WHAT IS THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT?
The adoption tax credit provides a significant financial incentive to adoptive parents who fall within its purview. While the figures vary slightly from year to year, generally, adoptive couples whose joint annual adjusted gross income (after retirement and 401ks) is under $194,580.00 are entitled to a dollar for dollar tax credit against Federal income taxes due for all expenses incurred in the course of an adoption up to $11,650.00. The tax credit begins to phase out as the adjusted gross income level increases, and the credit caps at approximately $234,580.00. For most families, however, the adoption tax credit can make the adoption process almost free. If the family cannot fully utilize the tax credit in the year of the adoption, there is a five year carry over provision for any excess credit not used in that initial year. Consult your accountant.


WHO CAN ADOPT?
In the state of Arizona, a single person or a married couple can file a petition for adoption.


WHAT IS THE HOME STUDY?
Virtually every state requires some form of investigation into the suitability or fitness of the individuals seeking to adopt. The investigation usually involves a report referred to as a home study. In Arizona, a prospective adoptive home must be approved by the Court to adopt. The process is called “certification.”


WHEN CAN A BIOLOGICAL PARENT SIGN A CONSENT?
“Parental” consent to an adoption is almost a uniform requirement of all adoption statutes. Consent is the most common method to achieve a voluntary termination of parental rights. Under Arizona law, consents cannot be signed for a period of 72 hours following the birth of a child, and are irrevocable unless obtained by fraud, duress, or undue influence (A.R.S. 8-106 and 107).


EVEN IF A BIOLOGICAL MOTHER CONSENTS, CAN THE BIOLOGICAL FATHER STOP THE ADOPTION?
The rights of a biological father depend on whether he is married to the mother of the child. Married, or legal fathers, have more rights than unmarried fathers. There are different methods authorized under Arizona law to address fathers’ rights. So long as those provisions are followed and the father does not act, the placement of the child should be secure. This area is a particular reason to utilize competent legal counsel during the adoption process.


WHAT KIND OF EXPENSES CAN BE PAID IN AN ADOPTION?
All expenses associated with an adoption must be approved by the court at the time the adoption is finalized. Certain expenditures, however, must be approved by the court in advance of their payment by the adoptive home in order to ensure that they are deemed reasonable and necessary.

Generally, medical, legal and counseling expenses do not require the pre-approval of the court. Where a prospective adoptive placement involves the payment of living expenses in excess of $1,000.00, however, prior court approval is required.


WHAT IS THE COST OF AN ADOPTION?
Private placement adoptions are generally predicated upon the actual costs of a specific placement. In general, an in-state adoptive placement costs approximately $10,000.00 to $12,000.00. This figure is an estimate and can be less or more depending upon a number of factors, including whether the biological mother needs assistance with living expenses and whether or not there are difficulties in dealing with the biological father.
blocks_image
blocks_image