With Mother's Day this weekend, many families will be gathering together to celebrate moms of all kinds.
While many people think of biological motherhood when they hear "mom," there are several ways to be a mother in Arizona. Below, we''ve included the different forms of motherhood discussed in Arizona law.
Biological parents are generally granted certain rights when they have a child, unless a court has ordered otherwise. Biological parents have the right to make decisions regarding their children's future and well being, as long as the health and safety of the children are not put into jeopardy.
Under Arizona adoption law, any adult who's a resident of the state may adopt a child, whether she's single, married, or divorced. Although same-sex marriage is not recognized in Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law last year giving same-sex couples tie-breaker preference over singles for state-arranged adoptions.
Arizona is the only state, excluding Washington D.C., that places an outright ban on surrogacy arrangements. Under Arizona law, it's a crime to "enter into, induce, arrange procure, or otherwise assist in the formation of a surrogate parentage contract."
Orphans or children removed from their homes are sometimes temporarily placed with foster families. Generally, foster parents must be over 21, have a regular source of income, have no felony convictions, and attend parent training sessions.
Generally, Arizona stepparents do not have legal or physical custody of their stepchildren, unless a biological parent is deemed unfit by a court. However, stepparents can adopt their stepchildren, thereby gaining parenting rights.
Remember that "motherhood" encompasses a whole range of relationships. Have a great Mother's Day.