The foster care adoption process in Arkansas may vary based on your individual circumstances and the professional you work with. However, here is a general overview of how the Arkansas foster to adopt system works:
Decide whether you’re interested in foster parenting, fostering to adopt, or adopting from foster care.
Contact a local foster care agency.
Complete parenting classes.
Complete an application, or parent profile. This will include information about yourselves as well as your interest in adoption or foster parenting.
Complete a home study.
Wait for placement, whether that’s with a foster child or a child you wish to adopt. If your goal is to foster parent, you will most likely be placed with a child very quickly. If your goal is to pursue adoption from foster care, you may have to wait longer for a match.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent or adopting from foster care in Arkansas, you don’t have to be the perfect parent. You do, however, have to meet some general requirements:
Be at least 21 years of age
Have no more than a 45-year age difference between yourself and the child you wish to adopt
Be either single or in a two-parent home with a stable relationship
Be healthy enough to parent a child
Have a home in which each bedroom has at least 50 square feet of space per occupant
Keep any and all firearms in a locked, secure location and stored separately from ammunition
Be able to provide all children of opposite sexes over four years of age with separate bedrooms
Do not smoke around children
Pass background checks
Of course, meeting all of these requirements will not automatically mean you can foster parent, foster to adopt, or adopt a foster child. There are some additional steps you’ll have to take first.
If you meet all general requirements for becoming a foster parent or an adoptive parent through foster care in Arkansas, there are some additional requirements you’ll have to fulfill:
Complete CPR and Standard First Aid certification.
Complete 30 hours of pre-service training.
Meet all Minimum Licensing Standards set forth by the Child Welfare Agency Review Board and the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education.
Meet all policy requirements set forth by the Division of Children and Family Services.
If you’re looking to foster parent, you must be a resident of Arkansas.
You will also need to refrain from using corporal punishment and support foster children in exercising their own religious beliefs.
If you’re interested in adopting through foster care in Arkansas, you can view foster children for adoption on a foster care adoption photolisting. Two good resources for this are AdoptUSKids and the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
If you think you may be interested in pursuing foster care adoption in Arkansas, fill out an Inquiry Form with the Department of Child and Family Services.
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