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What are the steps to adopting a child in Arkansas?

The process of adoption in Arkansas is a fairly elaborate one with certain requirements that must be met by a person who wants to become an adoptive parent. An adoptive parent must be between 21 and 65-years-old, and the age difference between the child and the person who adopts must be at least 10-years and not more than a 45-years difference.

Certain other adoption norms exist, such as only couples with stable relationships will be considered for becoming adoptive parents. However, adoption by a single parent is also possible. Adoptive parents must also meet certain health conditions and should be without any disability that would interfere with the ability to bring up a child. All family members need to undergo physical examinations before an adoption will be approved.

Certain housing norms also must be met before Arkansas residents can adopt. Adequate space must be available in the household for the adopted child. For instance, every bedroom in the house must be at least 50 square feet. Firearms must be kept in a locked closet or cabinet. Dangerous pets will be examined for safety reasons before adoption is allowed. Children of opposite sex in the household will need to have separate bedrooms.

Adoptive parents must be able to meet the physical, financial, medical and emotional needs of the child. Background checks will be done on all family members older than 14, and these members must clear the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry and a state police background check. Family heads must also provide a written certification that no family member has any criminal record. Once approved, adoptive parents must also clear 30 hours of pre-service training.

Source:, “How To Adopt,” accessed on Aug. 15, 2014

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