How does the adoption process work in Arkansas?

Deciding to have a family is an extremely high-impact commitment that will affect the rest of several people’s lives. It is critically important to know the ins and outs of all the processes involved before making any specific choices or moving forward with the emotional investment needed to prepare for bringing a child into your home to raise. Planning to adopt a child requires significant emotional labor, as well as logistical and financial forecasting. Each state has its own requirements for adopting a child, and many adoption agencies have their own requirements as well. If you are unsure about working directly with an agency and would like to have your own advocate and source of legal advice, it is advisable to hire an attorney to help guide you through the complex process of adoption. 

What are the basic types of adoption? 

Domestic infant adoption: This is the most common type of adoption, in which an infant born in the U.S.  is placed with an adoptive family from the U.S. An adoptive family who wishes to take this route will need to begin the process by completing a home study with a licensed professional, who will evaluate your readiness to become a parent. The home study will include home visits, background checks, and additional evaluations. 

Foster care adoption: The Arkansas Department of Human Services manages the state’s foster care system. While its goal is to reunite children with biological families, this is not always feasible, so there are many children who become eligible for adoption. Foster care adoption processes can vary widely based on the prospective adoptive parent or parents’ circumstances, so it’s best to get legal advice tailored to your specific needs and situation. 

International adoption: Adopting a child from a foriegn country is another option for prospective adoptive parents. Again, this is a complicated process with its own set of steps and challenges, so having your own advocate and advisor is the best bet for a successful outcome. 

Who can adopt? 

Domestic adoption requirements: Initial requirements for domestic adoption in Arkansas include renting or owning your home, not being a felon, and adoption home study approval. Either a married couple or an unmarried adult may adopt, including someone of any gender or sexual orientation (at the time of this writing.) 

Foster care adoption requirements: To pursue foster care adoption in Arkansas, you must be at least 21 years old, have a safe, healthy home with at least 50 square feet of space per occupant in each bedroom, enough bedrooms to separately house children of different sexes over the age of 4, and have sufficient resources to meet a child’s needs without solely relying on governmental financial assistance. You must also be reasonably healthy, i.e. not have a disability or health condition that would limit your ability to care for a child. 

Adopting a child is not simple. Davidson Law can help you navigate this process. Call us today!