A.R.S. §8-533 establishes, among other things, the following grounds for severance:
Abandonment, the parent has failed to maintain regular contact and reasonable support;
Willful abuse, neglect or failure to protect;
Mental deficiency, mental illness or substance abuse – the parent’s condition renders them unable to discharge parental duties;
Incarceration or felony conviction, the felony is of such a nature that it is obvious the parent cannot parent or the length of incarceration is at a minimum more than two years;
Failure to file a paternity action;
Consent to adopt;
Time in care – nine months if the parents have substantially neglected or refused to follow through on services or fifteen months if the parent has been unable to remedy the situation while participating in services; and
Previous dependency – within eighteen months of the return of the children, the children are again removed by the state.
Also, the court must find that it is in the children’s best interest to terminate the parents’ rights. Once a parent’s rights have been severed, their children are free to be adopted by others.