Confidential Intermediary Services Explained
What is a confidential intermediary?
R3 Investigator Stephanie Robertson is certified by the Arizona Supreme Court as a confidential intermediary. In compliance with state laws and court rules, she acts on behalf of either an adoptee, the birth parents or adoptive parents to find more information about the adoption. She has access to sealed adoption records and can help arrange contact between those involved. The whole process is handled with discretion and sensitivity for everyone.
What if the person being searched for does not want contact?
By law, if the person does not want to exchange information or contact, their wishes to remain anonymous must be followed.
What if the person being searched for is dead?
If the person is no longer living, I will share this information and try to contact other living relatives under the Arizona laws without charging more.
I need medical information. Now what?
With a written statement from a physician, a court may order non-identifying medical information to be provided regardless of an adoptee’s age.
Is genealogical information available?
Yes, non-identifying information about parties to an adoption can be provided without personal contact being initiated.
What is the Confidential Intermediary Program?
The state Legislature established the Arizona Confidential Intermediary Program (CIP) in 1992. CIs are trained, certified and monitored through the program which is handled by the Arizona Supreme Court. On-going training is required to ensure that CIs understand the laws and the search process. The CI assists those involved in the adoption process: the adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, as well as siblings.
Who may participate in SIX?
According to A.R.S. § 8-543, any of the following people may participate in SIX (Sibling Information Exchange Program) using the services of a CI:
18 or older and a former dependent child.
17 or under and is a former dependent child, through any of the following:
* The juvenile's adoptive parent.
* The juvenile's guardian.
* The juvenile's biological parent if that person has legal custody of the child and is not involved in a pending dependency proceeding.
8 or older and the sibling of a former dependent child.
What if I do not want to contact my siblings?
Contact is up to you. You must sign a paper stating that you want no contact. You may change your mind at a later date, in writing, that you know about your siblings and wish to get in touch.
Who may use a Confidential Intermediary?
For adoptions finalized in Arizona and according to A.R.S. § 8-134, any of the following people may use the services of a confidential intermediary:
Adoptive parents of an adoptee who is at least 18; or if the adoptive parents are deceased, the adoptee’s guardian.
An adoptee who is at least 18.
If any adoptee is not living, the adoptee’s spouse if he or she is the legal parent or guardian of any child of the adoptee.
If any adoptee is not living, any child of the adoptee who is at least 18.
Either of the birth parents of an adoptee.
If the birth parent of an adoptee is not living, the parent of the birth parent.
A biological sibling of an adoptee if the sibling is at least 18.
A CI may not search for anyone under 21 without a court order.
Costs for Confidential Intermediary Services
Our fees are set in accordance with the rules of the Arizona Supreme Court. A.R.S. §8-134(I) and A.R.S. §8-543.
The initial search set-up fee is $100 to review your case and explain what we can do. The investigation/research rate is $100 per hour. The bookkeeping/travel hourly rate is $50 per hour. Mileage is billed according to the amount posted on the Arizona government’s website.
Did you know these adoption facts?
1. Adoptive parents are usually in their 30s to mid-40s.
2. About 1.8 million children are adopted in the United States, which accounts for more than 2 percent of the population.
3. If you include adoptive parents, biological parents, and siblings, about 1 in 8 Americans are directly touched by adoption.
4. Studies show that at some point a majority of adoptees and birth parents have searched for their biological parents or children separated by adoption.
5. Adoption laws vary by state.
6. Birth parents have the most control over an adoption.
7. Families with biological children often adopt.
8. Adopted children are your children.
9. Adults can be adopted.
10. More than half of adoptions are open adoptions.
( Source: The Adoption Network.)