, some prefer their child to be placed in another state
- Some are looking for one parent to be a stay at home parent, others are looking for a double income home
You will not be able to please every potential birth mother. When the right match is made, both sides will be pleased and comfortable moving forward.
Adoption: A Big Step
Adoption is not something to take lightly. Raising children is one of the most important things a person can do with their life. It is important to make sure that you are fully ready and committed to the responsibility that a child brings. If you do feel as if you are ready, then we at Stuart & Blackwell are ready to help you navigate the court system and get your child. Children can bring immeasurable joy to a family. We hope that you will seriously consider adopting a child today.