Raising children is a wonderful journey to embark on with your significant other. Unfortunately circumstances can sometimes prohibit couples from having a biological child together, but thankfully adoption is a perfect alternative when making this lifelong commitment.
In Arizona, there are no restrictions on LGBT couples who would like to adopt, but it is important to understand not only the process, but also the commitment it entails. Connections with potential adoptees don’t always happen overnight and mentally preparing yourself for the process as well as this fact is crucial.
First, let’s talk about the process of becoming a licensed to adopt. In Arizona, all adoptive parent(s) must be certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children. The certification process includes:
- A written application
- Adoption orientation and training
- A certification investigation and report to the court that considers the prospective adoptive parents’ fitness to adopt children, which includes:
- Social history and references
- Moral fitness
- Physical and mental health
- Any court action regarding child abuse
- The ability of you and every adult member of your household to successfully pass a fingerprint-based criminal history records check
- Any other relevant information
As anyone who had gone through this process before will tell you, it can be incredibly time consuming and stressful, but using an adoption agency can help tremendously in simplifying the process. A home study will need to be done and working with an adoption agency can greatly assist in aspect as well as in guiding you through the process.
Finding an adoption agency can be somewhat difficult for same sex couples as one third of agencies across the nation reject gay and lesbian applicants due to religious beliefs. The website www.equalityarizona.org can help you find an agency that will be right for you and your spouse.
There is a shortage of adoptive parents, and a loving adoptive family – gay or straight – is better than the unpredictability and lack of permanency of the foster care system. As an adoptive parent myself, I can tell you that making this choice is not only exciting (and challenging) for you and your spouse, but will drastically improve the life of a young child who is in need of a loving family.
If you find yourself, a friend or a loved one are considering an adoption and you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at 480.630.2464 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.