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Grandparent Adoption Rights

Adopting a Grandchild

Grandparents do have a right to petition to adopt their grandchildren.  They do not have to be certified to adopt, but do need to obtain a court order granting temporary custody pending the adoption and go through the petition proceedings.  A social study may not be conducted or may be limited in scope, base on the court and adoption circumstances.  State and federal criminal records will be checked along with Department of Child Services records.

Native American Children

Grandparents are given placement preference for children that qualify under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

Termination of Rights

If the grandparents do not petition for custody of their grandchild, the visitation rights of a grandparent terminate immediately the moment their grandchild is placed for adoption or has been adopted (A.R.S. § 25-409).

Exceptions to Severance

  • Grandparents maintain their rights if it is a stepparent adoption
  • If the child is removed from the adoptive home, the court may reinstate visitation rights of the grandchild

The court is not obligated, nor will they, notify the grandparent(s) as to where the child is placed or when the adoption is finalized.


Adoption Petitions

State Statute - Title 8, Chapter 1

State Statute - A.R.S. § 25-409

Indian Child Welfare Act