In the Feb. 5 edition of the Arizona Capitol Times, the story headlined “Married parents would get preference in Adoptions” stated that H2148 would prohibit the Arizona Department of Economic Security from “approving an adoption by a single adult unless no qualified married couple was available.”
While the article acknowledges the bill’s exceptions, that statement does not accurately depict how the bill would operate.
Single adults still would be able to adopt children in many, many situations in which a married couple is available.
Let’s set the record straight about how H2148 would work:
A single relative of a child wants to adopt the child. DES would place the child with the single relative, even if there is a married couple available to adopt the child.
A single person wants to adopt immediately and placement with that person avoids extended foster care for the child. The single person adopts the child, even if a married couple eventually could be available to adopt.
A single person already has a close relationship with the child. The single person adopts the child, even if a married couple wants to adopt the child.
A child’s mother wishes to direct placement of her child with a single person. The single person adopts the child, even if a married couple wants to adopt.
Then there’s the catch-all provision: It is in the child’s best interests to be adopted by a single person. The single person adopts the child, even if a married couple wants to adopt the child.
Both a single person and a married couple are ready to adopt the child. The married couple only adopts the child if none of the above scenarios apply.
H2148, thus, is fairly limited in scope. H2148 simply requires the state, where possible, to place for adoption children in homes with a married mom and a dad.
– Cathi Herrod is president of the Center for Arizona Policy.