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8-112 Social studies

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The state bar of arizona
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A. The division, an agency or an officer of the court shall conduct and submit a social study to the court ten days before the hearing on the petition to adopt. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the court may order an additional social study or waive the social study if it determines that this is in the child’s best interests because of special circumstances.

B. Except as provided in subsection D or E of this section, the social study shall include the following:

1. The social history, heritage and mental and physical condition of the child and the child’s birth parents.

2. The child’s current placement in the prospective adoptive parent’s home and the child’s adjustment to that home.

3. The prospective adoptive parent’s suitability to adopt.

4. The existing and proposed arrangements regarding the child’s custody.

5. Any financial arrangement concerning the proposed adoption made by the birth parents, the division, an agency, an attorney or the prospective adoptive parents.

6. A state and federal criminal records check of the prospective adoptive parent and each adult who is living permanently with the prospective adoptive parent except a birth or legal parent with custody of the child. A valid fingerprint clearance card pursuant to section 41-1758.07 satisfies this requirement. The court may order an additional state and federal criminal records check for good cause.

7. A central registry records check, including any history of child welfare referrals, with the division of the prospective adoptive parent and each adult who is living permanently with the prospective adoptive parent.

8. Any other information that is pertinent to the adoption proceedings.

C. The social study conducted pursuant to subsection A of this section is part of the case file and shall contain a definite recommendation for or against the proposed adoption and the reasons for that recommendation.

D. The social study conducted pursuant to subsection A of this section shall consist only of the results of the state and federal criminal records check and the central registry records check conducted pursuant to subsection B of this section if either of the following is true:

1. The prospective adoptive parent is the child’s stepparent who has been legally married to the child’s birth or legal parent for at least one year and the child has resided with the stepparent and parent for at least six months.

2. The prospective adoptive parent is the child’s adult sibling, by the whole or half blood, or the child’s aunt, uncle, grandparent or great-grandparent and the child has resided with the prospective adoptive parent for at least six months.

E. If the child being considered for adoption has resided with the prospective adoptive parent for at least six months and the prospective adoptive parent either has adopted a child or was appointed the permanent guardian of the child within three years preceding the current application, or is a foster parent who is licensed by this state, the social study conducted pursuant to subsection A of this section may consist only of the following:

1. The results of the central registry records check conducted pursuant to subsection B of this section.

2. A review of any material changes in circumstances that have occurred since the previous adoption, permanent guardianship or license renewal that affect the prospective adoptive parent’s ability to adopt the child or for the child to be placed in the prospective adoptive parent’s home.

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