Adoption of a child can be a joyous and exciting event, but it is also a complicated process. Arkansas law requires that certain procedures be followed to adopt a child. Ordinarily, the child’s biological parents must consent to the adoption, but there are circumstances in which a parent’ consent may not be required, such that the parent has failed significantly to support or communicate with the child for one year. Adopting parents are also required to undergo a home study which is usually conducted by a licensed social worker and includes a personal history interview, safety assessment of your home, and criminal background and child maltreatment registry checks on each person living in the home. There are circumstances in which some of these procedures may not be required, such as a step-parent who wants to adopt a step-child. You will need an attorney to guide you through the many steps that must be followed in an adoption.
There is also the possibility that an adoption may be challenged. In that case, a hearing would take place in front of a judge. In every adoption case, the court will determine whether all the procedures required by law have been followed, and the judge must also find it to be in the child’s best interest to be adopted.
Every situation is unique. You need the advise of a skilled attorney who is experienced and understands the law to advise and guide you through the adoption process. Contact our office at (501) 296-9999 for a free consultation.