Maybe you’ve seen them on Facebook or even Craigslist — “Loving couple wants to adopt your baby!” or “Steve and Kim are looking for a baby!” These adoption ads are for “self-matching” where people hoping to adopt an infant try to reach out to expectant mothers thinking about adoption.

Adoption ads are legal in Arkansas

The laws about adoption in Arkansas do not mention advertising for babies. The practice is illegal in some states, and in other states there are restrictions. For example, only adoption agencies may advertise in some states and in others prospective adoptive parents must show proof that they have been approved.

Arkansas has no laws about adoption ads and no limitations on this type of advertising.


Placing an ad announcing that you’re looking for a baby means you give up some privacy. Even if you don’t share your address or last name, the information you do share can be enough for identification.

There are costs involved — advertising until you find a baby to adopt is likely to cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. One agency that specializes in this type of advertising reports that their clients ¬†spend an average of $500 to $1500 for their ads, in addition to the agency’s fees. Since the ads must have a web page to link to, the costs of setting up and maintaining the web page must also be considered.

And, unfortunately, there are individuals who prey on vulnerable people in the adoption process. Online adoption ads can be a target for scammers posing as either potential birth parents or as adoptive families.

Even if there are no immediate consequences, you may be surprised by the emotional costs of the process. The adoption process is a journey filled with hope, uncertainty, and sometimes heartbreak. Adoption ads can heighten these emotions, leading to feelings of discouragement or despair if the search for a match takes longer than anticipated.

An adoption agency has experience and expertise in finding children for adoption. Apart from agencies, an adoption law firm like Heimer Law can assist you in finding a baby for a private adoption. Adoption ads give you an additional source for meeting expectant moms, but they can also have real drawbacks.

Myths about adoption ads

One of the most common beliefs is that using adoption ads simplifies the process of adoption. Some people imagine that expectant parents who answer ads can just bring them a baby, no questions asked. That’s not how it works.

Regardless of how you know the birth parents, a private adoption always requires the same legal procedures. You must have a home study. You and the birth parent will need legal representation. Without the full legal adoption procedures, you will not have a legal adoption.

Another myth about these ads is that they are a matter of selling and buying babies. This is not a fair view of adoption ads, but it is a common emotional reaction. If you choose to place adoption ads, you should be mentally prepared to encounter this reaction.

A final myth is that they are a fast, sure, inexpensive way to find an infant to adopt. In fact, some people find themselves spending thousands of dollars on paid ads with no results. There are no guarantees.

However you choose to connect with an expectant parent, be sure to choose an experienced adoption lawyer like Justin Heimer to support you through the process.

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