Foster Care Agencies in Arkansas
Understanding Your Adoption Choices
Foster care adoption can be a wonderful way to start or grow your family.
If you’re looking into this option, you may have asked yourself, “Why not look into foster care adoption agencies in Arkansas?” or, “What is a foster care agency?”
We created this guide to help explain the difference between private adoption agencies and foster care agencies in Arkansas, why foster care may be the best choice for you and where to find local foster care agencies in Arkansas.
Even though we only complete private domestic infant adoptions, we understand this is not always the right path for everyone. Our goal is to help you find the type of adoption that is best suited for your life, especially if you are deciding between a private domestic adoption agency and a foster care agency in Arkansas.
If you are considering private domestic infant adoption, you can always contact our agency online to receive free information about this process.
How Does Foster Care Work? [Where to Find Foster Care Agencies in Arkansas]
The purpose of foster care is to provide a child with a safe, temporary home while a state judge decides whether the child’s biological parents are able to parent them. The initial goal is almost always to reunite the child with their biological parents.
A judge will present the biological parents with a reunification plan, which, if met, means they can regain parental rights and bring their child home. This is the most common outcome.
But, in some cases, if the parents don’t meet the specific guidelines for reunification, the judge can terminate the parental rights for reasons that may have put the child in foster care in the first place, such as:
Parental substance abuse
If there is termination, the foster family can then pursue foster-to-adopt. But, if the foster family decides against that, the child remains with the state until there is a willing adoptive family.
Foster care adoption agencies in Arkansas pride themselves on their main goal: a child’s reunification with their biological parents. But, if you would like to help give a foster child a temporary home, you can contact local foster care agencies in Arkansas below:
To find specific foster care provider information in Arkansas, start with the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory Search on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website. You can find more information on Arkansas’ adoption laws here or you can also reach out to an adoption specialist to get more information on adoption requirements.
Private Adoption Agencies vs. Foster Care Agencies in Arkansas
One is not necessarily better than the other. It just all depends on your unique situation.
Foster care agencies in Arkansas are public adoption agencies. One of the biggest differences between private pregnant adoption agencies and foster care agencies in Arkansas is the child’s placement.
A foster care agency in Arkansas acts on behalf of the state government to coordinate its foster care system. They work with both the families hoping to foster children and the families hoping to adopt from foster care.
Some other key differences between private adoption agencies and foster care agencies in Arkansas include the following:
American Adoptions encourages adoptive couples deciding between each type of adoption to research and find what is comfortable for them before making a decision. While we only work in private adoptions, we would be happy to answer questions about our adoption program and process.
Services Foster Care Agencies in Arkansas Offer
The services a foster care agency in Arkansas offers may vary depending on the agency itself. Frequently, a foster care agency will offer parenting classes, or “preservice” training, that hopeful adoptive parents may be required to attend.
Additionally, any foster care agency you work with should help you to complete a parent profile, which gives your caseworker a little taste of your life as well as your interests in foster care.
Another important step a foster care agency in Arkansas can help hopeful adoptive parents complete is a home study, which is a lengthy but necessary part of bringing a child into your home. Private foster care agencies in Arkansas may have qualified social workers on staff who can complete home studies, while public adoption agencies in Arkansas should direct you to a separate professional.
More information about specific services a foster care agency in Arkansas provides and how to become a foster parent is available through the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Adopting Through a Foster Care Agency in Arkansas
When deciding between a private adoption agency and a foster care agency in Arkansas, you might consider the pros and cons of adopting a child from a foster care agency in Arkansas. Some of the benefits are:
Less expensive than private adoption: Private domestic adoption can cost around $50,000 or more. Though there are many reasons for this amount — such as adoption fees, living and medical expenses, and counseling and support — it is undoubtedly more than many families can afford. For foster care, the only cost is typically that of the home study, which may even be reimbursed to you depending on the foster care agency you work with, and any legal fees. The entire adoption process when adopting through a foster care agency in Arkansas should only cost around $1,500.
Less chance of an adoption disruption: If a child is available for adoption through a foster care agency in Arkansas then their parents have already lost their parental rights. This means there is no chance the parents can gain back custody of the child, and the child will remain in foster care until a family is willing to adopt or the child turns 18.
Helps reduce the number of children searching for forever homes: As of May 18, 2021, there were about 437,000 children in the U.S. foster care system. Of that number, almost 4,400 were in the state of Arkansas.
While we believe the benefits of growing your family through foster care agencies in Arkansas outweigh any potential negatives, there are still possible cons. These include:
Possibility of required special attention or counseling: This can cost time and some money. Spending months to years in the foster care system can be emotionally taxing for a child, and more likely than not, they have experienced some difficulties before getting there that they may have to work through.
Emotional heartbreak of parting with the child: As it is the goal of the foster care system to reunite a child with their parents, there is never a guarantee a child you agree to foster will be able to permanently join your home. It isn’t until the court revokes the parents’ rights that a child can be available for adoption.
Adopting a child through foster care, no matter what type of foster agency you use, can be a beautiful gift for a child and can be another way to start or grow your family.
You can get more answers to any of your foster care questions and a better understanding of the benefits of foster care agencies in Arkansas when you visit the following resources:
If you’re interested in adopting through a foster care agency in Arkansas, you can view foster children for adoption on an Arkansas foster care adoption photo listing. Project Zero maintains the current listing of foster children for adoption in Arkansas.
And for more information about private infant adoption, you can get free adoption information online.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.