A bill that would give preferential treatment to married couples when it comes to adoption is quickly moving through the state Legislature, as the bill was given preliminary approval in the Arizona Senate last week. According to The East Valley Tribune, the passage of Senate Bill 1188 would only let a single person adopt a child in Arizona if a married couple is not available for adoption.
Opponents of the bill say this measure could result in situations where the Department of Economic Security and adoption agencies are forced to reject the placement of a child with a single parent, even if it is a good placement and better option for the child.
Phoenix Senator Kyrsten Sinema gave an example in which a pediatric nurse who is a single woman might want to adopt a child that has a heart defect or other physical deformity. Therefore, under the new law, giving primary consideration to a married couple would override the decision to let the child be adopted by the medical specialist.
But the bill's sponsor, Sen. Linda Gray, R-Glendale, said her measure is designed to say that, everything else being equal, a married couple is a better placement.
However, SB 1188 also has the potential to create more complications in the adoption process and delay getting children into permanent homes. The adoption process is already quite complicated as it is, with a required home study process, background check, court proceedings, and mountain of paperwork. Many people feel that restricting single-parent adoptions is unnecessary and will keep more children in foster care than is needed.
More information about adoption laws and legal procedures in the state of Arizona can be found through our Related Resource pages or by contacting a Phoenix area family law attorney.