Court Rules Related to Obtaining Certified Copy of Adoption Order – Arizona

Author: LegalEase Solutions 

Whether, in Maricopa County, the Adoptive Parents are entitled to one Certified Copy of the Adoption Order free of cost or not?

The official site of Clerk of Superior Court’s Office of Maricopa County states that there is no filing fee for a Petition for Adoption, or to contest an adoption.  The following table provides the Superior Court Filing Fees/Juvenile- For Maricopa County Effective from May 15, 2013.[1]

FEES / JUVENILE
AUTHORIZING
STATUTE
RENDERED
SERVICE
FEE
AMOUNT
8-127 Petition or application for adoption N/C
8-127 Contested adoption N/C
8-127 Petition or application for adoption on a child who is a current ward of the Court in the care, custody and control of DES N/C
12-313A4 Petition for appointment of guardian of a minor $268.00
12-313C Opposing petition for appointment of guardian of a minor $268.00
12-313C Any person opposing a contested petition if no prior fee paid $199.00
12-284(J) Petition for Emancipation $176.00
12-311, 12-284AB Answer to Petition for Emancipation $222.00
41-1750, 12-284 Fingerprint Card
(Fee Set by Director of the Department of Public Safety pluys costs, per ARS 41-1750 and ARS 12-284)
$29.00

 

However, the above fee schedule provides only for filing fees and it does not mention fees for obtaining certified copies of an Adoption Order.  The Arizona Revised Statutes Title 8, Chapter 1 deals with Adoption.  Article 8- 133 of the Statute provides that fees for division services are as follows:

  1. The division may charge fees for studying and certifying adoption applicants and for providing placement supervision services to cover the costs of providing these services.
  2. If an investigation is conducted by an officer of the court, the court may charge a reasonable fee, prescribed by the presiding judge of the juvenile court, to cover the costs of investigation in preadoption investigations pursuant to section 8-105, investigations conducted pursuant to section 8-872 to determine whether permanent guardianship, as an alternative to adoption, is in the best interests of the child, or investigations conducted in a review of permanent guardianship pursuant to section 8-872.  The court may waive, reduce or defer this fee if the fee would cause a hardship.

Further, section 8-540 deals with Court costs. It states:

  1. There shall be no fees assessed for the filing of a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship.
  2. All court costs, including the cost of giving notice and advertising shall be paid by the petitioners if the court so orders.  The court may suspend such costs where payment would work a hardship upon the petitioner, or would be otherwise inappropriate.

Arizona Revised Statutes Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court Part IV deals with Adoption and they do not specifically dictate any fees or costs for obtaining certified copies of an order either.

Therefore, in an adoption procedure, no filing fee is required for a petition for Adoption, or to contest an adoption.  And furthermore, a petition or application for adoption of a child who is a current ward of the Court in the case, custody and control of DES is allowed free of cost.[2]

As such, it is understood that as a matter of right adoptive parents are not entitled to free copy of adoption order of the court and there does not exist any written rules with respect to granting Certified Copy of the Adoption Order free of cost in Maricopa County to the Adoptive Parents.   However, it is within the judge’s discretion to waive fees or costs related to obtaining adoption orders.

[1] http://www.clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov/fees.asp#juvenile

[2] http://www.clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov/fees.asp#Domestic