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"When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves."
-Russell M. Nelson
Family Photo Album
Family Photo Album

Adoptees' Rights

​Original Birth Certificates

  • When a person is adopted, they are issued a new (amended) birth certificate that names their adoptive parents to fit the "as if born to" narrative. The original (factual) birth certificate is then sealed by the state.

  • Arizona is one of 21 states, which now allows "compromised" access to original birth certificates (only 12 states allow unrestricted access). 

  • Only those adoptees born between June 20, 1968 and September 29, 2021 may access their original birth certificates. A.R.S. § 36-340.

Right to Annul the Adoptions

  • A child's consent is only required in adoption proceedings if the child is twelve years of age or older. A.R.S. § 8-106

  • There is currently no law that allows Arizona adoptees the right to annul (void) their adoptions and be restored to their original/biological identities. 

  • There is, however, a small window in which an adoptee can be adopted as an adult back into their biological families, assuming the biological parents and the adoptee consent to the adult adoption, they're still alive, and the adoptee is at least eighteen years of age and not more than twenty-one years of age.  A.R.S. § 14-8101

Confidential Intermediary

  • Confidential Intermediaries ("CIs") are post-adoption liaisons between birth parents, adopted children and their siblings. CIs help facilitate contact between parties of an adoption (adoption triad members) or siblings separated as a result of a dependency action.

  • A.R.S. § 8-134 (E) allows adoptive parents to indefinitely limit an adoptees' access to their biological family in situations where the biological family is searching for the adoptee. 


Birth Family Rights

Revocation Period

  • Consent to adoption is irrevocable immediately once you give it as long as the consent was (1) given at least seventy-two hours after the birth of the child, (2) witnessed by two or more credible witnesses who are at least eighteen years of age, and (3) not obtained by fraud, duress or undue influence. 

  • A promise by the adoptive parents to keep an open adoption, which later closes, is not considered fraud, duress or undue influence. 

  • There is no revocation period in Arizona. 

  • A minor biological parent who consents to the termination of his or her parents rights for adoption is bound to the agreement despite the parent's age (which, in almost all other circumstances would not be binding due to a minor's competency). 

​Open Adoption

  • Many expectant mothers today are presented with the option to have an "open" adoption. 

  • The concept of "open" adoptions began after the Baby Scoop Era ended, and the supply of womb-wet infants diminished.

  • Arizona law specifically protects adopters in these agreements: "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." A.R.S. 8-116.01 (F)

  • In other words, an adoptive parent can promise you anything (e.g., visitation, photos, updates, etc.), but once the ink dries on the adoption papers, you lose ALL LEGAL RIGHTS to your child even if it is contradictory to the agreement that you signed.

  • The majority of "open" adoptions close within 5 years, and the biological family has no legal recourse when that happens. 

Daughter Kissing Pregnant Mom
Happy Dad
Happy Dad

Father's Rights

  • The only time a father's consent for adoption is required in Arizona is if he was married to the biological mother within the 10 months preceding the child’s birth or if he is named on the child’s birth certificate. A.R.S. § 8-106

  • In Arizona, if a father does not register on the  Putative Father Registry (which most men do not even know exists) within 30 days following the birth of his child, the father WAIVES HIS RIGHT TO BE NOTIFIED and the child can be adopted without the father's consent and without ever receiving notice that the child is being placed for adoption. A.R.S. § 8-106.01

  • A father who does not consent to adoption must initiate a paternity action and serve the child's mother within 30 days or he is statutorily barred from asserting any parental rights interest in his child. A father who fails to file the paternity action within 30 days waives his right to be notified of any judicial hearing regarding the child's adoption or the termination of parental rights and his consent to the adoption or termination is not required.

Pinal County Stats

  • Pinal County has the third largest population of unwed mothers living below poverty level.

  • Pinal County has the third largest population of unwed mothers aged 15-19.

  • Pinal County's teen birth rate is 3% and is considered average for the area.

  • Pinal County's overall birth rate is the second highest in the state at 6.5%.

  • Arizona has the second highest ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score in the nation. 

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