Though it is not common knowledge, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office handles uncontested adoptions.
Our Adoptions personnel prepare legal paperwork for adoptive parents, file adoption petitions, and represent the adoptive parents at all court hearings. Since 2000, over 2,500 adoptions have been completed by our office, including relative adoptions, private adoptions, international adoptions and other agency placements. We hope that our representation makes adoption more affordable, as there is no cost for our service. Prospective adoptive parents only pay the adoption agency fees.
About Adoption Services
Adoption Services represents families in a variety of uncontested adoptions including:
- Parent or other relative adoptions
- Agency placed children adoptions
- Privately placed children adoptions
- Foreign adoptions
- Foreign re-adoptions
Our services include the drafting of all legal adoption documentation, as well as legal representation at all court hearings. In cases where it is necessary, Adoption Services handles temporary custody matters, and pre-birth or post-birth expense matters.
What is an Uncontested Adoption?
An uncontested adoption is one of the most common forms of adoption today. Uncontested adoptions fall in one of three categories:
- The birth parents consent to the adoption; or
- The parental rights of the birth parents or parent have been legally terminated; or
- Consent cannot be obtained because the birth parents are deceased.
The Adoption Process
Adoption Services Role
To use the County Attorney’s Adoption Services, adoptive parents must have either oral consent for the adoption from the birth parents, or the birth parents’ parental rights need to have been legally terminated. In private adoptions, once the adoptive parents have the birth parents’ consent or legally binding termination, they should call the Adoption Services at (602) 372-KIDS  and request an application.
- After the application and all other required documents are submitted to our office and reviewed, we will draft all necessary written consents for the birth parents.
- Upon receipt of the signed written consent, our office will call the adoptive parents to schedule an appointment to discuss and sign the petition for adoption.
- Once the petition for adoption is filed with Maricopa County Juvenile Court, the final hearing will be held approximately two to six months later, depending on the petitioner’s qualifications for the adoption.
Private Adoption Agencies’ Role
Except in very limited circumstances, all adoptive parents must have an adoption agency working on their case. These agencies prepare a “Social Study” which is submitted to the Juvenile Court. For certain types of adoptions, adoptive parents must be certified as “acceptable to adopt” through the Juvenile Court. An adoption agency will also complete the study for this process. As a courtesy, a list of adoption agencies is enclosed with the Adoption Services applications sent to adoptive parents.
Costs Involved in the Adoption Process
All of our services are provided free of charge to adoptive parents. The only costs involved would be the fees assessed by the adoption agency.
Questions About Adoption
If you have questions, or would like an uncontested adoption application, please call the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Adoption Services at (602) 372-KIDS  or contact us at our address:
222 East Javelina, Ste. 2400
Mesa, Arizona 85210
If you are a prospective adoptive parent and would like a printable version of this information, download a PDF version of our Adoption Brochure.