If you’re a prospective birth mother or hopeful adoptive parent, it’s crucial that you understand how adoption works.
Once you get a better sense of the process, then you’ll feel confident to take your first step. And if you’re wondering about Arkansas infant adoption information, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, considering adoption is a brave decision. You might be wondering how the process works, or if it’s the right decision for you. If you’re a hopeful parent wanting to grow your family through adoption, this process can also be overwhelming. And If you fall under either one of those categories, you’ve come to the right place and we’re here to help you.
We’ve created this guide to teach you all about the steps for adoption in Arkansas. The following information about Arkansas adoption can help answer your most important questions, whether you’re a hopeful adoptive parent or prospective birth mother living in Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Little Rock, or anywhere else in the state.
Step 1: Choosing Adoption — How to Decide if Adoption in Arkansas Is Right for You
How can you know if adoption in Arkansas is right for you? It’s a very personal decision, so it’s up to you to take as much time as you need to determine the right path for your future. One helpful step in determining if adoption is right for you is to understand the benefits that the child gains through adoption. Reading adoptee stories and testimonials is a helpful way to understand their stories, getting an in-depth look into how the adoption process actually works.
If you’re pregnant and considering adoption, you might be afraid that choosing adoption might mean that you’re “giving up” your child. But, that’s not the case. You are choosing to put your baby’s needs above your own, making a brave, loving and heroic decision. Adopted children often know and understand their birth parents didn’t just give them up—they gave them a life full of opportunity.
Hopeful adoptive parents and families considering adoption not only give the child a loving, welcoming home— but also fulfill their dream of becoming parents.
If you’ve made the decision to move forward with the adoption process in Arkansas, then you’re ready for step number two.
Step 2: Choosing Your Adoption Agency [The Most Important Step]
Picking your adoption agency is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Your agency will be your go-to—for just about everything. They provide ongoing support, direction and encouragement whether you’re a prospective birth mother or hopeful adoptive parent.
There are so many different types of adoption agencies, it’s a given that you might be overwhelmed trying to choose. Here are some things to look for when choosing an adoption agency that’s right for you:
- 24/7 Support and Guidance: Adoption can be a challenging and unpredictable process for both prospective birth mothers and hopeful adoptive parents—and only the best adoption agencies understand that help should be available 24/7. Even if you think you might have everything figured out, there will be moments where you need to speak to a social worker as soon as possible. The adoption process is unpredictable, and that’s why any adoption agency you work with should have 24/7 support.
- Full-Service: The best professional that you could work with is a full-service adoption agency. This means that everything you need, whether you’re a hopeful adoptive parent or prospective birth mother, can be found within one organization. This means a lot less work on your end, making your process much smoother.
- Experienced Staff: The adoption process can be complicated, which is why the best agencies are staffed with trustworthy, qualified professionals who have been providing services for years. More than that — the best adoption agencies even have professionals working for them who have personal experience with adoption, whether they’re an adoptee, birth mother or adoptive family.
These qualities will make your adoption process go much smoother and more likely to succeed. If that sounds like something you want in an adoption agency, keep reading below for the next step.
Step 3: Finding an Adoption Match
When you work with a good adoption agency in Arkansas, all adoptive families are screened thoroughly, and all prospective birth mothers are given the resources they need in order to choose the perfect family for their baby. In terms of finding the right adoption match, an adoption specialist will help the prospective birth mother look through adoptive family profiles, and birth parents can look through as many as they want to find the right parents.
Depending on the type of agency you work with, you may have more (or less) profiles to choose from. Larger, national agencies work with many adoptive families at the same time, which means more options for prospective birth parents and shorter wait times for hopeful parents. Smaller agencies, on the other hand, may only have a handful of profiles to choose from.
Hopeful adoptive parents make these profiles with the help of their adoption agency. This is another reason why choosing the best adoption agency can make all the difference, which is why many families lean more toward larger, more established adoption agencies.
Want to glance at a few profiles to get a better look? Click here to see some potential adoptive families.
Step 4: Preparing for Placement
Being nervous about your adoption is a completely normal experience. Something that tends to help birth mothers and hopeful adoptive families is the ability to get to know each other during pre-placement contact. Birth parents get to choose how much openness they want when they create their adoption plan, and it’s totally up to you to choose what you’re comfortable with.
Hopeful adoptive parents will work with their adoption professional to decide which level of openness they prefer, and their profile will only be shown to the prospective birth mother who will want the same type of communication style. This is an important part of the adoption process, and another area of where a good adoption agency can provide a lot of guidance.
Step 5: Completing Your Adoption
If you’re a prospective birth mother, the hospital stay can be one of the most stressful parts of an unplanned pregnancy. With the Arkansas infant adoption process, birth mothers will have all the support they can ask for to make their labor and delivery go as smooth as possible. With the help of your chosen adoption agency, birth mothers create a hospital plan, which includes choosing which hospital they like best. If finances are a concern, medical costs can be covered by your adoption agency so you can truly focus on what matters most.
For hopeful adoptive parents, the hospital plan is also helpful in relieving any stress. It gives some structure to one of the most important parts of your life — meeting the baby for the first time. Depending on the birth mother’s hospital plan and what she’s comfortable with, the adoptive family may be in the hospital room, or may wait in the lobby.
When completing your adoption, your adoption professional will be there to guide you through every step of this life-changing experience.
Step 6: Finalizing the Adoption and Begin Post-Placement Contact
After the baby is born, adoption paperwork is signed, and the baby will be placed with the adoptive parents. Based on the arrangement that birth mothers agree to with the adoptive parents, a form of post-placement contact begins.
Adoption doesn’t end with the placement of the child — it’s a lifelong process, and this is just the beginning. After placement, birth mothers will take time to heal while adoptive families undergo the adoption finalization process and start their amazing journey of becoming a parent. Both adoptive parents and birth mothers will continue their relationship as determined by their adoption plan.
Today, most adoptions are open. This means the adoptive family and birth mother exchange information and share updates with each other directly—through phone calls, text messages, email and more. Some adoptions are semi-open, meaning an adoption agency or professional will be the liaison between the adoptive family and birth mother. Whichever type of post-placement contact you agree to, it’s important that both parties honor and respect the commitments of the adoption plan.
The adoption process is a chance to do something amazing, it’s a brave step to take toward providing a child with the best future. There are many of benefits to adoption, for women considering adoption and hopeful adoptive parents. At the end of the day, what brings your together is that you both want a child to have a life full of opportunity and abundance.
If you’re ready to take the next steps in your adoption journey, contact us today to be connected with a helpful adoption professional.