If you’re considering infant adoption in Arkansas, then you probably have a lot of questions. You’ll need to consider the pros and cons and whether this type of adoption suits your family. There’s a lot of information on infant adoption and how it works, so we’re here to break it down for you. To help you make the best decision for you and your family, here’s a general overview of how to adopt an infant in Arkansas.
What is Private Domestic Infant Adoption in Arkansas?
If you are adopting a baby in Arkansas, chances are that you’re going to pursue a domestic adoption. Domestic adoption (or private domestic adoption) refers to the voluntary and permanent placement of a baby for adoption by his or her birth mother, who selects the adoptive family where the child will be placed.
When you work with an infant adoption agency in Arkansas, your adoption will be entirely coordinated by an adoption professional. An adoption agency will provide you with all the necessary resources you will need throughout your adoption, here are just a few:
- Matching with birth parents
- Working with an adoption attorney to legally complete your adoption
- Providing case management and post-placement services
An infant adoption agency in Arkansas will provide support and guidance to mediate contact between adoptive parents and the birth mother, which can reduce the risk of a disrupted adoption.
People Who Consider Infant Adoption in Arkansas
Domestic infant adoption is perfect for:
- Those who want to bond with a child from birth: The majority of children who are available for adoption in foster care and international adoption are at least two years old. Because of that, hopeful adoptive parents who want to adopt younger than that will have the most success with domestic infant adoption.
- Those who want an open relationship with the birth mother: Unlike international adoption or foster care adoption, in a domestic infant adoption, birth mothers often remain involved in the adoption process. Both adoptive parents and birth mothers will want to continue a relationship post-placement, sometimes through email or letter exchange.
- Those who have struggled with infertility: For those who struggle to conceive, adoption is a highly considered way to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a parent.
How the Domestic Infant Adoption Process in Arkansas Works
Step 1: Finding an Adoption Professional
Arkansas families have several options when it comes to adoption professionals—and if infant adoption in Arkansas is right for you, then it’s time to consider which domestic infant adoption agency you’ll work with. This is a big decision, so it’s okay if it takes a little bit of time.
It’s important to choose an adoption professional that provides all of the services you need to complete your infant adoption in Arkansas, whether it’s a full-service adoption agency or an adoption attorney to legally complete your adoption.
- National Agencies: Domestic infant adoption agencies provide matching, advertising, guidance, and other services to families and birth mothers across the country.
- Regional/Local Agencies: Unlike national agencies, regional agencies specialize in a particular area, which can be good for families who want to adopt close to home.
- Adoption Law Firms: Legally, you only need an adoption attorney to complete the process of adopting a newborn. However, they don’t have the same matching and support services that agencies have.
- Adoption Law Centers and Facilitators: Providing a little more than matching services, law centers and facilitators often pass adoptive families on to other adoption professionals once they find a match with a birth mother. This can be a riskier route. In many states, facilitators are actually not allowed to provide adoption services.
Private Domestic Infant Adoption Agencies in Arkansas
If you’re looking to adopt a baby in Arkansas, here are some adoption professionals that can help you get started:
Step 2: Completing Your Arkansas Home Study
A home study is a requirement for all forms of adoption. This includes an evaluation of your day-to-day home life, as well as an inspection, interview and review of important documents. Once your home study is completed, you are then deemed as an active adoptive family and you’re officially ready for the next step in your adoption.
Step 3: Being Chosen by a Birth Mother
After you are officially approved to adopt a baby in Arkansas, the next step is to match with a birth mother. If you’re working with an adoption agency, you will create an adoptive family profile and your adoption specialist will begin sending your profile to prospective birth mothers until one selects you for a match.
The time between your adoption activation and match with a birth mother is called a wait time, and it can vary depending on a number of factors. During this time, your goal should be to remain as open to as many situations as possible. The more flexible you are with your adoption, the more potential birth mothers will see your profile, which will improve your chances of matching and ensure a shorter wait time.
Additionally, national adoption agencies tend to offer shorter average wait times for hopeful adoptive parents. Since these agencies work with more prospective birth parents at once, there is a better chance of your profile being chosen.
Once a birth mother selects you and decides to pursue an adoption plan with you, you will officially be matched.
Your adoption specialist will help you facilitate contact throughout the rest of the pregnancy and may include you in her delivery plan, if that’s something she’s comfortable with.
Step 4: Finalizing the Adoption
Once a birth mom has given birth and placed her child with you, you may assume the adoption process is over. However, before your Arkansas infant adoption is official, you must complete the adoption finalization process. In Arkansas, you can expect the adoption finalization process to include post-placement visits and a finalization hearing—this typically occurs around six months post-placement. This is to ensure that the birth parents’ rights have been terminated properly, ensure that the family is adjusting well and complete the legal side of the process.
After this follow up is complete, your adoption will be finalized, and your baby will be an official member of your family and you will soon be provided with a new birth certificate.
Start Your Infant Adoption Journey in Arkansas
Domestic infant adoption is a great option for families who want to help an expecting mother, as well as provide a welcoming home to a newborn child. Many adoptive families choose this path, because it provides opportunities for getting to know the birth parents, having access to medical histories, and being involved in the baby’s life from day one.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you can get started by submitting a contact form here.