Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption - Arkansas

Date: January 2020

Who May Adopt

Citation: Ann. Code § 9-9-204

The following persons may adopt:

  • A husband and wife together, although one or both are minors
  • An unmarried adult
  • The unmarried parent of the person to be adopted
  • A married individual without his or her spouse if:
    • The spouse is a parent of the individual to be adopted and consents to the adoption.
    • The petitioner and his or her spouse are legally separated.
    • The failure of the spouse to join in the petition or to consent to the adoption is excused by the court by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances constituting an unreasonable withholding of consent.

Who May Be Adopted

Citation: Ann. Code § 9-9-203

Any individual may be adopted.

Who May Place a Child for Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 9-9-202; 9-9-206; 5-27-211

A child may be placed for adoption by or consent may be given by any of the following:

  • The parent of the child
  • Any person lawfully entitled to custody of the child or empowered to consent
  • An agency that has been licensed to place minors for adoption

It is illegal for an adoptive parent or other person having custody of an adopted minor to avoid permanent parental responsibility by placing the minor in the physical custody of another person or entity without court approval. This section does not apply to the following:

  • A person who places a minor with a relative, stepparent, a licensed agency, a licensed attorney, or the Department of Human Services
  • Placement of a minor by a licensed attorney, a licensed agency, or the department
  • Temporary placement of a minor by a parent or custodian for a designated short-term period with a specified intent and time period for return of the minor, if the temporary placement is due to a vacation or a school-sponsored function or activity or the incarceration, military service, medical treatment, or incapacity of a parent or guardian
  • Placement of a minor in accordance with the requirements of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
  • Relinquishment of a minor under the voluntary delivery of a child law, § 9-34-201, et seq.