February 11th, 2010
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Map of ArkansasWelcome to our fourth post in the series Adopting in the 50 States. Today, we’re in Arkansas, immortalized in the musical Big River by the song “Arkansas”. Remember, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. Consult an attorney or other adoption professional with specific questions. If you have adopted in Arizona and would like to share your experience with others, please leave a comment or email me at RobynC@adoptionblogs.com.

Who May Adopt In Arkansas?

Any adult, whether single or married, can adopt.

When May Consent Be Signed?

The birth parents may sign any time after the birth of the child. However, in practice, most birth parents are allowed at least 24 hours after the birth of the child.

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How Much Time Do the Birth Parents Have to Revoke Consent?

The birth parents have 10 days after the birth of the child or after the consent is signed, whichever is later, during which they can revoke their consent. If the tenth day falls on a weekend or holiday, then the period extends to the next business day. The court may waive the waiting period for withdrawal of consent for agencies. Consent cannot be revoked after the adoption decree has been entered.

Does Arkansas Have a Putative Father Registry?

Yes.

Does Arkansas Allow the Biological Father to Give Consent Before the Child is Born?

No.

Can Adoptive Parents Advertise to Find Expectant Parents?

Yes. There are no statutes that address adoption advertising of this type.

Does Arkansas Allow the Use of Facilitators?

Yes. There are no statutes that address adoption facilitators.

How Long Before Adoption Can Be Finalized?

11 days

Which Expectant Mother Expenses Can Be Paid by the Adoptive Parents?

Medical, legal, and living expenses, including housing, food, clothing, and “general maintenance”. All expenses must be disclosed to the court.

Can Out of State Residents Finalize in Arkansas?

Yes.

Does Arkansas Allow for Enforceable Open Adoption Agreements?

No. There are no statues that address post-adoption contact.

Information from Parents Who Have Been There
My friend Lynne resides in Arkansas and adopted her daughter from Missouri. She says that the ICPC between the two states was done in 4 days. Her daughter was covered on her insurance from “minute 1″ and she was able to get the hospital to waive her daughter’s birth mother’s medical bills.

B.D. resides in Arkansas and adopted her second child, a birth sibling of her first child, in Arkansas. Initially, she was told that she didn’t need a home study because she had adopted the first child. However, when they appeared before the court to finalize the adoption, the judge ordered a home study. Furthermore, her children are Native American, so they had to go through the tribal courts and obey ICWA laws. Her advice is to be patient and document everything. Because of the ICWA, her children’s adoptions took longer to finalize – 16 months and 10 months.

D.M. resides in Arkansas and adopted from Arkansas. She notes, “Overall, living in Arkansas and adopting from Arkansas was a pain-free process.” She advises, “Try to enjoy the process as much as you can, but  focus on the destination instead of the journey… The process, however difficult, is so worth it when you hold that precious child meant to be part of your family in your arms!”

Resources

Photo Credit: Arkansas.gov

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