Different states have different qualifications for adopting a child. In Arkansas, there are very few legal requirements. However, adoption agencies may have their own rules.
How old must adoptive parents be?
There are no state laws in Arkansas specifying a minimum or a maximum age for adopting parents. People wanting to adopt through the foster system must be between 21 and 65 years of age. There is also a limit on the age difference between the child and the adoptive parents. The person wishing to adopt must not be more than 45 years older than the child. But this is only true for adoptions through the foster child system.
Private adoptions don’t have hard and fast rules about age. Adoption agencies may have their own requirements, and many prefer that prospective adoptive parents be at least 21 years of age.
Can a single person adopt a child?
In Arkansas, these are the relationship statuses allowed to adopt a child:
- Married couple
- Unmarried adult
- Unmarried parent of child
- One married parent of child if other parent consents (for example, a step-parent)
- One married parent of child if they are legally separated
In other words, marital status is not a barrier to adoption.
The most important qualifications for adopting a child
Parents must be able to provide a safe, stable home for the child they wish to adopt. This is the reason for home visits, which are required for most adoptions. The home visitor will come to your home and make sure that you are willing and able to care for the child. The law allows background checks on prospective adoptive parents and any other people living in their home.
Heimer Law will assist you in understanding and preparing for this important part of the adoption process.
Are you ready to love your adopted child and care for him or her? This may be the most important qualification of all.