Adoption

questions & answers

Question: What is the first step I would take to have my husband adopt my first child? What if the father is unknown and not on the birth certificate?

Answer:

The Arizona adoption laws begin at A.R.S. § 8-101, and continue from that point. As you will notice almost from the beginning, these laws are intricate and complex - especially as they pertain to notice and consent. This is one of those procedures where the stakes are high, and the possibility of emotional injury is quite severe, if something goes wrong in the process. Therefore, you may want to consult with an attorney who is familiar with adoption law.  You may want to contact a lawyer referral service in your county: Maricopa County (602) 506-3296, Pima County (520) 623-4625 or you can go to the State Bar of Arizona’s website to search for an attorney in your area. For more information on adoption, the Arizona Supreme Court website is very helpful

 

Having said that, here is some information:

1. Yes, your husband is legally eligible to adopt your first child, if that child is still under 18 years of age. A.R.S. § 8-102 & A.R.S. § 8-103.

2. You MUST file an affidavit with the court that identifies all potential fathers. A.R.S. § 8-106(F). Don't play games with this requirement, or you could get into real hot water down the road. For example, "unknown father" means you truly have no idea who it could be. The affidavit is a sworn statement, which means if you deliberately omit relevant names or information, you could be guilty of a felony offense. A.R.S. § 8-128.

3. You must consent to the adoption, of course, and you must give notice of the pending adoption to each potential father as well, so he can decide whether to contest the procedure. A.R.S. § 8-106(A) and A.R.S. § 8-106(G).

4. If the child is over 12 years old s/he must give consent in open court, too.

 

Again, since this is complicated, you may want to consult with an attorney familiar with adoptions, so you can get step-by-step advice and proper forms to fill out.

 

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