A private adoption is an adoption that rests on the adoptive parents and the birth parents agreeing on the adoption without using an adoption agency to make the match. Sometimes the adoptive parents may already know an expectant mom or a child who needs a home, and at other times the introduction may be made by Heimer Law or another adoption professional. In any case, the adoption doesn’t involve an agency. So how long does a private adoption take?

The legal process

In Arkansas, an adoption can take place as soon as six days after the birth of the child. With the birth mother’s agreement and a well-prepared adoptive family, the adoption will be final after ten days. Some states have lengthy waiting periods, but Arkansas does not.

A private adoption requires a legal petition, a home study, and a court approval. All of those parts of the process require some time. The steps toward adoption can be completed before the baby is born, however, so that the adoption can be finalized quickly at that point. This is what we mean by “well-prepared.”

The wait

A private adoption can involve waiting time. Sometimes adoptive parents are providing a home for a child they know, or making an arrangement with an expectant mother they already know. This kind of adoption among friends or family members doesn’t require a wait for a child to become available.

If you don’t already have a child in mind, though, you may spend time waiting to find a match. While adoption agencies should be able to check their records and tell you the average wait time for the couples they’ve served, there is no reliable answer that covers all the private adoptions in the United States. Estimates range from one year to 31 months.

There are many factors that can affect your waiting time. For example, if you are waiting for a newborn, it may take longer to match you than if you are open to adopting an older child.

Once the match is made, if you plan to adopt a newborn and have made arrangements with an expectant mother, you will need to wait until the baby is born. Children cannot be adopted before birth.

A long journey

The adoption journey lasts from the moment you decide to grow your family through adoption to the moment you bring your new son or daughter home. Depending on your circumstances, that length of time could be a few months or a few years.

When you work with Heimer Law, you can be confident that we will be with you all along the way. We know that this process can be an emotional one and we are prepared to help and support you from start to finish. Call us at (479) 225-9725 or use our simple inquiry form to start the conversation.

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