Facing an unplanned pregnancy is emotionally hard and stressful. If you are living in Arkansas, you may be thinking about your options moving forward. Whether you are currently pregnant or have just given birth, one of your options is adoption.
If you are thinking about giving your baby up for adoption in Arkansas, it is important to learn about the process and requirements involved. First, know that you are not “giving up” your baby. You are making a thoughtful, loving and brave plan for your child. In this guide, we will share information about adoption in Arkansas, and how to start an adoption plan for your baby.
1. Choose an adoption agency.
When considering adoption, the first step to take is contacting a reputable adoption agency in Arkansas. Their experience and knowledge can help you navigate the adoption process.
Placing a baby for adoption can be complex and overwhelming, but working with a professional can ease the process. An adoption agency can ensure you are fully educated throughout the process, that your adoption is safe and legal, and that you always feel supported and heard. Many adoption agencies will offer services like financial assistance, free counseling, legal assistance, and help finding a safe and loving family. Adoptions With Love, for example, offers free services for birth mothers in Arkansas.
When looking for an adoption agency, it is important to find one that is experienced with Arkansas adoption and its laws and regulations. The right agency will offer you a compassionate team that can help and give you the respect you deserve – all without pressure or judgment. This should be a judgment-free zone, as adoption is a deeply personal and difficult decision. Only you know what is best for you and your child.
2. Meet with an adoption counselor.
Once you have found the agency that can meet your needs, you can start to move forward with your adoption plan. The adoption agency should offer you a licensed, compassionate adoption social worker who can meet you whenever – and wherever – works for you. This professional will then walk you through your options, help you understand your rights as an expectant/birth parent, and answer any questions you may have. Your adoption counselor can also outline the adoption options that you have to help you determine which is right for you: an open adoption, a closed adoption, or a semi-open adoption.
3. Select the adoptive family.
One of the greatest advantages to making an adoption plan with an Arkansas adoption agency is having the power to hand-select your child’s adoptive family. You can browse the profiles of families and individuals who are ready to adopt. Your agency will share with you the profiles of those who best meet your wishes and expectations. If and when you make your decision, you can speak with the adoptive family, if you wish, either on the phone, via email, virtual chat, or you may even choose to meet them in person. This is completely up to you and based on your personal comfort level. If you do not wish to speak with the adoptive family, that is okay, too.
When deciding on an adoptive family for your child, you can feel confident that the baby will be going to a safe, stable, and loving environment. In Arkansas, every potential adoptive family must complete a Home Study with a licensed adoption professional. Many private agencies today, including Adoptions With Love, require this Home Study, as well. This process involves at-home visits, multiple interviews with everyone in the household, and the thorough examination of documents (such as medical history, financial records, drug screenings, etc.). This ensures that every child is going to a home that is physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially healthy. All household members must have criminal background checks, including FBI fingerprints and sexual offender checks.
4. Understand Arkansas adoption laws.
Adoption laws can be hard to understand, but your adoption agency will ensure you have an attorney who can walk you through each step. The right adoption agency will have attorneys who are knowledgeable of adoption in Arkansas, and will offer legal services that are free of charge to expectant/birth mothers.
In the State of Arkansas, an expectant/birth mother can consent to adoption at any time after the baby’s birth. This gives you time to ensure you are fully comfortable with the decision to place your baby for adoption. Any man whose consent is required for the adoption can sign consent forms either before or after the child’s birth. This man – whether he is the birth father or not – is someone who:
- Is or was married to the birth mother during or after the baby’s conception
- Has custody of the child
- A petition for adoption is filed
- Has a written order that gives him legal custody when a petition for adoption is filed
- Is the baby’s adoptive father
- Proves significant custodial, personal or financial responsibility for the child
When you work with an Arkansas adoption agency like Adoptions With Love, you may contact your social worker at any time with questions regarding the adoption.
5. Understand the adoption services available.
Choosing to work with a trustworthy adoption agency means reaping the benefits that you deserve. The best adoption agency will work with you to ensure you have an adoption plan with which you feel comfortable, free of pressure, criticism, or judgment. We understand what a challenging time this can be for an expectant/birth parent, and we want to make the process as smooth as possible. At Adoptions With Love, we help expectant/birth parents:
- Find the best adoptive family for baby
- Help design an adoption plan that meets your needs
- Find quality medical care
- Build lifelong relationships with your child’s adoptive parents, if you wish
- Cover expenses related to pregnancy including medical expenses, rent, utilities, and transportation.
7. Make a post-adoption plan.
Once you have chosen your adoption agency and your adoptive family, you can begin to think about your post-adoption plan. This will be the communication following baby’s adoption. You can choose between an open, semi-open, and closed adoption. During counseling, trained social workers at your adoption agency can help you custom design an adoption plan that works best for you. You may also consider utilizing post-placement counseling, also offered by your adoption agency – free of charge.
Adoption is a lifelong journey that can help you forge lifelong relationships long after the adoption is complete. A supportive adoption agency in Arkansas, like Adoptions With Love, will help you navigate these uncharted waters as you plan for the type of adoption you would like to have going forward. As part of your post-adoption plan, for a year after placement, we offer ongoing, confidential counseling services at no cost to you.
We understand adoption is an emotional journey. In addition to Arkansas adoption planning and legal services, we offer expectant/birth mothers free counseling services during pregnancy and after the adoption is complete. Healing takes time, and we offer support and guidance every step of the way.
For more information about Adoptions With Love in Arkansas, please contact us today. We are available any time of day, any day of the week. Just send us a text at 617-777-0072, call us at 1-800-722-7731, or contact us online. Our staff is here to help guide you through this journey.