Father Matters Confidential Intermediary Program FAQ
Arizona Adoption Records
Arizona adoption records are handled by the Office of Vital Records. After an adoption has been finalized the Office of Vital Records is responsible for amending the birth certificate to reflect the adoptive information. Once the birth certificate has been amended, the original birth certificate is sealed by the court along with the adoption certificate. Arizona is a closed record state, so adoption records remain confidential and are not public record. Although adoption records are sealed to the public, Arizona law allows certified Confidential Intermediaries access to these sealed records.
What is a Confidential Intermediary?
A confidential intermediary (CI) is an individual that acts on behalf of the adoption triad (adoptee, birth parents, or adoptive parents). The Arizona state licensed CI is authorized by law to help facilitate a search in attempt to make contact with other members of the triad. The confidential intermediary has access to sealed adoption records to conduct a search. Many states have enacted confidential intermediary laws in order to protect records and the anonymity who desire it while also allowing access to parties that consent to it. Therefore, consent must be obtained from both parties in order to release information and facilitate a reunion. The Arizona Supreme Court Directory of Certified Confidential Intermediaries can be found here.
What is the Confidential Intermediary Program?
The Arizona Confidential Intermediary Program (CIP) was established in 1992 by Arizona State Legislature. Confidential Intermediaries (CI’s) are certified and monitored through the Confidential Intermediary Program which is administered by the Certification and Licensing Division of the Arizona Supreme Court. The CI provides a service to assist in reuniting individuals involved in the adoption process. On-going training is provided by the court to ensure that CI’s are educated about the laws and how the search process works. Confidential Intermediaries are also trained to be sensitive to the needs of the adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, and other individuals using their services.
In 2007 the role of the CIP was extended to include the Sibling Information Exchange (SIX) by Arizona State Legislature. SIX allows former dependent children to locate and exchange information with their siblings. A sibling includes brothers and sisters from biological parents, adoptive parents, or stepparents.
Who may use the services of a Confidential Intermediary?
For adoptions finalized in Arizona and pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-134, any of the following persons may use the services of a CI:
- Adoptive parents of an adoptee who is at least 18 years of age, or if the adoptive parents are deceased, the adoptee’s guardian.
- An adoptee who is at least 18 years of age.
- If any adoptee is deceased, the adoptee’s spouse if the spouse is the legal parent or guardian of any child of the adoptee.
- If any adoptee is deceased, any progeny of the adoptee who is at least 18 years of age.
- Either of the birth parents of an adoptee.
- If the birth parent of an adoptee is deceased, the parent of the birth parent.
- A biological sibling of an adoptee if the sibling is at least 18 years of age.
- A CI cannot contact persons under 21 years of age without a court order.
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-543, any of the following persons may participate in SIX using the services of a CI:
- An adult who is a former dependent child.
- A juvenile who is a former dependent child, through any of the following:
(a) The juvenile’s adoptive parent.
(b) The juvenile’s guardian.
(c) The juvenile’s biological parent if that person has legal custody of the child and is not a party to a pending dependency proceeding.
- The adult sibling of a former dependent child.
Why you should use the Confidential Intermediary Program?
• CI’s are professionals and will handle each case in an objective manner.
• Confidential Intermediaries are experienced and proficient at searching adoption records.
ACCESS TO SEALED DOCUMENTS
• CI’s have access to sealed adoption records to help facilitate a search in attempt to make contact with other members of the adoption triad.
• Confidential Intermediaries are trained to handle sensitive adoption situations in a discreet manner.
• Consent must be obtained from all parties in order to release identifying and non-identifying information.
• We are authorized by law to inspect confidential court, division agency and maternity home records not otherwise available.
• The courts can order non-identifying medical information to be provided regardless of an adoptee’s age with a written statement from a physician.
• CI’s can also be used to obtain non-identifying information regarding parties of an adoption looking for medical or genealogical history but not wanting to make personal contact.
Why choose Father Matters for your adoption search?
Do you need help with your adoption search? Father Matters helps connect people touched by adoption. If your adoption took place in Arizona and you are hoping to find a member of the adoption triad I can help.
As a certified Arizona Confidential Intermediary, we have access to sealed adoption records to assist in reuniting individuals involved in the adoption process in Arizona. I am a trained professional and sensitive to adoption related issues and the needs of individuals using my services.
I have a great success rate and am passionate about adoption search and reunions. I am dedicated to bringing members of the adoption triad together for a reasonable price. If you have any questions about my services or your adoption search feel free to contact me and I will try to help you in any way I can. I look forward to hearing from you.
How long does the search process take?
Each search is unique and therefore it is difficult to predict how long a search will take. An adoption search can take anywhere from several weeks to many months depending on the circumstances of the case. My average case is approximately 4 months. However, it is a good idea to plan that a search will typically take 6 months although many are solved before this and some take longer.
What results can I expect?
The results of each adoption search vary depending on the parties involved. Many are located and consent to exchanging identifying information and hope to establish a relationship. Some wish only to share non-identifying information. While others want no information to be shared and the records are kept confidential. There is also the possibility that the person being searched for cannot be found or is deceased. It is best to be prepared for any possible outcome.
What do the Confidential Intermediary services cost?
Confidential Intermediaries fees must be within limits set by the supreme court pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-134(I) and A.R.S. § 8-543. A confidential intermediary may not charge clients an amount that exceed the fees listed in ACJA § 7-203 (M) for adoption search related services.
The cost of each adoption search varies as each search is unique and has different factors. I aim to keep my costs affordable for everyone. Finding a loved one should be accessible to every person. If you would like to discuss the cost of your adoption search then contact me for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION. Mention you found me on the web and I will honor a “no find / no fee” policy.
What happens after the CI finds the person being searched for?
When I have contacted the person and they agree to release information, consent must be obtained in writing from both parties in order to release information and/or facilitate a reunion.
What if the person being searched for does not want to be contacted?
If a person is contacted and they express that they do not wish to release information or have contact then their wishes for anonymity must be honored and I am unable to make any further contact.
What if the person being searched for is deceased?
If the person you are seeking is deceased I will share this information with you and will try to contact any surviving relatives that fall under the Arizona statues guidelines without additionally charging you.