F Adoption - Overview
An adoption is a parent and child relationship created through a judicial proceeding.
 
States that have temporary or provisional (interlocutory) decrees, consider an adoption final as of the date of the interlocutory decree.
 
States that do not have interlocutory decrees (including Arizona), consider an adoption final when the final decree is issued.
 
When the adoption is final, the child no longer has a legal relationship to their natural parents or siblings.
 
A child who has been placed for adoption, and no longer lives with their natural parents, is not eligible to receive benefits in the natural parent's case.
 
The child's adoptive parents assume all parental rights and responsibilities. This includes the commitment to support the child when the adoption is final. The adoptive parents may apply for benefits for the adopted child.
 
A caretaker relative of an adopted child may apply for benefits for the adopted child when the child is living with the caretaker relative and not their adoptive parents.
 
NOTE Treat a natural parent as a caretaker relative when they are applying for an adopted child who is not living with their adoptive parents.
 
A caretaker relative, including the natural parent, must cooperate with the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) in providing information about the absent adoptive parents. (See Cooperation with DCSS)