How to Complete a Foster Care Adoption in Arkansas
American Adoptions specializes in domestic infant adoptions. In this process, a prospective birth mother creates an adoption plan, chooses an adoptive family and, with the assistance of an adoption specialist, completes an adoption placement when the baby is born.
However, we know that there are other types of adoption, and that many families find foster care adoption to be a perfect fit for their situation. While this process comes with its own sets of challenges and rewards, it can be a beautiful way to add a child to a family.
Are you considering foster care adoption in Arkansas? If so, this guide is meant to help. Learn a bit more about this adoption path below, and please contact a local foster care agency for more information.
How Does Foster Care Adoption Work in Arkansas?
The Arkansas foster care adoption process may vary based on your individual circumstances and the professional you work with. That’s why we encourage every hopeful adoptive parent to contact a local agency early in the process to truly understand what adopting a child from foster care will look like for them.
In most cases, when you choose adoption out of the foster care system in Arkansas, you will likely adopt a child who is older, part of a sibling set, or has significant medical or emotional special needs. This type of adoption comes with its own set of challenges, so it’s important that you are prepared ahead of time and ready for this unique journey.
To help you start your research, here is a general overview of how the Arkansas foster-to-adopt system works:
Step 1: Decide whether you’re interested in foster parenting, fostering to adopt, or adopting from foster care.
Step 2: Contact a local foster care agency.
Step 3: Complete parenting classes.
Step 4: Complete an application or parent profile. This will include information about yourself as well as your interest in adoption or foster parenting.
Step 5: Complete a home study.
Step 6: 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 in Arkansas, you may have to wait longer for a match.
Who Can Adopt a Foster Child in Arkansas?
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 4 years of age with separate bedrooms
- 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 in Arkansas. There are some additional steps you’ll have to take first, which you’ll learn more about next.
What is Required When Adopting From Foster Care in Arkansas?
If you meet all the prerequisites for becoming a foster parent or adopting a foster child 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.
- Be a resident of Arkansas, if you wish to foster-to-adopt and not just adopt a child outright.
You will also need to refrain from using corporal punishment and need to support foster children in exercising their own religious beliefs.
View Foster Children for Adoption in Arkansas
At any given time, there are thousands of children in in the American foster care system. While many will eventually be reunited with their biological parents thanks to a supportive foster parent, hundreds are awaiting a second chance at a loving, welcoming family.
If you’re interested in adopting through foster care in Arkansas, you can view foster children for adoption on an Arkansas foster care adoption photolisting. Project Zero maintains the current listing of foster children for adoption in Arkansas.
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. You can also contact one of these local foster care adoption agencies:
If you are still considering private infant adoption in Arkansas to build your family, you can always call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to speak with our specialists and learn more about our agency programs.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.