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Who can adopt a child in Arizona?

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Adoption can take many forms and, considering the parties involved, each one is different. Depending on the circumstances, the process can take a while, but for good reason. There is a lot to consider during the course of an adoption for all parties involved. Adopting parents and birth parents must decide whether the adoption will be open or closed and the court must determine if adoptive parents are suitable to adopt the child in question. So, who is eligible to adopt a child? Hopefully this post will help answer that question.

Under Arizona law, any adult resident may be eligible to adopt a child, but certain factors will be taken into consideration. A court may assess the marital status of the adoptive parents including its stability and length, the relationship between the child and the potential adoptive parents, where the child's siblings have been placed, and the adoptive parents' ability to provide for the child's needs, including those that are emotional, mental, and physical.

The court may also consider other factors when determining whether adoption is in the best interests of the child. For example, if the child is older than 12, then the court may assess the child's desires with regard to placement and adoption. Matters such as the availability of relatives who may be able to provide support may also come into play. Also, the child's birth parents may have a say in the adoption, so long as their parental rights were not terminated.

It is important to remember that all adoption decisions made by the court are based on the best interests of the child. Though many times an agreement can be reached between adoptive parents and birth parents, sometimes disputes arise. When this happens, it may be prudent to contact an experienced Arizona family law attorney.

Source: Arizona Legislature, "8-103. Who may adopt," accessed on Feb. 21, 2015

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