Anybody who wants to adopt a child in Arkansas must meet the adoption requirements as per the laws of the state. Keep in mind that adoptions can sometimes be a long and complex process. If you are really serious about adoption, it is important that you speak to an adoption lawyer in Arkansas so that you are aware of the basic requirements that you must fulfill to qualify.
Who Can Adopt in Arkansas?
As per the laws of the state, the following people can legally adopt a child in Arkansas:
- A husband and wife
- An unmarried adult
- A step-parent
- An unmarried mother or father of the child to be adopted
Types of Adoptions
There are different types of adoptions. These include:
- Adoption through a private agency
- Adoption through a foster home
- Relative adoption
- International adoption
Adopting Through a Private Agency
The primary requirements for adoption from a private adoption agency are as follows:
- The adoptive parents should ideally be between the ages of 22 and 50. While this is not a legal age requirement, it has generally been observed that people in this age group are preferred.
- The adoptive parents should be fully committed to the adoption. There should not be a conflict among the parents or any doubt regarding this decision. This is an important point since the State’s first priority will always be the child’s well-being. If there is any doubt about the prospective parents’ commitment, they are unlikely to qualify.
- The adoptive parents should not have a criminal record. This is especially true if their history indicates violent crimes, abuse or neglect of a child. In case of a non-violent incident, the prospective parent(s) will still be thoroughly evaluated by a social worker to ensure that they are fit to be parents.
- There are many couples who turn to adoption because of infertility issues. Many have already undergone infertility treatments and have been disappointed. When they turn to adoption, it will be ensured that the parents are ready for to move on to a method that will not give them a child biologically.
Adopting Through a Foster Home
Prospective parents interested in adopting through the foster care system must meet the following criteria:
- Adoptive parents must be at least 21 years old.
- There should not be more than 45 years of age difference between the adoptive parents and the child in question.
- Adoptive parents should not be suffering from any medical condition that would make it difficult for them to parent or raise a child.
- Adoptive parents must successfully complete a physical exam.
- Adoptive parents must have a proper home in a safe location and neighborhood and should be able to provide 50 square feet of space per occupant in each bedroom.
- If the adoptive parents own any firearms, they must lock them away in a safe location away from the child. Any ammunition should be stored separately as well.
- The adoptive parents must have the ability to provide children of opposite sexes who are four years or older with their own separate bedroom.
- Adoptive parents must not smoke in front of their children. No third party should be allowed to smoke around the children either.
- Adoptive parents must have the financial capability to raise a child and to meet their needs.
- Adoptive parents must clear a background check.
- Adoptive parents must complete CPR training, First Aid Certification and pre-service training.
As far as international adoption is concerned, the matter is generally settled between a private couple or individual who wish to adopt and the court of the country from where the child is to be adopted. The adoption process is primarily based on that country’s system. For people who wish to bring a child to the US, they are required to fulfill the requirements of the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services as well as the requirements of the country where the child resides. If the adoption process is complete and meets all proper requirements, the child will be issued an entry visa to the U.S. Keep in mind that the visa is only issued once the process is complete and once it has been determined that the parents and the child both qualify.
As is evident from the above discussion, adoptions are not a simple act of visiting a foster home, signing some papers and taking home a child. The adoptive parents must meet certain criteria and must have the financial capability, the physical fitness, and the emotional stability to raise a child. If you are interested in adopting a child and would like to have more information as to what the process might entail, please call the law offices of Arkansas Lawyer. Our reliable, relentless and respected lawyers are here to assist you in making this dream come true