What procedures are followed to ensure that adoptive parents are fit to adopt a child?

In Arizona, the court where the prospective adoptive parent(s) reside certifies them as acceptable to adopt, based on the home study and recommendation of a state-licensed agency or court-appointed worker. The prospective parents are fingerprinted, a Child Protective Service clearance is obtained, and they submit financial reports, medical reports, and references by family and friends. A social worker interviews them and visits their home.

Close relatives may have an abbreviated home study process and the court may approve them at the final hearing rather than prior to placement, as is the case with non-relatives.
Arizona agencies may have additional requirements, such as preparation classes to learn about adoption issues and how they affect the child’s life. Agencies may have additional eligibility requirements, such as religion, age, or marital restrictions.

When is the adoption final?

If after the hearing and consideration of all the evidence, the court is satisfied that the requirements have been met and the adoption is in the best interests of the child, the court shall order the adoption. The adoption is now final. The court also orders the child’s name be changed, when applicable. The family will later receive a notice that they may apply for the new birth certificate, which is revised to show them as the parents.

Who supervises the adoptive placement and for how long?

After the child is placed in a certified adoptive home, the adopting parents file a petition for the adoption to be granted or finalized. A hearing is set for 60 to 180 days later, depending on the specific situation. During the waiting period, an agency or court-appointed worker makes home visits to assess the adjustment of the parents and child. That person then submits a report to the court that helps the judge decide whether to grant the adoption.