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Child Adoption Laws
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Child Adoption Laws
Arizona


We hope to help you learn more about the child adoption laws in the State of Arizona.  Please note that while we have tried to be as current as possible, laws are occasionally rewritten and/or amended; accordingly, the Arizona adoption law provided below may have errors, omissions, or may not be the most current version. Please remember that this information should not be used as the basis for making any legal decision. Please use appropriate resources and an attorney's advice when making legal decisions.

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Arizona Adoption Laws

Arizona Adoption Law
Title 8: Children
Chapter 1: Adoption
Articles 1-4

Sections 101-173

(This page was last updated on 08/02/13.)

Chapter 1 ADOPTION
Article 1

General Provisions
8-101 Definitions
8-102 Who may be adopted
8-102.01 Jurisdiction
8-103 Who may adopt
8-104 Venue
8-105 Preadoption certification; investigation; central adoption registry
8-105.01 Adoption; racial preferences; prohibition; exception
8-105.02 Adoption by foster parents; removal of child
8-105.03 Adoption information from local community organizations
8-106 Consent to adoption; waiver; consent to the release of information; notification to potential fathers
8-106.01 Putative fathers registry; claim of paternity; adoptive interest
8-107 Time and contents of consent
8-108 Petition for child's custody by noncertified party; hearing; exceptions
8-109 Petition to adopt; contents
8-110 Fictitious name for child
8-111 Notice of hearing on petition to adopt; service
8-112 Social studies; requirements
8-113 Removal from home; expedited hearings; probationary period
8-114 Monies paid to or for parent; court approval; attorney fees; accounting; disallowance; exception
8-115 Hearing; procedure; record; evidence
8-116 Court order; contents; form
8-116.01 Agreements regarding communications
8-117 Rights under adoption order
8-118 Petition withdrawal or denial; custody
8-119 Dismissal after death; exception
8-120 Records; inspection; exception; destruction of certain records
8-121 Confidentiality of information; exceptions
8-122 Financial hardship; deferral, waiver or reduction of fees
8-123 Irregularities; curative period
8-124 Subsequent adoptions
8-125 Adoption decrees of other states
8-126 Licensure and regulation of agencies
8-127 Services of county attorney; exception
8-128 Violation; classification
8-129 Health and genetic history; compilation; availability; costs
8-130 Consent to licensed agency or division; attorneys; affidavits
8-131 Exemption of division from licensure; compliance with standards
8-133 Fees for division services
8-134 Confidential intermediary
8-135 Confidential intermediary and fiduciary fund
Article 2 Adoption Subsidies
8-141 Definitions; exception
8-142 Adoption subsidy program; funding; claims; limitation
8-142.01 Adoption subsidy program; hospital reimbursement
8-143 Eligibility; limitation
8-144 Subsidy agreement; duration; amount; periodic review; confidentiality
8-145 Appeals
Article 3 Nonrecurring Adoption Expenses
8-161 Definitions
8-162 Nonrecurring adoption expense program; funding; use of other resources; payment
8-163 Eligibility
8-164 Nonrecurring expenses; limitation
8-165 Records
8-166 Appeals
Article 4 Interstate Adoption Assistance Compacts
8-171 Definitions
8-172 Interstate compacts; requirements; optional contents
8-173 Adoption assistance agreements; reciprocity conditions; violation; classification


8-101. Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Adult" means a person eighteen years of age or older.

2. "Agency" means a person other than the division licensed by the division to place children for adoption, including an attorney or law firm.

3. "Agency placement adoption" means an adoption proceeding in which one or more of the requisite consents are given to an agency pursuant to section 8-107, subsection D, paragraph 1.

4. "Child" means any person under eighteen years of age.

5. "Custody" means a status embodying all of the following rights and responsibilities:

(a) The right to have the physical possession of the child.

(b) The right and the duty to protect, train and discipline the child.

(c) The responsibility to provide the child with food, shelter, education and health care, and the authority to consent to surgery or other extraordinary medical care in an emergency.

6. "Direct placement adoption" means an adoption proceeding in which one or more of the requisite consents are given to a particular person pursuant to section 8-107, subsection D, paragraph 2.

7. "Division" means the department of economic security.

8. "Juvenile court" or "court" means the juvenile division of the superior court.

9. "Permanent guardian" means a legal guardian appointed by the court pursuant to section 8-525.

10. "Petitioner" includes both petitioners under a joint petition.


8-102. Who may be adopted

Except as provided in title 14, chapter 8, only a child, or a foreign-born person who is twenty-one years of age or less and who is not an illegal alien who is present within this state at the time the petition for adoption is filed may be adopted.


8-102.01. Jurisdiction

If a petition for adoption is filed prior to a child's eighteenth birthday jurisdiction of the superior court continues for purposes of entering an order of adoption of such child even if the child becomes eighteen years of age prior to the final adoption hearing.


8-103. Who may adopt

Any adult 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.


8-104. Venue

A petitioner may begin adoption proceedings in the court in the county where the prospective adoptive parent resides or, if applicable, in the county where the child is a ward.


8-105. Preadoption certification; investigation; central adoption registry

A. Before any prospective adoptive parent may petition to adopt a child the person shall be certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children. A certificate shall be issued only after an investigation conducted by an officer of the court, by an agency or by the division. A written application for certification shall be made directly to the court, to an agency or to the division, in the form and content required by the court, agency or division.

B. The division is not required to accept every application for certification. In determining which applications to accept the division may give priority to applications filed by adult residents of this state who wish to adopt a child who has any of the special needs described in section 8-141.

C. After receiving and accepting the written and completed application of the prospective adoptive parent or parents, which shall include a financial statement and a physician's statement of each applicant's physical health, the division, the agency or an officer of the court shall conduct or cause to be conducted an investigation of the prospective adoptive parent or parents to determine if they are fit and proper persons to adopt children.

D. The division shall not present for certification a prospective adoptive parent unless that person has a valid fingerprint clearance card issued pursuant to title 41, chapter 12, article 3.1 or provides to the division documentation of the person's application for a fingerprint clearance card. The prospective adoptive parent must certify on forms that are provided by the division and that are notarized whether the prospective adoptive parent is awaiting trial on or has ever been convicted of any of the criminal offenses listed in section 41-1758.03, subsections B and C in this state or similar offenses in another state or jurisdiction.

E. An officer of the court may obtain a state and federal criminal records check pursuant to section 41-1750 and Public Law 92-544. The department of public safety may exchange this fingerprint data with the federal bureau of investigation.

F. This investigation and report to the court shall consider all relevant and material facts dealing with the prospective adoptive parents' fitness to adopt children and shall include:

1. A complete social history.

2. The financial condition of the applicant.

3. The moral fitness of the applicant.

4. The religious background of the applicant.

5. The physical and mental health condition of the applicants.

6. Any court action for or adjudication of child abuse, abandonment of children, dependency or termination of parent-child relationship in which the applicant had control, care or custody of the child who was the subject of the action.

7. Whether the person or persons wish to be placed on the central registry established in subsection M of this section.

8. All other facts bearing on the issue of the fitness of the prospective adoptive parents that the court, agency or division may deem relevant.

G. The investigator shall not reveal to the prospective adoptive parents the identity of a child or the child's parent or parents and shall not reveal to the child or the child's parent or parents the identity of the prospective adoptive parents if these facts are not already known.

H. Within ninety days after the original application prescribed by subsection A of this section has been accepted, the division or the agency or a person or agency designated by the court to conduct an investigation shall present to the juvenile court the written report required by subsection F of this section, which shall include a definite recommendation for certifying the applicant as being acceptable or non acceptable to adopt children with the reasons for the recommendation.

I. Within sixty days after receiving the investigation report required by subsections F and H of this section, the court shall certify the applicant as being acceptable or non acceptable to adopt children based on the investigation report and recommendations of the report. A certification remains in effect for eighteen months from the date of its issuance and may be extended for additional one year periods if after review the court finds that there have been no material changes in circumstances which would adversely affect the acceptability of the applicant to adopt.

J. The court may require additional investigation if it finds that additional information is necessary on which to make an appropriate decision regarding certification.

K. Any applicant who has been certified as nonacceptable may petition the court to review such certification. Notice shall be given to all interested parties and the matter shall be heard by the court, which may affirm or reverse the certification.

L. If the applicant is certified as nonacceptable, the applicant may not reapply for certification to the court, to any agency or to the division for one year.

M. The division shall maintain a central adoption registry that includes the names of all prospective adoptive parents currently certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children, except those who request that their names not be included, the names of all children who are under the jurisdiction of the division and who are currently available for adoption, the names of any other children who are currently available for adoption and whose names are voluntarily entered in the registry by any agency, parent or other person that has the right to give consent to the child's adoption, and other information as the division may elect to include in aid of adoptive placements. Access to information in the registry shall be made available on request to any agency under assurances as the division may require that the information sought is in furtherance of adoptive placements and that confidentiality of the information is preserved.

N. This section does not apply if:

1. The prospective adoptive parent is the spouse of the birth or legal parent of the child to be adopted or is an uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent or great-grandparent of the child of the whole or half-blood or by marriage or adoption.

2. The birth or legal parent is deceased but at the time of death the parent had legal and physical custody of the child to be adopted and the child had resided primarily with the spouse of the birth or legal parent during the twenty-four months before the death of the parent.

3. The grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, adult sibling or uncle is deceased but at the time of death that person had legal and physical custody of the child to be adopted and the child had resided primarily with the spouse of the grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, adult sibling or uncle during the twenty-four months before the death of the grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, adult sibling or uncle.

O. If the applicant has adopted a child within three years preceding the current application and is applying to adopt another child or is a foster parent who is licensed by this state, the division or agency or a person designated by the court to conduct an investigation shall only provide an update report on any changes in circumstances that have occurred since the previous certification or licensing report. If the applicant has adopted a child more than three years before the current application and is applying to adopt another child, the division or agency or a person designated by the court to conduct an investigation may provide an updated report on any changes in circumstances that have occurred since the previous certification or licensing report. The court shall certify the applicant as acceptable to adopt unless there are changes in circumstances that adversely affect the applicant's parenting ability. In making this determination, the court shall consider information from the prior certification or licensing report.


8-105.01. Adoption; racial preferences; prohibition; exception

A. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the division, an agency or the court shall not deny or delay a placement or an adoption certification based on the race, the color or the national origin of the adoptive parent or the child.

B. This section does not apply to the placement or adoption of children pursuant to the Indian child welfare act (25 United States Code section 1901).
8-105.02. Adoption by foster parents; removal of child

The division shall not remove a child from the child's foster parents for the sole reason that the foster parents have applied to adopt the child.


8-105.03. Adoption information from local community organizations

The division shall establish and administer a child placement program that uses community organizations to inform communities about the adoption process and the need for adoptive homes. For purposes of this section, religiously affiliated organizations may qualify as community organizations provided that no state funding may be used for religious purposes.


8-106. Consent to adoption; waiver; consent to the release of information; notification to potential fathers

A. The court shall not grant an adoption of a child unless consent to adopt has been obtained and filed with the court from the following:

1. The child's birth or adoptive mother, if living.

2. The child's father if any of the following is true:

(a) The father was married to the child's mother at the time of conception or at any time between conception and the child's birth unless his paternity is excluded or another man's paternity is established pursuant to title 25, chapter 6, article 1.

(b) The father has adopted the child.

(c) The father's paternity is established under title 25, chapter 6, article 1 or section 36-334.

3. A child who is twelve years of age or older and who gives consent in open court.

4. Any guardian of the person of the child who is appointed by a court and given authority by it to consent to the child's adoption.

5. An agency or the division that has been given consent to place the child for adoption by the parent or parents whose consent would be necessary under paragraph 1 or 2 of this subsection, or that has been given authority in other legal proceedings to place the child for adoption.

6. The guardian of any adult parent for whom a guardian is currently appointed.

B. It is not necessary for a person to obtain consent to adopt from the following:

1. An adult parent for whom a guardian is currently appointed.

2. A parent whose parental rights have been terminated by court order.

3. A parent who has previously consented to an agency's or the division's placement of the child for adoption.

4. A person whose consent is not required under subsection A of this section.

C. The minority of the child or parent does not affect the child's or parent's competency to give consent in the instances set forth in this section.

D. A consent to adopt is irrevocable unless obtained by fraud, duress or undue influence.

E. An agency, the division or an attorney participating or assisting in a direct placement adoption pursuant to section 8-130 shall obtain from a birth parent, at the time consent for adoption is obtained, a notarized statement granting permission or withholding permission for the child being adopted, when the child reaches eighteen years of age, to obtain identifying and nonidentifying information about the child and the consenting birth parent. The agency, division or attorney shall inform the birth parent at the time of obtaining the notarized statement that the decision to grant permission or withhold permission may be changed at any time by filing a notarized statement with the court. The most recent notarized statement shall operate as consent for the court to grant or withhold identifying and nonidentifying information.

F. A notarized affidavit signed by the mother listing all potential fathers shall be filed with the court. The affidavit shall attest that all of the information contained in the affidavit is complete and accurate.

G. Notice shall be served on each potential father as provided for the service of process in civil actions. The notice shall be substantially in the form prescribed in subsection I of this section and shall inform the potential father of all of the following:

1. That adoption is planned.

2. The potential father's right to consent or withhold consent to the adoption.

3. The potential father's responsibility to initiate paternity proceedings under title 25, chapter 6, article 1, and to serve the mother within thirty days of completion of service.

4. The potential father's responsibility to proceed to judgment in the paternity action.

5. The potential father's right to seek custody.

6. The potential father's responsibility to begin to provide financial support for the child if paternity is established.

7. That the potential father's failure to file a paternity action pursuant to title 25, chapter 6, article 1, and to serve the mother and proceed to judgment in the paternity action as prescribed by this section, bars the potential father from bringing or maintaining any action to assert any interest in the child.

H. A mother may apply to the court for permission to omit her address from the affidavit and from the notice to potential fathers. The court shall grant this request if the mother shows to the court's satisfaction this is necessary to protect her safety.

I. The notice required pursuant to subsection G of this section shall be in substantially the following form:

Notice:

Notice is given to _______________ that you have been identified by ________________________, the natural mother, residing at _____________________, as a potential father of a child to be born or, born on _____________, in ___________.

You are informed of the following:

1. __________, the natural mother, plans to place the child for adoption.

2. Under sections 8-106 and 8-107, Arizona Revised Statutes, you have the right to consent or withhold consent to the adoption.

3. Your written consent to the adoption is irrevocable once you give it.

4. If you withhold consent to the adoption, you must initiate paternity proceedings under title 25, chapter 6, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, and serve the mother within thirty days after completion of service of this notice.

5. You have the obligation to proceed to judgment in the paternity action.

6. You have the right to seek custody.

7. If you are established as the child's father, you must begin to provide financial support for the child.

8. If you do not file a paternity action under title 25, chapter 6, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, and do not serve the mother within thirty days after completion of the service of this notice and pursue the action to judgment, you cannot bring or maintain any action to assert any interest in the child.

9. The Indian child welfare act may supersede the Arizona Revised Statutes regarding adoption and paternity.

10. You may wish to consult with an attorney to assist you in responding to this notice.


8-106.01. Putative fathers registry; claim of paternity; adoptive interest

A. A person who is seeking paternity, who wants to receive notice of adoption proceedings and who is the father or claims to be the father of a child shall file notice of a claim of paternity and of his willingness and intent to support the child to the best of his ability with the state registrar of vital statistics in the department of health services. The department of health services shall provide forms for the purpose of filing the notice of a claim of paternity. Forms shall be made available in the department of health services, the office of the clerk of the board of supervisors in each county, every hospital, every licensed child placement agency, the department of economic security, sheriff's offices, jails, prisons, state department of corrections facilities and department of juvenile corrections facilities.

B. The notice of a claim of paternity may be filed before the birth of the child but shall be filed within thirty days after the birth of the child. The notice of a claim of paternity shall be signed by the putative father and shall include his name and address, the name and last known address of the birth mother and either the birth date of the child or the probable month and year of the expected birth of the child. The putative father who files a notice of a claim of paternity under this section shall notify the registrar of vital statistics of any change of his address. The department of health services shall maintain a confidential registry for this purpose. The department shall only respond to written inquiries of the confidential registry that are received from the court, the division, a licensed adoption agency or a licensed attorney participating or assisting in a direct placement adoption. The department shall provide a certificate signed by the state registrar of vital statistics stating that a diligent search has been made of the registry of notices of claims of paternity from putative fathers listing all filings found or stating that no filing has been found pertaining to the father of the child in question.

C. If the court determines the claimant is not the child's father it shall notify the department of health services and shall order the department to remove that person's name from the putative fathers registry.

D. If the mother denies that the putative father filing the notice of a claim of paternity is the father, the department of health services shall notify the putative father of his responsibility to establish paternity.

E. A putative father who does not file a notice of a claim of paternity as required under this section waives his right to be notified of any judicial hearing regarding the child's adoption and his consent to the adoption is not required, unless he proves, by clear and convincing evidence, both of the following:

1. It was not possible for him to file a notice of a claim of paternity within the period of time specified in subsection B of this section.

2. He filed a notice of a claim of paternity within thirty days after it became possible for him to file.

F. Lack of knowledge of the pregnancy is not an acceptable reason for failure to file. The fact that the putative father had sexual intercourse with the mother is deemed to be notice to the putative father of the pregnancy.

G. When a certificate provided pursuant to subsection B of this section is received by the court, the division, a licensed adoption agency or a licensed attorney participating or assisting in a direct placement adoption from the department that lists filings of a putative father or fathers, the putative father or fathers who filed timely notices of claims of paternity and who have not previously been served shall be served with the notice prescribed in section 8-106, subsection G. A putative father who fails to file a paternity action pursuant to title 25, chapter 6, article 1 within thirty days of completion of service of the notice prescribed in section 8-106 is barred from bringing or maintaining any action to assert any interest in the child.

H. If in any adoption proceeding there is not a showing that a putative father has consented to the adoption or has waived his rights regarding the proposed adoption, the petitioner shall file with the court, before the court enters a final decree of adoption, a certificate from the department of health services signed by the state registrar of vital statistics stating that a diligent search has been made of the registry of notices of claims of paternity from putative fathers and that no filing has been found pertaining to the father of the child in question.


8-107. Time and contents of consent

A. All consents to adoption shall be in writing and signed by the person giving the consent and witnessed by two or more credible witnesses who are at least eighteen years of age and who subscribe their names in the presence of the person giving the consent or shall be acknowledged by the person giving consent before a notary public.

B. A consent given before seventy-two hours after the birth of the child is invalid.

C. The consent shall be dated, shall sufficiently identify and give the addresses of the party giving the consent and the name and address of the witness or witnesses and shall sufficiently identify the child to whose adoption the consent is given.

D. The consent shall designate either of the following:

1. An agency or the division as authorized by the party giving the consent to place the child for adoption.

2. The particular person or persons authorized to adopt the child by the person giving the consent.

E. The true names of the adopting person or persons shall be used, except that fictitious names may be used if the consent also truthfully states that the adopting person or persons are currently certified as acceptable to adopt the child, that the consenting party knows that the names used are fictitious and does not wish to know the true names and that the consenting party has been furnished with all information which the consenting party wishes to know about the adopting person or persons.

F. The consent shall contain a statement which includes the following:

1. The consequences of the consent pursuant to section 8-117.

2. The irrevocability of the consent pursuant to section 8-106.

3. The prohibition of any direct or indirect compensation for the consent except as provided in section 8-114.

G. A consent other than to any agency or the division which does not designate a particular person or persons, or which purports to permit a third person to locate or nominate an adoptive parent, is invalid.


8-108. Petition for child's custody by noncertified party; hearing; exceptions

A. A person who is not currently certified as acceptable to adopt but who has custody of a child who the person intends to adopt shall petition the court for an order permitting that person to keep custody of the child pending certification. The person shall file the petition not later than five days after the person obtains custody of the child. The court shall hold a hearing within ten days after the person files the petition. The child shall attend the hearing, except for good cause shown. At the hearing the burden of proof is on the petitioner to show that permitting custody is in the child's best interests. The court may permit the petitioner to have custody or it may order that custody be given to some other person or agency as it deems to be in the child's best interests. If the court permits the person to continue to have custody of the child, the court shall order the investigation for preadoption certification and report as required by section 8-105 to continue. If an application for certification has not been filed before the hearing, the court shall order that an application for certification be filed within thirty days after the hearing date.

B. If a petition is not filed by the person intending to adopt a child, the division, an agency or any other interested person may petition the court for such a hearing. On the filing of a petition the court shall set the matter for hearing and issue its order to the person having custody of the child to appear before it to show cause why custody should not be denied. The hearing shall then be held and the court's order made as provided in subsection A of this section.

C. A custody petition or hearing is not required in any of the following cases:

1. If the person who intends to adopt the child is the spouse of a birth parent of the child.

2. If the person who intends to adopt the child or one of these persons is an uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent, or great-grandparent of the child of the whole or half-blood or by marriage.

3. If the person who intends to adopt the child is currently certified as acceptable to adopt the child.

4. If custody of the child has been given or is to be given to an agency or to the division or to a licensed or certified foster home.

5. If the person who intends to adopt the child is currently the court appointed guardian of the child.


8-109. Petition to adopt; contents

A. The potential adoptive parent or parents, an agency or the division may file a petition to adopt. The petition shall specify:

1. The full name, age and place of residence of the prospective adoptive parent and, if married, the date and place of marriage and the relationship if any to the child.

2. That a certificate of acceptability to adopt has been issued in favor of the prospective adoptive parent and the date of its issuance or the reason preadoption certification is not required.

3. The date when the prospective adoptive parent acquired custody of the child and from what person or agency, or, if not in custody, the present custodial circumstances.

4. The date and place of birth of the child.

5. The name of the child or the fictitious name to be used in the proceedings and, if a change of name is desired, the name.

6. That it is the desire of the prospective adoptive parent to adopt the child.

7. A full description and statement of the value of all property owned or possessed by the child.

8. If the child being adopted is a ward of the court, that written consent to adopt has been given by the division or the agency that has been given custody of the ward or any reason that consent need not be given.

9. Full disclosure of any fees or anything of value given or paid to any person or organization in connection with the adoption of the child.

B. Any written consent required by this article may be attached to the petition or may be filed after the filing of the petition at or before the hearing.


8-110. Fictitious name for child

A. The court may order, upon request of any interested party, that the child to be adopted shall be referred to by a fictitious name in all proceedings before the court, if such would be in the best interest of the child.

B. If the court, by order, authorizes the use of a fictitious name, the real name of the child shall be kept in a sealed envelope in the court file and shall not be opened except on order of the court after good cause has been shown.


8-111. Notice of hearing on petition to adopt; service

After a petition to adopt has been filed, the clerk of the superior court shall set a time and place for a hearing by the court. Notice shall be as provided for the service of process in civil actions to:

1. The petitioner.

2. The agency, if any.

3. The person or agency conducting the social study required by section 8-112.

4. Any person or agency required to give consent by section 8-106 unless consent with a waiver of notice of hearing has been filed before the hearing.

5. Any person who has initiated a paternity action pursuant to title 25, chapter 6, article 1.


8-112. Social studies; requirements

A. The division, an agency or an officer of the court shall conduct and submit a social study to the court ten days before the hearing on the petition to adopt. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the court may order an additional social study or waive the social study if it determines that this is in the child's best interests because of special circumstances.

B. Except as provided in subsection D or E, the social study shall include the following:

1. The social history, heritage and mental and physical condition of the child and the child's birth parents.

2. The child's current placement in the prospective adoptive parent's home and the child's adjustment to that home.

3. The prospective adoptive parent's suitability to adopt.

4. The existing and proposed arrangements regarding the child's custody.

5. Any financial arrangement concerning the proposed adoption made by the birth parents, the division, an agency, an attorney or the prospective adoptive parents.

6. A state and federal criminal records check of the prospective adoptive parent and each adult who is living permanently with the prospective adoptive parent except a birth or legal parent with custody of the child.

7. A central registry records check, including any history of child welfare referrals, with the division of the prospective adoptive parent and each adult who is living permanently with the prospective adoptive parent.

8. Any other information that is pertinent to the adoption proceedings.

C. The social study conducted pursuant to subsection A is part of the case file and shall contain a definite recommendation for or against the proposed adoption and the reasons for that recommendation.

D. The social study conducted pursuant to subsection A may consist only of the results of the state and federal criminal records check and the central registry records check conducted pursuant to subsection B if either of the following is true:

1. The prospective adoptive parent is the child's stepparent who has been legally married to the child's birth or legal parent for at least one year and the child has resided with the stepparent and parent for at least one year.

2. The prospective adoptive parent is the child's adult sibling, by the whole or half blood, or the child's aunt, uncle, grandparent or great-grandparent and the child has resided with the prospective adoptive parent for at least one year.

E. If the child being considered for adoption has resided with the prospective adoptive parent for at least six months and the prospective adoptive parent either has adopted a child or was appointed the permanent guardian of the child within three years preceding the current application, or is a foster parent who is licensed by this state, the social study conducted pursuant to subsection A may consist only of the following:

1. The results of the central registry records check conducted pursuant to subsection B.

2. A review of any material changes in circumstances that have occurred since the previous adoption, permanent guardianship or license renewal that affect the prospective adoptive parent's ability to adopt the child or for the child to be placed in the prospective adoptive parent's home.


8-113. Removal from home; expedited hearings; probationary period

A. A child who has been placed in a certified adoptive home by any agency or the division shall not be removed from the home except on order of the juvenile court. The agency or the division may request a hearing for removal before the juvenile court, and in those cases, a hearing shall be held not less than ten days after notice has been given to the certified prospective adoptive parent or parents.

B. This section does not prohibit prospective adoptive parents from voluntarily returning any child to the placing agency or the division or does not prevent the removal of a child pursuant to section 8-821 or 8-802.

C. Pending the final adoption hearing, the child is subject to further investigation by the division, an officer of the court or an agency that is required to do the social study pursuant to section 8-105.

D. The court shall hold the hearing on the petition:

1. Within sixty days if the child has resided in the home of the prospective adoptive parent or parents for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the petition for adoption. If the prospective adoptive parent is the stepparent of the child, this requirement applies only if the stepparent has been married to the birth or legal parent of the child for at least one year.

2. Within ninety days if the child is under six months of age or has resided in the home of the prospective adoptive parent or parents for at least six months preceding the filing of the petition for adoption. If the prospective adoptive parent is the stepparent of the child, this requirement applies only if the stepparent has been married to the birth or legal parent of the child for at least one year.

3. In all other cases, within six months after the filing of the petition for adoption.

E. If subsection D, paragraph 1 or 2 of this section applies, the petitioner shall file a notification of that fact with the petition to adopt.

F. The court shall postpone a hearing scheduled to be held pursuant to subsection D of this section if the court has not received the results of the criminal records check at least forty-eight hours before the final hearing. The court shall reschedule the hearing within twenty-one days after receiving the results.

G. The court or the petitioner may postpone the final hearing up to sixty days in order to give notice to any interested party or for other good cause.

H. The court shall hold an expedited hearing on a motion that is supported by a sworn affidavit that the expedited hearing is in the child's best interests and that any of the following is true:

1. The child is suffering from a chronically debilitating, progressive or fatal disease as diagnosed by a licensed physician.

2. A prospective adoptive parent, natural parent or legal parent is terminally ill, as diagnosed by a licensed physician.

3. The court finds other compelling reasons relating to the special needs and welfare of the child to expedite the hearing.

I. During the probationary period or any extension, prospective adoptive parents who have complied with the provisions of this chapter have the following rights and responsibilities with respect to the child:

1. The right to physical custody of the child unless the child is removed by order of the juvenile court after notice and a hearing.

2. The right to consent to necessary medical procedures for the child.

3. The right to consent to participation in social and athletic activities for the child.

4. The responsibility to provide proper care and support for the child in addition to that already provided by the placing agency or division.


8-114. Monies paid to or for parent; court approval; attorney fees; accounting; disallowance; exception

A. The court may approve any monies paid to a parent of a child placed for adoption or another person for the benefit of the parent or adopted child for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the adoption. These expenses may include costs for medical and hospital care and examinations for the mother and child, counseling fees, legal fees, agency fees, living expenses and any other costs the court finds reasonable and necessary.

B. A person who wishes to pay the living expenses of a birth parent that exceed one thousand dollars shall file a motion with the court to permit that payment. On the filing of a petition the court shall hold a hearing within ten days, unless the hearing is waived for good cause shown. The court shall approve living expenses that the person has paid, unless found unreasonable. The person who wishes to pay the one thousand dollars in living expenses of a birth mother shall file an affidavit with the court signed by the birth mother verifying that the birth mother has been given written notice and that she understands that the payment of these expenses by any person does not obligate the birth mother to place the child for adoption and that a valid consent to the adoption can only be given after the child's birth without regard to any cost or expense paid by any person in connection with the adoption. A maximum of one thousand dollars may be advanced for birth parent living expenses without a motion. In determining what living expenses are reasonable and necessary, the court shall consider but not be limited to the following factors:

1. The current standard of living of the birth parent.

2. The standard of living necessary to preserve the health and welfare of the birth parent and the unborn child.

3. The existence of alternative financial resources for the birth parent.

C. Except as provided in subsection A, a person shall not be directly or indirectly compensated for giving or obtaining consent to place a child for adoption.

D. An attorney may be paid for the attorney's services in connection with adoption, paternity and severance proceedings only the amount the court approves as being reasonable and necessary.

E. Not fewer than ten days before a petition to adopt a child is heard, the prospective adoptive parent shall file with the court a verified accounting in the form specified by court rules of all fees, payments, disbursements or commitments of anything of value made or agreed to be made by the prospective adoptive parent or for the benefit of the prospective adoptive parent in connection with the adoption. The accounting shall include all living expenses, including living expenses advanced pursuant to subsection B for which a motion is not required, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit that is signed by the birth mother, either before or after the birth of the child, that verifies that she has been given written notice and that she understands that the payment of these expenses does not obligate her to place her child for adoption and that she may give a valid consent to the adoption only after the child's birth without regard to any cost or expense paid by any person in connection with the adoption. This subsection does apply to an agency placement adoption or to a direct placement adoption made through an agency.

F. The court shall allow, disallow or allow in part fees, payments, disbursements and commitments as shown in the accounting.

G. If the court finds an accounting to be incomplete or deceptive or to contain amounts which are unauthorized or unreasonable, the court may order a new accounting or the repayment of amounts found to be excessive or unauthorized or make any other orders it deems appropriate.

H. All adoption cases shall be reviewed by the juvenile court for reasonableness and necessity of expenses.

I. This section does not apply to an adoption by a stepparent whose spouse is a natural or adoptive parent of the child.

8-115. Hearing; procedure; record; evidence

A. The court shall hold a hearing on a petition filed pursuant to this article in as informal a manner as the requirements of due process and fairness permit. The prospective adoptive parent, the spouse of a prospective adoptive parent and the child to be adopted shall attend unless the court orders otherwise. The court shall only allow persons who have a direct interest in the case to attend the hearing. A person who attends a hearing shall not disclose any information about the hearing. The court may require the presence of such other witnesses as it deems necessary.

B. The court shall make its findings based on a preponderance of the evidence. The court may consider any and all reports required by this article or ordered by the court pursuant to this article.


8-116. Court order; contents; form

A. If after the hearing and consideration of all the evidence, the court is satisfied that the requirements of this article have been met and that the adoption is in the best interests of the child, the court shall order the adoption. The order may change the name of the child to that of the adoptive parent or parents. The written order of the court shall include the findings of fact on which it based its order, including the court's jurisdiction and the date and place of birth of the child being adopted based on the best available evidence.

B. If the exact place of birth is unknown, the order shall include the information that is known and designate a place of birth according to the best information known as to the country of origin.

C. If the exact date of birth is unknown, the order shall establish a date of birth based on the medical evidence as to the probable age of the child and other evidence the court considers appropriate.

D. The order is conclusive and binding on all persons from the date of its entry subject to appeal as provided in section 8-235.


8-116.01. Agreements regarding communications

A. The parties to a proceeding under this chapter may enter into an agreement regarding communication with a child adoptee, the adoptive parents and a birth parent.

B. An agreement is not enforceable unless the agreement is in writing and is approved by the court. The court shall not approve an agreement unless the agreement is approved by the prospective adoptive parents, any birth parent with whom the agreement is being made and, if the child is in the custody of the division or an agency, a representative of the division or agency.

C. An agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall state that the adoptive parent may terminate contact between the birth parent and the adoptive child at any time if the adoptive parent believes that this contact is not in the child's best interests.

D. The court shall not approve the agreement unless the court finds that the communication between the child adoptee, the adoptive parents and a birth parent is in the child's best interests. The court may consider the wishes of a child who is at least twelve years of age.

E. An agreement entered into pursuant to this section is enforceable even if it does not disclose the identity of the parties to the agreement.

F. Failure to comply with an agreement that has been approved pursuant to this section is not grounds for setting aside an adoption decree or for revocation of a written consent to an adoption decree or relinquishment of parental rights.

G. The court retains jurisdiction after the decree of adoption is entered to hear motions brought to enforce or modify an order entered pursuant to this section. Before filing a motion, the party seeking to enforce or modify an order shall make a good faith attempt to mediate the dispute. The court shall not enforce or modify an order unless the party filing the motion has made a good faith attempt to mediate the dispute.

H. The court may order a modification of an agreement approved pursuant to this section if it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child adoptee and one of the following is true:

1. The modification is agreed to by the adoptive parents.

2. Exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreement was approved that justify modification of the agreement.

I. The court may consider the wishes of a child who is at least twelve years of age in determining whether to order a modification pursuant to subsection H.

J. Every agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall contain a clause stating that the parties agree to the continuing jurisdiction of the court to enforce and modify the agreement and that they understand that failure to comply with an agreement approved pursuant to this section is not grounds for setting aside an adoption decree or for revocation of a written consent to an adoption decree or relinquishment of parental rights.


8-117. Rights under adoption order

A. On entry of the decree of adoption, the relationship of parent and child and all the legal rights, privileges, duties, obligations and other legal consequences of the natural relationship of child and parent thereafter exist between the adopted child and the adoptive parent as though the child were born to the adoptive parent in lawful wedlock. The adopted child is entitled to inherit real and personal property from and through the adoptive parent and the adoptive parent is entitled to inherit real and personal property from and through the adopted child the same as though the child were born to the adoptive parent in lawful wedlock.

B. On entry of the decree of adoption, the relationship of parent and child between the adopted child and the persons who were the child's parents before entry of the decree of adoption is completely severed and all the legal rights, privileges, duties, obligations and other legal consequences of the relationship cease to exist, including the right of inheritance. This subsection does not apply to communication rights established pursuant to section 8-116.01.

C. If the adoption is by the spouse of the child's parent, the relationship of the child to that parent remains unchanged by the decree of adoption.


8-118. Petition withdrawal or denial; custody

In any case in which the petition is withdrawn or denied the court shall order the removal of the child from the proposed adoptive home if the court finds that such removal is in the child's best interest. If such removal is ordered, the court shall vest temporary legal custody in an agency with power to remove the child and to plan for the child's welfare. The court shall fix responsibility for temporary child support. The court may make such other orders as it deems necessary to protect and further the best interests of the child.


8-119. Dismissal after death; exception

In the event of the death of the petitioner, the petition for adoption shall be dismissed, except where there are two petitioners and one of the petitioners dies the proceeding shall continue unless withdrawn by the surviving petitioner.


8-120. Records; inspection; exception; destruction of certain records

A. Except as provided in section 8-129, all files, records, reports and other papers compiled in accord with this article, whether filed in or in possession of the court, an agency or any person or association, shall be withheld from public inspection.

B. Such files, records, reports and other papers may be open to inspection by persons and agencies having a legitimate interest in the case and their attorneys and by other persons and agencies having a legitimate interest in the protection, welfare or treatment of the child if so ordered by the court.

C. This section does not prohibit persons employed by the court, the division or an agency from conducting the investigations or performing other duties pursuant to this article within the normal course of their employment.

D. This section does not prohibit persons employed by the court, the division, an attorney participating or assisting in a direct placement adoption pursuant to section 8-130 or an agency from providing partial or complete identifying information between a birth parent and adoptive parent when the parties mutually agree to share specific identifying information and make a written request to the court, the division or the agency.

E. Except for files that belong to an attorney, all files, records, reports and other papers not filed in or in the possession of the court shall not be destroyed until after a ninety-nine year period. The files that belong to an attorney shall not be destroyed until after a seven year period.


8-121. Confidentiality of information; exceptions

A. It is unlawful, except for purposes for which files and records or social records or parts thereof or information therefrom have been released pursuant to subsection C of this section or section 8-120, 8-129 or 8-134, or except for purposes permitted by order of the court, for any person to disclose, receive or make use of, or authorize, knowingly permit, participate in or acquiesce in the use of, any information involved in any proceeding under this article directly or indirectly derived from the files, records, reports or other papers compiled pursuant to this article, or acquired in the course of the performance of official duties until one hundred years after the date of the order issued pursuant to section 8-116. After one hundred years has elapsed from the date of the order issued pursuant to section 8-116 the court shall transfer all files, records, reports and other documents in possession of the court relating to the adoption to the Arizona state library, archives and public records. The items transferred pursuant to this subsection shall be available for public inspection during business hours and may be made available in an alternative format.

B. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit persons employed by the court, the division or an agency from conducting the investigations or performing other duties pursuant to this article within the normal course of their employment.

C. This section does not prohibit persons employed by the court, the division, an attorney participating or assisting in a direct placement adoption pursuant to section 8-130 or an agency from providing partial or complete identifying information between a birth parent and adoptive parent when the parties mutually agree to share specific identifying information and make a written request to the court, the division or the agency.

D. A person may petition the court to obtain information relating to an adoption in the possession of the court, the division or any agency or attorney involved in the adoption. Nonidentifying information may be released by the court pursuant to section 8-129. The court shall not release identifying information unless the person requesting the information has established a compelling need for disclosure of the information or consent has been obtained pursuant to subsection E of this section or from the birth parent pursuant to section 8-106. If a compelling need for disclosure of information is established, the court may decide what information, if any, should be disclosed and to whom and under what conditions disclosure may be made.

E. An adoptee who is eighteen years of age or older or a birth parent may file at any time with the court and the agency, division or attorney who participated in the adoption a notarized statement granting consent, withholding consent or withdrawing a consent previously given for the release of confidential information. If an adoptee who is eighteen years of age or older and the birth mother or birth father have filed a notarized statement granting consent to the release of confidential information, the court may disclose information, except identifying information relating to a birth parent who did not grant written consent, to the adoptee or birth parent.

F. This section does not prohibit a person from notifying a birth parent of the death of a child that the birth parent has placed for adoption.


8-122. Financial hardship; deferral, waiver or reduction of fees

The court, an agency or the division may voluntarily defer, waive or reduce any fee if payment of the fee would cause a hardship to the adoptive parent or would be detrimental to the welfare of the adoptive child.


8-123. Irregularities; curative period

After one year from the date the adoption decree is entered, any irregularity in the proceeding shall be deemed cured and the validity of the decree shall not thereafter be subject to attack on any such ground in any collateral or direct proceeding.


8-124. Subsequent adoptions

The adoption of an adopted person is authorized, and in that case the references to the parents are to adoptive parents.


8-125. Adoption decrees of other states

Where an adoption has been judicially decreed by a court in another state, such decree shall have the same force and effect as to matters within the jurisdiction of this state as though it had been granted by a court of this state.


8-126. Licensure and regulation of agencies

The division shall:

1. License agencies on an annual basis subject to renewal. Before issuing a license, the division shall investigate the activities of the agency, its financial stability, the character and training of its personnel and the adequacy of the agency's intended services to ensure the welfare of parents and children using the services of the agency. If the agency meets the standards established by the division, a license shall be issued.

2. Provide for oversight of agencies.

3. Assist the staffs of all agencies by giving advice on methods and procedures.

4. Establish rules for:

(a) Licensing agencies, including professional licensing, and suspending, revoking and denying licenses.

(b) Annual renewal of agency licenses.

(c) The form and content of investigations, reports and studies concerning adoption placements.

(d) Reasonable fees chargeable by the division to agencies for licensure and renewal of licenses.

(e) Reasonable and authorized fees chargeable to any person for services in connection with an adoption and payments, disbursements or commitments of anything of value made or agreed to be made to or for the benefit of a birth parent by any person in connection with an adoption.

(f) Conducting reviews and making reports pursuant to section 8-114, subsection E.


8-127. Services of county attorney; exception

A. The county attorney of the county in which the prospective adoptive parent resides, or, if applicable, the county where the child is a ward of the court, on application of the person or persons seeking adoption, shall prepare the adoption petition and act as attorney without expense to the prospective adoptive parent. If an adoption is made through an adoption agency licensed pursuant to this title, the agency shall prepare the petition for adoption and shall submit it to the county attorney. If the petition is contested the county attorney, with the consent of the court, may withdraw from further representation of any party to the proceeding and the prospective adoptive parent shall employ counsel.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, the county attorney:

1. Shall not prepare a petition or act as the attorney for a prospective adoptive parent seeking adoption pursuant to title 14, chapter 8.

2. Is not required to act as an attorney for the prospective adoptive parent concerning the enforcement or modification of an agreement entered into pursuant to section 8-116.01.


8-128. Violation; classification

A person who knowingly violates any provision of this article is guilty of a class 6 felony.


8-129. Health and genetic history; compilation; availability; costs

A. Before placing a child for adoption, the division or the agency or the person placing the child, if the child is not placed by the division, shall compile and provide to the prospective adoptive parents detailed written nonidentifying information including a health and genetic history and all nonidentifying information about the birth parents or members of a birth parent's family set forth in a document that is separate from any document containing identifying information. This subsection does not apply if the birth parents are deceased, their whereabouts are unknown or the information is not otherwise reasonably available.

B. Records containing the information prescribed in subsection A:

1. Shall be retained by the division, agency or person for ninety-nine years, and if an agency or person ceases to function, the agency or person shall transfer these records to the division, except that an agency ceasing operations may transfer these records to another agency within this state, provided the agency transferring the records gives notice of the transfer to the division.

2. May be supplemented with information supplied by any member of the birth family, any member of the adoptive family or an adult adoptee or the family of an adult adoptee. Supplemental information supplied to the division or the agency or the person who placed the child shall be filed with all other information concerning the adoption.

3. Shall be available on request throughout the ninety-nine year period, together with any other information described in subsection A which is added, to the following persons only:

(a) The adoptive parents of the child or, if the adoptive parents have died, the child's guardian.

(b) The adoptee if he is eighteen or more years of age.

(c) If the adoptee has died, the adoptee's spouse if he is the legal parent of the adoptee's child or the guardian of any child of the adoptee.

(d) If the adoptee has died, any progeny of the adoptee who is eighteen or more years of age.

(e) The birth parent of the adoptee or other biological children of the birth parent.

C. The actual and reasonable cost of providing information pursuant to this section shall be paid by the person requesting the information.


8-130. Consent to licensed agency or division; attorneys; affidavits

A. A consent to adoption of a child shall not be granted to an agency unless the agency is licensed to place children for adoption under this article. A consent may be granted to the division, which is exempt from licensure. An agency or the division may conduct both agency placement adoptions and direct placement adoptions. An agency placement adoption shall only be made by an agency or the division.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, a person shall not do any of the following unless the person is employed or engaged by and acting on behalf of a licensed adoption agency:

1. Solicit or accept employment or engagement, for compensation, by or on behalf of a parent or guardian for assistance in the placement of a child for adoption.

2. Solicit or accept employment or engagement, for compensation, by or on behalf of any person to locate or obtain a child for adoption.

C. An attorney licensed to practice law in this state may assist and participate in direct placement adoptions and may receive compensation to the extent the court finds reasonable under section 8-114 if the person granting consent to the adoption has made a choice of the specific adopting parent without prior involvement of the attorney or if the choice is made only from among persons currently certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children pursuant to section 8-105.

D. Before a petition to adopt is granted and as a condition of the entry of an order of adoption:

1. An attorney participating or assisting in a direct placement adoption shall file with the court an affidavit confirming that there has been, to the best of his knowledge and belief, compliance with subsection B of this section and with section 8-114, subsection B, section 8-129 and, if fictitious names have been used, section 8-107, subsection E.

2. An attorney representing petitioners in an agency placement adoption and the agency shall file with the court an affidavit confirming that there has been, to the best of the petitioner's, agency's and attorney's knowledge and belief, compliance with subsections A and B of this section and sections 8-114 and 8-129.


8-131. Exemption of division from licensure; compliance with standards

The division is not required to be licensed but the division shall comply with the provisions of this article and with the standards required by the division for licensed adoption agencies.


8-133. Fees for division services

A. The division may charge fees for studying and certifying adoption applicants and for providing placement supervision services to cover the costs of providing these services.

B. If an investigation is conducted by an officer of the court, the court may charge a reasonable fee, prescribed by the presiding judge of the juvenile court, to cover the costs of investigation in preadoption investigations pursuant to section 8-105, investigations conducted pursuant to section 8-872 to determine whether permanent guardianship, as an alternative to adoption, is in the best interests of the child, or investigations conducted in a review of permanent guardianship pursuant to section 8-872. The court may waive, reduce or defer this fee if the fee would cause a hardship.


8-134. Confidential intermediary

A. Any of the following persons may use the services of a confidential intermediary who is listed with the court:

1. The adoptive parents of an adoptee who is at least eighteen years of age or, if the adoptive parents are deceased, the adoptee's guardian.

2. An adoptee if the adoptee is at least eighteen years of age.

3. If an adoptee is deceased, the adoptee's spouse if the spouse is the legal parent or guardian of any child of the adoptee.

4. If an adoptee is deceased, any progeny of the adoptee who is at least eighteen years of age.

5. Either of the birth parents of an adoptee.

6. If the birth parent of an adoptee is deceased, the parent of the birth parent.

7. A biological sibling of the adoptee if the sibling is at least eighteen years of age.

B. An adoption agency licensed by this state, the division or an individual who meets the requirements adopted pursuant to subsections F and G of this section may serve as a confidential intermediary.

C. Notwithstanding sections 8-120 and 8-121, a confidential intermediary may inspect documents compiled pursuant to this article. Documents include the court records, division records, agency records and maternity home records. The confidential intermediary shall keep confidential all information obtained during the course of the investigation. The intermediary shall use confidential information only to arrange a contact or share information between the person who initiates the search and the person who is the subject of the search. A confidential intermediary shall review the court record before making any contact with an adoptee to determine if an affidavit has been filed pursuant to subsection E of this section. Except as provided pursuant to subsection A, paragraphs 1, 2, 4 and 7 and subsection G of this section, a confidential intermediary shall not contact persons under twenty-one years of age.

D. The confidential intermediary shall obtain written consent from the person who initiated the search and the person who is the subject of the search before arranging for the sharing of identifying information or a contact between them. If the confidential intermediary discovers the subject of the search is deceased or that the identity of the birth father was unknown to or not revealed by the birth mother, the confidential intermediary shall share this information with the person initiating the search. If the confidential intermediary, after a diligent effort, is unable to locate the subject of the search to obtain written consent to share information, the confidential intermediary shall share this information with the person initiating the search and prepare and place with the compiled documents a written report describing search efforts. If the person who initiated the search petitions the court to release identifying information, the court shall review the report prepared by the confidential intermediary and shall decide if the information may be released and in what manner the information may be released if the court determines there is good cause.

E. An adoptive parent who has not informed an adoptee that the adoptee was adopted may file an affidavit so stating with the court where the adoption took place. The affidavit may be withdrawn at any time by the adoptive parent. If an affidavit is a part of the court record, the confidential intermediary shall not make contact with the adoptee unless the adoptive parent withdraws the affidavit and grants permission in writing or the adoptee has filed an affidavit stating that the adoptee knows about the adoption and wishes to make contact with the birth parent.

F. A birth parent who has not informed the parent's biological offspring of the existence of the adoptee may file an affidavit so stating with the court where the adoption took place. The affidavit may be withdrawn at any time by the birth parent. If an affidavit is a part of the court record, the confidential intermediary shall not make contact with the biological sibling unless the birth parent withdraws the affidavit and grants permission in writing or the biological sibling has filed an affidavit stating that the biological sibling knows about the adoptee and wishes to make contact with the adoptee.

G. On receipt of a written statement from a physician that explains in detail how a health condition may seriously affect the health of the adoptee or a direct descendant of the adoptee, the court shall order the confidential intermediary program to appoint a confidential intermediary. The confidential intermediary shall make a diligent effort to notify an adoptee who has attained eighteen years of age, an adoptive parent or guardian of an adoptee who has not attained eighteen years of age or a direct descendant of a deceased adoptee that the nonidentifying information is available and shall be provided on written request.

H. On receipt of a written statement from a physician that explains in detail why a serious health condition of the adoptee or a direct descendant of the adoptee should be communicated to the birth parent or biological sibling to enable the birth parent or biological sibling to make an informed medical decision, the court shall order the confidential intermediary program to appoint a confidential intermediary. The confidential intermediary shall make a diligent effort to notify those individuals that the nonidentifying information is available and shall be provided on written request.

I. The Arizona supreme court shall administer the confidential intermediary program. The court shall adopt rules and procedures necessary to implement the program, including qualifications, required fees, minimum standards for certification, training and standards of conduct of confidential intermediaries, and shall establish the fees that may be charged by a confidential intermediary.

J. A person shall not act as a confidential intermediary unless the person possesses a confidential intermediary certificate issued by the supreme court. In order to be certified as a confidential intermediary a person shall meet and maintain the minimum standards prescribed by this section and the rules adopted by the supreme court.

K. In carrying out the provisions of this section the supreme court shall require applicants for a confidential intermediary certificate to furnish fingerprints and the supreme court shall obtain criminal history record information pursuant to section 41-1750. The applicant for certification shall pay a fee to the department of public safety to reimburse the department of public safety for the cost of obtaining the applicant's criminal history record information required by this section. The fee shall not exceed the actual cost of obtaining the applicant's criminal history record information.

L. The actual and reasonable cost to the agency, division or court of providing information pursuant to the confidential intermediary program shall be paid by the person requesting the services of a confidential intermediary. If the juvenile court of a county is supplying the information, the actual and reasonable costs shall be paid to the clerk of the court of that county who shall transmit the monies to the county treasurer of that county for deposit in the juvenile probation services fund to be utilized by the juvenile court of that county for reimbursing the court for costs associated with providing information pursuant to the confidential intermediary program. If the division is supplying the information, the actual and reasonable costs shall be paid to the division. If an agency is supplying the information, the actual and reasonable costs shall be paid to the agency.


8-135. Confidential intermediary and fiduciary fund

A. The confidential intermediary and fiduciary fund is established consisting of the monies received pursuant to section 12-284.03, subsection A, paragraph 8, section 36-342, subsection B, section 14-5651, subsection A, legislative appropriations, donations, fees, grants and contracts for the purposes of implementing the confidential intermediary program established by section 8-134 and performing the duties related to fiduciaries pursuant to section 14-5651. The supreme court shall administer the fund subject to legislative appropriation. On notice from the supreme court, the state treasurer shall invest and divest monies in the fund as provided by section 35-313, and monies earned from investment shall be credited to the fund. The fund is exempt from the provisions of section 35-190 relating to lapsing of appropriations.

B. The appropriated funds shall only be used for the designated purposes specified in statute.


8-141. Definitions; exception

A. In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Adoption subsidy" means a grant provided to a child with special needs which has been applied for through the department.

2. "Agency" means the department or a child welfare agency which is authorized in its license issued by the department to place or care for children in foster care.

3. "Application" means the completion of the department application form with documentation of the child's special needs.

4. "Child" means any person under the age of eighteen years who is legally free for adoption and who otherwise may not be adopted because the person has special needs.

5. "Department" means the department of economic security.

6. "Developmental disability" has the same meaning as provided in section 36-551.

7. "Emotional disturbance" means a condition which impedes the child's ordinary developmental progress as defined by accepted psychiatric or psychological standards and as diagnosed by one or more psychiatrists or psychologists approved by the department.

8. "Emotional ties" include:

(a) Identification of the child as a member of the foster family.

(b) Identification by the foster family of the child as belonging to that family.

(c) The likelihood that the child will not establish significant emotional ties to another family if he is denied permanent placement with the foster family.

9. "High risk of physical or mental disease" means a potentially debilitating condition as defined by accepted standards of the health service profession and as certified by one or more health service providers approved by the department.

10. "High risk of severe emotional disturbance if removed from the care of his foster parents" means the development of significant emotional ties to the foster family as documented by the child's case manager and as diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist approved by the department.

11. "Mental disability" means a lifelong condition which is characterized by impaired intellectual development and impedes the ability to function independently as defined by accepted national standards and as certified by a psychologist, physician or child development specialist approved by the department.

12. "Physical disability" means one of the following conditions:

(a) A chronically debilitating, progressive or fatal disease which requires assistance for the child in activities of daily living.

(b) The requirement of assistance of another person or mechanical device for movement from place to place.

13. "Racial or ethnic factors" means Black, Hispanic, Native American, Oriental or other heritage which may prevent a child from being adopted by a family of similar racial or ethnic origin.

14. "Special needs" means one or more of the following conditions which existed before the finalization of adoption:

(a) Physical, mental or developmental disability.

(b) Emotional disturbance.

(c) High risk of physical or mental disease.

(d) High risk of developmental disability.

(e) Age of six or more years at the time of application for an adoption subsidy.

(f) Sibling relationship.

(g) Racial or ethnic factors.

(h) High risk of severe emotional disturbance if removed from the care of his foster parents.

(i) Any combination of the special needs described in this paragraph.

B. The condition described in subsection A, paragraph 17, subdivision (h), is not a special need unless the foster care relationship existed before the foster adoption placement was made.


8-142. Adoption subsidy program; funding; claims; limitation

A. The department of economic security shall establish and administer an ongoing program of subsidized adoption. Adoption subsidies shall be provided from monies appropriated to the department or made available to it from other sources.

B. The department of economic security shall not pay claims for a special services subsidy which are submitted more than nine months after the date of the service for which payment is claimed except as authorized by rules of the department.

C. The department of economic security shall not consider an applicant for a state adoption subsidy until the applicant has applied for all existing federal eligibility categories under the title IV-E program.

D. The total amount that may be expended in any fiscal year by the department of economic security for the adoption subsidy program shall not exceed the amount appropriated in the general appropriations act for the program and any monies granted by the federal government, together with additional amounts appropriated for the program by any special legislative appropriation. Transfers of monies between and among classes and programs shall continue to be permitted in accordance with the provisions of section 35-173.


8-142.01. Adoption subsidy program; hospital reimbursement

A. Notwithstanding section 8-144, subsection B, for inpatient hospital admissions and outpatient hospital services on or after March 1, 1993, the department shall reimburse a hospital according to the tiered per diem rates and outpatient cost-to-charge ratios established by the Arizona health care cost containment system pursuant to section 36-2903.01, subsection H.

B. The department shall use the Arizona health care cost containment system rates as identified in subsection A of this section for any child enrolled in the adoption subsidy program. This requirement shall not be construed to expand the liability of the adoption subsidy program beyond eligible preexisting conditions on an adoption subsidy agreement entered into between the department and the adoptive parent.

C. A hospital bill is considered received for purposes of subsection E of this section upon initial receipt of the legible, error-free claim form by the department if the claim includes the following error-free documentation in legible form:

1. An admission face sheet.

2. An itemized statement.

3. An admission history and physical.

4. A discharge summary or an interim summary if the claim is split.

5. An emergency record, if admission was through the emergency room.

6. Operative reports, if applicable.

7. A labor and delivery room report, if applicable.

D. The department shall require that the hospital pursue other third party payors before submitting a claim to the department. Payment received by a hospital from the department pursuant to this section is considered payment by the department of the department's liability for the hospital bill. A hospital may collect any unpaid portion of its bill from other third party payors or in situations covered by title 33, chapter 7, article 3.

E. For inpatient hospital admissions and outpatient hospital services rendered on and after October 1, 1997, if the department receives the claim directly from the hospital for services rendered, the department shall pay a hospital's rate established according to this section subject to the following:

1. If the hospital's bill is paid within thirty days of the date the bill was received, the department shall pay ninety-nine per cent of the rate.

2. If the hospital's bill is paid after thirty days but within sixty days of the date the bill was received, the department shall pay one hundred per cent of the rate.

3. If the hospital's bill is paid any time after sixty days of the date the bill was received, the department shall pay one hundred per cent of the rate plus a fee of one per cent per month for each month or portion of a month following the sixtieth day of receipt of the bill until the date of payment.

F. For medical services other than those for which a rate has been established pursuant to section 36-2903.01, subsection H, the department shall pay according to the Arizona health care cost containment system capped fee-for-service schedule adopted pursuant to section 36-2904, subsection K.

G. For any hospital or medical claims not covered under subsection A or F of this section, the department shall establish and adopt a schedule setting out maximum allowable fees that the department deems reasonable for such services after appropriate study and analysis of usual and customary fees charged by providers.


8-143. Eligibility; limitation

Foster parents who are interested in adopting a child in their home or any other persons interested in adopting a child under public or private agency care, whether the adoption is through a public or private agency, may apply to the department of economic security to have the adoption of a child subsidized. All persons approved for the program as adoptive parents shall meet adoption agency standards except for the financial ability to support the child. A subsidy shall not be denied solely on the grounds that the child is placed for adoption through a private agency.


8-144. Subsidy agreement; duration; amount; periodic review; confidentiality

A. The family entering into subsidized adoption and the department shall sign a subsidy agreement which shall contain a provision for periodic review as provided in subsection C of this section before the final decree of adoption is issued, except as provided in subsection B of this section. Adoption subsidies may commence with the adoption placement or after the adoption decree, and will vary with the needs due to the special circumstances of the adopted child as well as the availability of other resources.

B. The adoption subsidy may continue through the age of twenty-one if the individual is enrolled in and regularly attending school unless the person has received a high school diploma or certificate of equivalency. The subsidy may be for special services only or for money payments, and either for a limited period or for a long term, or for any combination thereof. The amount of the subsidy shall not exceed the payments allowable under foster family care. A special service subsidy shall not exceed the reasonable fee for the service rendered in accordance with costs and procedures for authorization of services as determined by the department.

C. There shall be a periodic review which shall take place at least once a year by the department to determine the appropriateness and reasonableness of all subsidies and to ascertain the need for continuing or adjusting the subsidy.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, an application may be made and granted on behalf of a child adopted pursuant to the laws of this state at any time for a new or increased adoption subsidy upon documentation of an undiagnosed condition which existed before the finalization of the adoption.

E. All records regarding subsidized adoption shall be confidential and may be disclosed only in accordance with the rules of the department of economic security.


8-145. Appeals

An order denying, reducing or terminating a subsidy shall be appealable pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 6 and chapter 14, article 3.

8-161. Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Application" means the completion of the department application form with documentation of the child's special needs and nonrecurring expenses related to the adoption.

2. "Child" means a person who is under the age of eighteen years and who is adopted in this state or placed for adoption from this state.

3. "Department" means the department of economic security.

4. "Nonrecurring adoption expenses" means reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and expenses which are directly related to the legal process of adoption of a child with special needs including costs relating to the adoption study, health and psychological examinations, supervision of the placement before the adoption, transportation and reasonable costs of lodging and food for the child or adoptive parents which are incurred to complete the adoption process, meet federal requirements and are not reimbursed by other sources.

5. "Special needs" has the same meaning as provided in section 8-141.


8-162. Nonrecurring adoption expense program; funding; use of other resources; payment

A. The department shall establish and administer a program of payment for nonrecurring adoption expenses. Nonrecurring adoption expenses shall be provided from monies appropriated to the department or made available to it from other sources.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, the department shall not reimburse nonrecurring adoption expenses unless an application is approved and an agreement is signed by the department and the applicant for nonrecurring expenses before entry of the final decree of adoption.

C. The department may approve and reimburse these expenses after the finalization of an adoption only in the following situations:

1. A final decree of adoption was entered into on or after January 1, 1987 and before the effective date of this article.

2. A final decree was entered into before January 1, 1987, but nonrecurring adoption expenses were paid after January 1, 1987.

D. For adoptions finalized between January 1, 1987 and the effective date of this article, a person shall file an application by December 14, 1990.


8-163. Eligibility

A. Parents who have adopted a child with special needs may apply to the department of economic security for reimbursement of the nonrecurring expenses of that adoption.

B. To be eligible for reimbursement, the application must document the following:

1. The child cannot or should not be returned to the home of his parents.

2. The special needs of the child require financial assistance in order to place that child with the adoptive parents.

3. Reasonable effort has been made to place the child without providing reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption expenses, unless this is against the best interests of the child.

C. The department shall review the completed application, including supporting documentation provided by the applicant, to determine eligibility for reimbursement of nonrecurring adoption expenses.


8-164. Nonrecurring expenses; limitation

A. The amount of nonrecurring adoption expenses paid by the department shall not exceed two thousand dollars for each eligible child.

B. The department shall not pay for nonrecurring adoption expenses which are submitted more than nine months after the final decree of adoption, except as provided pursuant to section 8-162, subsections C and D.

C. Nonrecurring adoption expenses not subject to reimbursement shall include, but are not limited to, family counseling received prior to the final decree of adoption or one time costs associated with physical remodeling, renovation and alteration of the adoptive parents' home or property.


8-165. Records

The department shall maintain records which include information regarding age, sex, ethnicity, country or state of origin, type of placement agency and category of nonrecurring adoption expenses which are reimbursed pursuant to this article.


8-166. Appeals

A person may appeal a department decision denying or reducing an application for reimbursement of nonrecurring expenses pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 6 and chapter 14, article 3.


8-171. Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Adoption assistance" means payments, medical assistance or benefits provided by an adoption assistance state pursuant to applicable federal and state laws.

2. "Adoption assistance state" means a state that is a signatory to an interstate adoption assistance compact.

3. "Department" means the department of economic security.

4. "State" means a state, district, commonwealth or territory of the United States.


8-172. Interstate compacts; requirements; optional contents

The department may enter into a compact with other states to provide for the reciprocal enforcement of adoption assistance agreements. A compact entered into pursuant to this section shall contain the following:

1. A provision making it available for joinder by all states.

2. A provision or provisions for withdrawal from the compact on written notice to the parties no sooner than one year from the date of the notice.

3. A requirement that the protections afforded by or pursuant to the compact continue in force for the duration of the adoption assistance and are applicable to all children and their adoptive parents who on the effective date of the state's withdrawal from the compact are receiving adoption assistance from a party state other than the one in which they are residents and have their principal place of abode.

4. A requirement that each instance of adoption assistance to which the compact applies is covered by an adoption assistance agreement in writing between the adoptive parents and the state child welfare agency of the state that provides the adoption assistance and that this agreement is expressly for the benefit of the adopted child and is enforceable by the adoptive parents and the state agency providing the adoption assistance.

5. Other provisions necessary to implement the compact.


8-173. Adoption assistance agreements; reciprocity conditions; violation; classification

A. A child who resides in this state and who is the subject of an adoption assistance agreement with a state that has entered into a compact with this state is entitled to receive medical assistance from this state if the adoption assistance agreement provides categorical eligibility for federally funded medical assistance. This entitlement begins on the filing with the department of a certified copy of the adoption assistance agreement obtained from the adoption assistance state. In accordance with department rules, the adoptive parents shall show at least annually that the agreement with the other adoption assistance state is still in force or has been renewed.

B. The department and the Arizona health care cost containment system administration shall consider the holder of an adoption assistance agreement, as provided in subsection A of this section, as any other eligible medical assistance person under the laws of this state and shall make medical assistance payments pursuant to the same conditions and procedures for other recipients of medical assistance.

C. A person who knowingly submits a claim for payment or reimbursement for services or benefits pursuant to this section or who makes a statement in connection with a claim that is false, misleading or fraudulent is guilty of a class 6 felony.

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