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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jul 31, 2015

Becoming a parent is a rewarding experience, and though the job is demanding, it can open your heart in ways you’ve never imagined. Before starting the process, it’s important to honestly examine your reasons for adopting a child, since adoption is a permanent decision that requires a lifelong commitment by everyone involved. Once you’ve come to your final decision to move forward, be aware that every family is unique in their adoption process, but adopting a child typically follows these basic steps.

  1. Deciding which child would fit best in your family. Are you looking for an infant or an older child? Do you prefer that your adopted child is of the same race as your family? Are you interested in adopting a special needs child? Would you be okay with adopting siblings that cannot be separated?
  2. Selecting an agency. There are several public agencies in Arizona as well as private agencies that are licensed and regulated by the state. Contact several agencies and ask about the type of children they place, their fees and how they assess eligible families.
  3. Completing a homestudy. This is a series of meetings between you and a social worker, at least one of which will be in your home. The agency worker will ask for several documents, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses and personal references while writing up a report. The purpose of this is to ensure that you are prepared to handle the costs and responsibilities of child care.
  4. Searching for a Child. Once your homestudy is complete, you can begin the search for the new addition to your family. Your agency will have children and your worker will network with other child placing agencies.
  5. Communicating with the Child’s Agency. When you feel that you’ve found a match, your worker and the child’s worker exchange information, including your homestudy.If the child’s worker agrees to the match, you may then view the child’s profile.
  6. Becoming Selected for a Child. You may be one of several families being considered. The child’s worker makes the final decision for placement.
  7. Meeting and Visiting with the Child. The first meeting with the child is followed by several visits over a few weeks or months. If the child lives in another state, the child’s agency will work with you to arrange for at least one or two visits.
  8. Receiving the Placement. The placement date is when the child moves into your home. Your agency will continue to work with you for several months. This is the time when you file a legal intent to adopt petition.
  9. Finalizing the Adoption. The child becomes part of your family in the eyes of the law when you attend court and a judge finalizes your adoption. At this time, you will receive an amended birth certificate for the child that names you as the parents and a certificate of adoption.

lawyer who specializes in family law can ensure that your decision to add to your family runs smoothly. If you have questions about the legal issues surrounding adoption, speak to an experienced attorney today.