Adoption

There are three main types of adoption: Adult, Step-Parent/Relative, and Non-Relative.

Adult Adoptions

Adult adoptions for adults who reside in Pima County are handled at the Pima County Superior Court at 110 W. Congress, Tucson, Arizona. An adult may adopt another adult under the age of 21 who is a stepchild, niece, nephew, cousin, grandchild and, sometimes, a foster child. An agreement is required of both adults and their spouses if they are married. The Court will schedule a hearing on the Petition and may require that notice be given. The adoption will be granted if the Court determines that the adoption is in the best interests of the parties and the public. An adult adoption creates the relationship of parent and child subject to all the rights and duties of that relationship.

Step-Parent/Relative Adoptions

Adoptions of children who reside in Pima County are handled at the Pima County Superior Court, Juvenile Division, 2225 E. Ajo Way, Tucson, Arizona. The first step in a Step-Parent/Relative adoption is to make sure that the child is free for adoption. This means that the natural parent’s parental rights are either terminated (See Termination of Parental Rights) or the natural parent has consented to the adoption.

Once the child is free for adoption, the Juvenile Court Adoptions Unit conducts a social study which includes fingerprinting, a background check, health screening (doctors’ note), meeting with the child and prospective adoptive parent(s). After conducting the social study, the Adoptions Unit will recommend for or against the adoption. In most cases, the adoption can be completed within six months from the initial fingerprinting.

Non-Relative Adoptions

Adoptions of children who reside in Pima County are handled at the Pima County Superior Court, Juvenile Division, 2225 E. Ajo Way, Tucson, Arizona. Non-relative adoptions are similar to step-parent/relative adoptions in that the first step is to make sure that the child is free for adoption, either through termination of the parental rights or consent of both natural parents. The adoptive parents must first obtain certification to adopt. Later, further social studies and home studies are conducted based on the particular circumstances.

It is often difficult to find a child available for non-relative adoption unless the connection is made through a personal connection or word of mouth, but each situation is unique. Please feel free to call if you have further questions relating to non-relative adoptions.