Your Complete Guide to Adoption Requirements in Arkansas
What are the requirements for adopting a child in Arkansas?
We get this question this all the time from families who are hoping to expand through adoption. The truth is that the answer varies. The qualifications for adoption you’ll have to meet will depend on what type of adoption you wish to pursue and the professional you choose to help you do it.
To help you learn about the different requirements to adopt a child in Arkansas, then, we’ve split this article into two sections that focus on the two primary types of adoption: one that outlines the adoption qualifications for private domestic adoption and one that focuses on the foster care system.
If you are interested in our agency’s adoption criteria in Arkansas, know that our specialists are always available to answer your questions and provide the information you’re looking for. Don’t hesitate to reach out anytime by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or contacting us online anytime.
In the meantime, learn a bit more about domestic adoption requirements in Arkansas below.
Arkansas Adoption Requirements for Private Domestic Adoption
Each state has its own requirements for adopting a child, but as a national agency, American Adoptions has its own set of adoption qualifications that meet all state laws. Our specialists are happy to explain these criteria to you, if you are interested.
In the meantime, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about our agency’s Arkansas adoption requirements:
- How old do you have to be to adopt in Arkansas?
The state itself doesn’t have a legal adoption age limit. However, American Adoptions prefers that prospective adoptive parents be between the ages of 22 and 50, although this may depend on the adoption program you choose to pursue, and exceptions may be made.
- Do you have to be married to adopt in Arkansas?
No, the state of Arkansas does not require that a person be married in order to adopt a child. However, to work with our agency, you must have been married for two or more years.
- Can a felon adopt a child in Arkansas?
The answer to this question depends on the nature of the felony. If it was a violent crime that involved abuse or neglect of a child, you will most likely not be able to adopt. This does not mean, however, that having a felony bars you from adopting completely. If the felony was non-violent, a social worker will determine your eligibility to adopt on a case-by-case basis. They will want to speak to you about the crime to understand what happened and why, as well as whether or not you learned from the experience.
In addition, if you’re interested in adopting with our agency, our specialists will ask you a few questions before approving you for our adoption programs:
- Have you moved on from infertility?
Many couples come to adoption after a painful struggle with infertility treatments. If this is the case for you, make sure you have grieved this loss completely. You’re not ready to pursue adoption if you’re still set on the idea of having a biological child.
- Are both spouses fully committed to growing the family through adoption?
Adoption is an emotionally complicated process. If you’re pursuing it with a spouse, it’s important that you both are on the same page moving forward. Otherwise, you may run into challenges that delay or even cancel your family-building journey.
- Are you ready to handle the highs and lows that come with adoption?
The adoption process is an emotional rollercoaster, and it’s not always easy. You’ll need to trust your adoption professional to help you navigate it. You must also prepare yourself for what’s ahead by researching the domestic adoption experience.
Of course, these are not the only requirements to adopt a child in Arkansas with American Adoptions. Our specialists can explain any additional requirements for adoption when you call 1-800-ADOPTION.
Arkansas Adoption Requirements for Adopting from Foster Care
If you’re more interested in becoming a foster parent or adopting from the foster care system, there are slightly different Arkansas requirements for adoption you’ll have to meet. For the most updated information, we encourage you to contact a local foster care agency.
To get involved with the foster system, you must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have no more than a 45-year age difference between you and the child you wish to adopt
- Not have a health condition or disability that would make it difficult to parent a child
- Complete a physical exam
- Have a healthy, safe home with at least 50 square feet of space per occupant in each bedroom
- Keep any firearms locked away and stored separately from ammunition
- Be able to provide children of opposite sexes with their own separate bedrooms if the kids are 4 years old or older
- Not smoke in front of children or permit others to do so
- Have sufficient resources to meet a child’s needs without relying solely on financial assistance from the government
- Pass a background check
- Complete CPR, Standard First Aid certification, and 30 hours of pre-service training
The emotional requirements for adopting a child from foster care are, of course, the same as if you were adopting a baby through private domestic adoption. If you aren’t completely finished grieving infertility, or if you have significant doubts, don’t rush the process.
If you’re more interested in adopting internationally, there are separate requirements to adopt a child from another country. You should check the U.S. Department of State’s website to learn about the area you’re interested in adopting from.
Whatever family-building path you take, you will need to meet certain requirements to be an adoptive parent in Arkansas. And, if you’re considering private domestic infant adoption, our specialists are always happy to discuss this topic with you in detail. To learn more about our agency’s adoption requirements, please call 1-800-ADOPTION, or request free information here.
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