Arizona Adoption Laws and Policies

Who Can Adopt in Arizona?

Any adult resident of the state, whether married or single, or legally separated.

Arizona Domestic Adoption Laws

Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Not addressed in state statutes.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? No.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Not unless the adoption facilitator is employed or affiliated with a licensed adoption agency or is a licensed attorney in Arizona (the fees for the attorney’s service must be approved by the court).

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Otherwise unreimbursed medical, legal, and counseling expenses without prior court approval. If living expenses exceed $1000, advanced court approval is necessary.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? 72 hours after birth.

When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic?  Consent is irrevocable upon signing unless obtained by fraud, duress, or undue influence.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Yes, as long as the agreement is in writing and approved by the court.

Arizona International Adoption Laws

Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Not addressed in state statutes.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, but whether or not it’s mandatory is not addressed in state statutes.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? A certificate of foreign birth can be created for an adopted child who has been issued an IR-3 visa and for whom a readoption process has been completed in a court in the state if the parent provides either (1) an original State of Arizona certificate of adoption or (2) a certified court order of adoption issued by a court in the state and either a birth certificate from the country of the adopted person’s birth or any other written documentation, translated into English, that established the date and place of the adopted person’s birth.

Adoption from Foster Care in Arizona

Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having one of the following: 6 years or older, racial and ethnic factors, member of a sibling group being placed together, has or is at high risk for developing physical, mental, developmental, or emotional disability. After the child has been placed and the adoption assistance agreement has been signed by the adopted parents and the adoption subsidy supervisor.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Arizona?

Access to Adoption Records in Arizona

Who may access non-identifying information?

  1. Adoptees age 18 or older.
  2. Adoptive parents if an adoptee is under age 18.

Who may access identifying information? 

  1. Adoptees age 21 or older.
  2. Adoptive parents or a guardian.
  3. Birth parents or other birth children of the birth parents.
  4. If the adoptee has died: the adopted person’s spouse if s/he is the legal parent or guardian of the adoptee’s children, any child of the adoptee who is age 18 or older.

Can adoptees obtain their original birth certificates? Yes, but only by order of the court or as prescribed by rule.

Arizona Adoption Unit

Program Manager: Julie O’Dell

Arizona Department of Economic Security
1789 West Jefferson Street
P.O. Box 6123-Site Code 940A
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 255-2623
Fax: (602) 255-3258


DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but The Current Initiative cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.