Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS)

Provide permanency for a child through adoption

parents reading with child

Adoption is the legal process of becoming the parent to a child. It includes all of the rights and responsibilities of being a parent and includes the duty to protect the child and the responsibility to provide the child with food, shelter, education and health care.

  • Who may adopt in Arizona?

    Any adult (age 18 or older) resident of this state, whether married, unmarried or legally separated is eligible to qualify to adopt children. A husband and wife may jointly adopt children.

  • What is required to adopt in Arizona?

    In Arizona adoptive parent(s) must be certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children. The certification process includes:

    • written application  
    • adoption orientation and training
    • a certification investigation and report to the court that considers the prospective adoptive parents' fitness to adopt children and includes:
        • social history and references
        • finances
        • 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   
  • Do I need to be certified to adopt a relative?

    If you are adopting a relative and you are the child's uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent or great-grandparent, you do not have to be certified. You will, however, need to pass a fingerprint-based criminal history records check in order to be approved by the court to adopt. 

  • How is an adoptive home for a child selected?

    When selecting an adoptive home for a child, DCS considers which home would best meet the safety, social, emotional, physical and mental health needs of the child. Other relevant factors include:

    • placement with the child's siblings
    • placement with the child's kin
    • existing relationships between the child and the prospective adoptive parent 
    • the wishes of the child who is 12 years of age or older.
  • How do I begin the process to be certified to adopt a foster child?

    In Arizona, the same contracted agencies provide training and support for both foster and adoptive families.  As you interview agencies in your county you will find those who are the best fit for you and your family. 

Meet the Children Adopting from Foster Care More Information




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